Long haul or short haul, these tips and tricks will help you to squeeze more into your case without incurring extra baggage costs.
We’ve all been there; the dreaded moment at the airport when you place your case on the scales, only to find you’ve exceeded your maximum weight allowance.
Depending on the airline and route, that could cost you anywhere from £11 per kilo to €300 per bag. So before you resort to piling on as many of your clothes as possible, here are a few tips to slim down your suitcase contents.
1. The case for ultra light
That trusty old suitcase may have done you proud for years, but today’s models are featherlight in comparison. Like this Titan Highlight. A smart looking case with a capacity of 112 litres that weighs just 3.4 kg. For weekends away, the 55cm cabin-friendly version is even lighter at 2.5 kg and is available with or without zip front pockets.
2. Be ruthless
If you’re a serial over-packer, it pays to be ruthless. Lay out all the items you intend to take away, then think about what you will actually use. Could you pack less and get some items laundered while you’re away. Do you really need all those pairs of shoes? What about decanting your toiletries into smaller bottles?
3. Make a list
Worried you might get too ruthless and forget something important? Download our handy checklist of travel essentials. You’re welcome.
4. Pack less, wear more
Pack multi-purpose pieces that take very little space to pack – like a large reversible wrap. Not only can you switch between patterns or colours, you can also wear the wrap as a scarf, top, dress or sarong. Two-piece dresses look like one garment, but give you the option to wear them as a long or short dress, skirt or top. Convertible travel pants are another great space saver. Wear them as trousers, or zip them off into shorts.
5. Fold or roll?
Folding might be the quick and easy way to pack, but it’s not always the most efficient use of space. Rolling saves on space and creases, but it can be hard to roll jeans or formal wear. We recommend a combination of both. Roll smaller, delicate items like shirts or dresses. Fold bulkier things like jeans or sweaters. Then stack your rolled items on top of and around folded pieces. Want to be super organised? Separate everything into packing cubes. Sorted!
6. Max out your hand luggage
Always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage, along with all your valuables. It will reduce on suitcase weight and come in handy if your case gets lost or delayed. Just make sure it fits in with your hand luggage weight allowance and doesn’t contain prohibited items.
7. Don’t get caught out with duty free
Some airlines insist any duty free goods you buy in the airport must fit inside your hand luggage and not take you over your weight allowance.
8. Weigh to go
Finally, on each leg of the journey, weigh your case to see if you’re close to the weight limit. Switching your shorts for a pair of jeans, or putting a book into your pockets or cabin bag might be all it takes to avoid a hefty fine. Better still, don’t overpack in the first place!
Got any great packing tips or luggage allowance horror stories? Share them in the comments below!