If you have a butler who is following you on vacation, and your American Express card has no limit, then just pack as much as you want and forget this section.

If that’s not the case, pay close attention, because packing light is an extremely important quality that good travelers possess. Additionally, most tour companies, including ours, have limits on the amount of luggage each guest can have.

Glance over these tips, because learning to pack light is the a major key to having freedom on your vacation.

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Many airlines have restrictions on the number, size, and weight of your bags, and they are always changing, and can occasionally vary based on the airport you are at. Check your airline’s website (or read the fine print on your ticket) for details, and that will allow you to utilize the space in your carry on bag and your checked in baggage.

I’ve done it right and I’ve done it wrong, most airlines have 1 free piece of luggage for overseas flights, but one time, I forgot to check and got slammed with a $300 charge ($150 both ways, for 1 bag.) A smart couple can get away with next to nothing on baggage fees, while a couple that doesn’t play it smart can end up burning $600 of their spending money real quick.

The importance of packing light cannot be overemphasized. For your own good, I’ll try. You will never meet a traveler who, after a dozen trips, will boast about how they just keep trying to pack heavier. The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap. So, you’ve gotta choose.

Our self-imposed limit is 35 pounds in a roller bag. At Sloan Travel Co. we allow only one bag per person, and ask if a couple is traveling together that they limit their luggage to 1 bag and 1 carry on, combined 65-70 pounds. For many, this seems like a crazy concept.

“How in the world do I not max out a 50 lb. bag by myself alone, let alone, me and my significant other?” Every person that has traveled with us has managed just fine, and after you enjoy the ease of mobility and the freedom that comes with traveling light, you’ll never go back to over-packing.

These days, you can also save a LOT of money carrying on your own bag. While it’s still free with most airlines to check one bag on an overseas trips, you’d likely pay a fee to check two, which is why we recommend one large bag per couple.

Remember, packing light isn’t just about saving time and money — it’s about your overall experience. Too much luggage makes for lots of lugging around and overwhelming mornings. Your rest suffers, and it’s a hassle to keep everything together. The less that’s on your list, the happier you’ll be in and out of accommodations.

With only one bag, you gain your mobility and you’re in control. Mornings become a breeze because you’ve reigned in that packing monster that wants to throw everything but the kitchen sink in your suitcase. Beside that, you need to plan on doing some laundry on your tour. You can’t possibly pack for 10-14 days of travel with a new outfit for every day.

Take this advice seriously and consider our packing list, and we promise that you will be nothing but GRATEFUL on the other side.

Planning the places that you’re going to do laundry can go a long ways in planning how much you will pack. Most people just think the number of days they are going to be gone and then figure they need that many of everything they own. Don’t do it. Taking the hour or so to wash your clothes at strategic points on your trip will be worth the luxury of having a lighter bag, and eliminating more baggage fees.

One thing we have found to be a massive help is the use of packing cubes. Light weight and affordable, packing cubes help to keep your clothing and belongings nice and organized in your back. Check out ebags on Amazon.com, they make a multi-pack that comes with a small, medium and large size bag, as well as an awesome toiletry bag and shoe bags. It’s also wise to consider bringing a mesh bag for dirty laundry.

Europe’s electrical system is different from United States. Not only is the shape of the plug different, but the voltage of the current is too. A small adapter allows American-style plugs (two flat prongs) to fit into British or Irish outlets (which take three rectangular prongs) or continental European outlets (which take two small, round prongs). Find one here that can be used almost anywhere in the world. Check out the Universal 3-plug power strip on Amazon.com.

On to the voltage issue. American appliances are around 110 volts, while European appliances are 220 volts. Most newer travel accessories are “dual-voltage,” which means they work on both American and European current. If you see a range of voltages printed on the item or its plug (such as “110–220″) you’re good to go. A few older and cheaper American appliances aren’t equipped to deal with the voltage difference at all, and it could be damaged or destroyed if plugged directly into a European wall outlet. In these cases, you might consider a converter. While they are bulky and weigh about 5 lbs, they will ensure that your electronics remain safe. Check out the Deluxe Step Down Voltage Converter on Amazon.com.