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Originally published Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

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'Extreme packing' saves on baggage fees

With budget airlines beginning to charge for carry-on bags, as well as checked luggage, the need to pack light for flights has reached critical...

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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With budget airlines beginning to charge for carry-on bags, as well as checked luggage, the need to pack light for flights has reached critical mass. Some ways to do it:

Clothing: Items that store flat and suit a variety of situations make my personal shortlist. Pack a pashmina scarf, for example, and you've also got a colorful belt and a dressy wrap. For men, swim trunks styled like cargo shorts create wardrobe flexibility. I recently purchased a specialized women's trench coat from a company called Scottevest. The $150 price might seem steep, but the piece's 18 pockets hold everything from my touch-screen phone and passport to my sunglasses and a small tablet device, providing valuable additional room in my carry-on bag.

Toiletries: Minimizing container sizes for things like toiletries and cosmetics will help tremendously — and let you travel with carry-on only if you obey the security rules. You can always buy more shampoo and lotions at your destination.

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The right bag: Wheeled backpacks — in a carry-on size — allow travelers to seamlessly combine business with pleasure. Osprey crafts a carry-on model with discreetly-stored hip support straps and a removable daypack suitable for laptop storage.

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