Africa Travel Tip: Excess Baggage

After spending several years in Cape Town and taking annual trips home to grab 'just one more sweater' or 'those boots I can't live without', I accumulated a fair amount of stuff while living abroad.  I find that two checked bags is an adequate allowance when traveling to/from the U.S. to Africa on holiday (standard on most international carriers), but I was struggling to fit everything in my bags for my last trip home.  I looked at Turkish Airlines excess baggage fees for my route and it was going to be a couple hundred dollars - not an option on my budget.

We all have those tops or jeans we're keeping at the back of the drawer that never seem to make it into our wardrobe rotation, yet we refuse to get rid of them.  My first tip, depending on the purpose of your travel, is to pack clothes like these.  Obviously this might not work for a business trip, but carrying a few basic tees are perfect for a weekend camping or on a casual self-drive safari.  Wash, then donate these items locally to leave them behind once and for all at the end of your trip.  You'll eventually have a lot more room in your suitcase and in your wardrobe.

If you can't afford to leave anything behind, the next best option for excess baggage is to ship it.  I ultimately settled on shipping some of my belongings with PostNet before the holidays last year.  The staff in Westlake was really friendly and they gave me several shipping choices to pick from to fit my budget and time constraints.  While their excess baggage service would have returned my belongings to me faster, I ultimately decided that nothing I was shipping was time-sensitive, so I shipped it by ground internationally (saving over $100!)  Do you have any tips on traveling light?

Marie Frei

One Carry-On is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a travel expert and photographer with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for culture and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.