With many airlines now charging for each piece of luggage and severe penalties for going over your weight allowance we thought we’d give you a few tips for packing with minimum hassle this summer.
- Check the weight limit with your airline. Quite a few are different and they do change occasionally so check before you start packing and stick to it!
- Choose your suitcase wisely. There are thousands of different types on the market and as usual you quite often get what you pay for. Try not to use up precious weight allowance on your suitcase but balance that with the need to protect the contents. Suitcases with pull up handles are better than those with a ‘lead’ as they tend to make the case flip over as you make your way through the airport.
- Label your suitcase both on the outside and on the inside. The outside label should have the address of your accommodation as you’ll no doubt want the case sent there and not home and it’s not a good idea to advertise your empty home address. And if your suitcase is one of the 70% of black ones then it can be a good idea to ‘brand it’ with a colourful ribbon or belt to distinguish it as yours.
- Think about what you might need to take and lay it all out on the bed before you start packing. Make sure you include the essentials depending on the type of trip ie swimming costume or wet weather gear. Think about outfits for each day and try to mix and match. This is a lot more effective than just packing all of your trousers and tops etc. Buy and pack light weight accessories that can give outfits another lease of life. And even the best follower of fashion doesn’t need more than 3 pairs of shoes.
- Do you fold or roll your clothes for the least creased outcome? A recent poll shows that the answer is about 50/50. Either way the key is not to over or under pack. Put shoes and heavier items near the wheels, place rolled or fold items on top and then fill any gaps with smaller items such as underwear, belts etc. Smart items or jackets should be packed at the last minute and laid on the top of the case.
- Make sure you (double) bag toiletry items, there is nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to find shampoo or worse nail vanish all over the contents of your bag. Similarly it can be a good idea to put shoes in a bag to protect clean clothes. It also doesn’t hurt to include a couple carrier bags for any dirty or wet things for the journey home.
- Don’t include anything in checked in luggage that is of high value or that you couldn’t live without. For example any medication should be in your hand luggage. Delicate items should be packed in the middle of the suitcase to give them some protection. Make sure that the suitcase is lockable or it might invalidate your insurance.
- Weigh your suitcase before leaving and make any adjustments there and then. It’s much easier than trying to repack in front of the check in desk. It’s worth investing in a small hand held scale to weigh your bag on the return leg of the journey.
- Have an idea of what to do and who to contact in the unfortunate event that you bag does go missing and take heart most luggage – 85% is returned with 48 hours.