Excess baggage charges seems to be on the increase as airlines look for every opportunity to increase revenue. Gone are the days when check-in staff ignored the odd kilo, so to help you, here is some packing advice.
Know your allowances
Before deciding on what to take, make sure you know your airlines allowances. Unfortunately they vary widely, even within the same airline. In researching this article, I found one large operator offers 15, 20 and 23 KG checked in allowances depending on the route. Size and weight matters, it’s highly likely that an approved size wheelie case will when sensibly packed, not bursting, will exceed the 7 KG weight limit of some operators. A 10 KG is more realistic.
Here are some useful tips to consider
- Make a list. It’s a good idea to use the same one year after year an update it after each holiday, deleting what you didn’t need and adding what you forgot. If you do different types of holiday such as Summer and Winter breaks, have separate lists.
Be strict with yourself. Use the number of days, to calculate how many changes of clothes you will need, decide beforehand what will you will wear, there isn’t space to take your entire wardrobe. Footwear is bulky and heavy so look to take the absolute minimum. Mixing tops and bottoms gives more changes for less KG.
- Always keep valuable such as jewellery, mobile phones, cameras, computers, money and credit cards with you. It’s a good idea to buy a security belt worn under your clothes and share money and cards between it and your regular purse or wallet. Always carry travel documents, receipts and insurance documents.
- If travelling in a party, on the outgoing journey, mix your packing across each others cases. This evens out weight and if in the rare event, a case is lost, you will all have a change of clothes. Tight rolling rather than folding leads to less creasing. Make sure cases are strong enough, they will get some rough handling.
- On long haul, put a change of underwear and a light top in your cabin bag, allowing you to freshen up either before landing or at the airport. Use all of your cabin weight allowance.
- Be aware on what you take in the cabin, fortunately this is normally clear on websites. Liquids are severely restricted and must be presented at security in a clear bag.
- Keep space in your cabin bags for extra layers, you may be glad of them aboard or on arrival. If weight is tight, wear them whilst checking in and through security.
- Don’t pack what you don’t need, most hotels and apartments have hair dryers, some have kettles, slippers and dressing gowns. It’s worth an email in advance to check. The same is true of toiletries, if you need something there is normally somewhere close by when you arrive.
- Leave space and weight allowance on your outgoing journey so you have room for gifts and souvenirs in your luggage on your return.
- If space or weight is really tight, cut down on your clothes allowance and take a tube of hand wash liquid, I know doing the laundry when away is not fun, but it can same money. Or, you can use hotel or resort laundry facilities at a price.
- Buy a portable travel scale, to check before you go to the airport.
Don’t forget list
Here are a few of the easier to forget items
- Sunglasses, sun cream and sun hats
- Travel documents and Money
- Medication, headache and indigestion tablets
- Insect repellent and after bite cream
- Antihistamine tablets
- Phone and chargers
- Power adapters
- Insurance contact details
- Coat/Jacket/Extra Layer (it it’s warm when you leave)
- Books and magazines
- Swimming costumes