Whether you’re going on a mini-break for the weekend or heading further afield to an international escape, the rules surrounding hold and hand luggage can cause a headache for many. More and more frequently, airlines are enforcing strict luggage rules specifying both weight and size, as well as a cap on how many bags each traveller can take.
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For the most part, this is to do with how much overall weight aeroplanes can carry. The less luggage they have on board, the more fuel-efficient they are, as well as being capable of carrying more cargo – something that makes airlines a decent chunk of revenue.
However, the luggage rules largely seem to be more prominent across low-cost carriers as a way for them to gain some extra cash.
Providers such as easyJet and Ryanair are hailed as being some of the most purse-friendly air carriers in the UK, however, their luggage guidelines have been known to catch travellers out.
The key to avoiding excess fees is, of course, to keep an eye on the restrictions laid out by your chosen carrier.
Even if your airline doesn’t dictate a weight restriction, the size of the bag could incur a charge.
Myles Quee, travel expert for Send My Bag points out: “While EasyJet doesn’t have a weight restriction on hand luggage, it’s important to check your bags are within the size allowance or you might find yourself stung by a hefty charge.”
However, Myles has some nifty tricks up his sleeve when it comes to space-saving that you might not think about.
He suggests putting makeup products, such as foundation “in an old contact lens case”.
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He explains: “If you’re only travelling for a few days don’t worry about bringing a fully stocked bag of toiletries.
“Instead, save room by putting the bare essentials in small re-usable containers.”
Many chemists, supermarkets and beauty suppliers also sell small, reusable shampoo and toiletry bottles for exactly this purpose.
He adds: “When it comes to toiletries, you are best to buy after you fly. They are usually some of the heaviest items in your case and, unless you’re travelling somewhere that doesn’t have easy access to a shop, you can most likely buy your usual toiletries at your destination for a much lower price.”
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However, Myles also goes on to suggest you may not need to pack an array of tiny pouches and bags for trinkets.
He says: “Put jewellery such as rings and earrings into a pill case, instead of bringing a bulky jewellery carrier. Earrings can also be attached to buttons if you’re extra crafty.”
Meanwhile, shoes were also on his hit list. Not only for how much space they take up within a suitcase but also for the strain they put on your bag’s overall weight.
Myles suggests: “Limit the number of shoes you pack – remember you’ll already be wearing footwear on your flight, so you probably only need one additional pair.”
The key is to be selective about what you pack, taking into consideration destination, anticipated weather and planned activities.
“Pack only what you need,” advises Myles.
“If you don’t think you’re going to use it, don’t bring it – it’s as simple as that! Remember that you can do laundry at most hotels, so you don’t need to bring a change of clothes for every day.”
Alas, it isn’t always so easy to stay within the weight restrictions, especially if you’re an overzealous packer or have a penchant for fashion.
Myles concludes: “Sometimes it’s not always possible to stay within the weight allowance given to you by the airline.
“But if you know you’re going to go over buy additional weight online – it’s almost always cheaper than the cost charged at the check-in desk.”
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