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Packing Tips

With charges for hold luggage becoming more common, more of us are travelling light with just cabin bags. Here are our packing tips for travelling light.

Know your allowances

Unfortunately every airline has it’s own rules and to make matters worse, within airlines they can vary by route, class and even aircraft type. Make sure you know your allowances before you start. Remember bags usually reach their weight limit before they are full, so get the scales out.

There are strict guidelines on what you can carry on board. The 100 ml liquid limit excludes many standard sizes, this probably accounts for most of the hassle at security!

If you have prescription drugs, it’s wise to have the prescription or a covering letter from the doctor with you.

Your bag is part of your weight limit, so choose light weight over style.

Don’t take too much

Decide what you need to take based on what you are doing and where you are going;

  • Is it going to be hot, cold, similar to home, or wet?
  • Is it all casual, or are going to need to dress up?
  • What activities are you planning to do?
  • Are you taking presents, or bringing anything back?

Then, ruthlessly decide what you need to take, the absolute minimum! Decide what you will wear each day of the break now, before you pack. Allow only enough underwear etc. for a change each day. Try to keep to one change of trousers, skirts or dresses.

  • Wear your coat, jumper and other bulky items, you can take them off after security
  • Wear you bulky shoes, pack squashy ones
  • Fine materials pack tighter and weigh less
  • Minimise on cosmetics, perfumes etc. these soon eat into your weight limit
  • Consider hiring sports gear or similar when you get there
  • Folding or rolling carefully makes space and causes less creasing.

In hot climates, clothes soon dry if you need to wash them through. Most tourist areas have late shopping if you find an emergency need for something.

Checked/Hold baggage

If your holiday is too long, or you just need to take more than your cabin allows, then it’s back to the hold. Here are a few points to consider;

  • Pack heavy items at the bottom, when the case is standing up
  • Make sure lids on liquid are secure and wrap in a plastic bag
  • Label with your name and destination inside and out, be sure to remove old stickers and baggage tags
  • Do something to make your bag stand out on the carousel
  • Get anything delicate or sensitive polythene wrapped

Remember, if you fill your case on the way out, space will be just as limited on the way back, so don’t over do the souvenirs!