Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Every kilo counts: a guide to packing your bags

Sick of struggling with over-laden bags as you attempt to board your plan? Find yourself cursing extra baggage fees when you go over the allotted allowance?

Packing is a common headache for travellers with everything from getting items into the suitcases to getting the suitcases on the plane throwing up their fair share of issues. Here we offer a brief guide to packing you bags, proving that every kilo really does count.

How much can I take with me?

The average checked-in luggage allowance you’ll likely be allowed when travelling long haul or on short haul European flights is around 20kg while domestic flights will be around 15kg. These are only basic guides though and can vary from airline to airline so it would be wise to check with your carrier before travelling.

You will also usually be permitted to carry on one piece of hand luggage on the plane with you, dimensions of which will be available from the airline you’ve booked with.

To avoid any nasty surprises at the airport remember to weigh your bags on a pair of bathroom scales before you travel. Firstly, it will give you the opportunity to take out any non-essentials or, if you feel there’s nothing you can do without, then it gives you the chance to buy additional allowances from your carrier before you depart.

What should I take?

The most important thing is the luggage itself. The weight of your suitcase is included in your allowance so try to choose a lightweight suitcase or even a hold-all if you can get away with it as this will leave you more to play with when packing.

Sort what you’d ideally like to take into three piles: essentials, wants and luxuries. Once you have the piles ready, pack your suitcase in that order.

Try to make the most of your luggage space by placing your shoes flat, side by side. Also ensure you check the airline website for prohibited goods, these are normally things that will be confiscated if found or will stop you from flying so don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Anything else I should consider?

How long are you going away for? A week? 2 weeks? Longer? Does your accommodation have a washing machine or is there a launderette nearby? What’s the weather going to be like while you’re there?

All these questions need to be asked when packing to determine just how much you need to take. For instance, if you were booking flights to Istanbul from Pegasus in January then temperatures can average at just 8°C so you won’t need to worry about making room for your summer sorts or flip-flops.

Even if booking a trip to somewhere with almost guaranteed sun it is important to go prepared. The weather in any location is variable so make sure you check the forecast for the period you’re travelling and pack a light jacket or cardigan to see you through any cooler times. 

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