Smart Travel – Send Luggage Fees Packing

[Image - Thomas Christensen]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Changing the way you pack for holidays could save your family up to £240*.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to taking a holiday we’re all looking for a good deal. But, while flying with a budget airline may seem like the cheapest option, it also means keeping an eye out for their pesky luggage rules.

Most budget airlines only include hand luggage in their deals and if you need to take hold luggage you will have to pay extra. With Ryanair for example, you could be charged up to £60 per bag and an additional £10 for every extra kilogram.**

Think about it. That’s money that you could be putting towards a hotel upgrade, a day trip for the family or even brand new summer wardrobes.

Another area where families are being caught out is that hand luggage not only has a weight limit (generally 10kg) but also needs to fit specific dimensions (width and height), and this can be different depending on the airline. With the Civil Aviation Authority receiving 705 complaints last year relating to baggage, taxes, fees and charges, use this handy guide from Matalan to do your research before setting off and avoid those sneaky charges.

Sure, a lot of people still feel like they can’t fit everything they need for a holiday into hand luggage and ultimately end up paying the extra fees for those precious extra kilograms. However, with these costs soon adding up, changing the way you pack could save you time and energy, as well as avoiding any surprises at the airport.

To help modern families holiday smarter, Matalan have teamed up with travel blogger and expert packer, Brooke Saward (World of Wanderlust), to create these five simple tips around how to make the most of your free allowance and all of the space in your carry on:

1. On a Roll

Rolling up your clothes will mean that not only are they taking up a lot less space but they will also be wrinkle free when you get to your destination. For those parents who really want to take it to the next level, small vacuum bags can also be used to compress clothes.

2. Shoe-in

Pack things in your shoes. It may seem an obvious one but it will soon save you lots of space. Whether it’s delicate items you wish to protect or simply placing socks and underwear inside a shoe, this little trick is bound to save room by the end of your packing.

3. Fair Warning

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your travels and leave packing to the last minute but plan in advance and you’ll thank yourself later. Ask yourself: What will the weather be like? (only a quick google search away) and how long will my items last me (1, 2, 3 weeks) until I need to do my laundry? What do I need and what am I taking ‘just in case’? It’s better to leave behind anything you don’t think you will use and in the worst case scenario, buy that item at your destination.

4. Case in Point

A small, light but strong suitcase is ideal or if you can manage it, a rucksack will do the trick. Some bags or cases even offer compartmentalised interiors to help you pack exactly the right amount for your trip, while others can be expanded once at your destination and reduced when it comes time to board your return flight.

5. Heavy Duty

Wear your heaviest items. Put on your jeans and trainers for the flight and keep all of the lighter items for your case. It may mean a little discomfort for a few hours, but who wants to pay excess baggage fees!

For more advice on how to travel light and save yourself some money, visit Matalan’s Luggage Hub.

*Based on a family of four with four pieces of luggage travelling with Ryanair

**All costs are correct based on the airline websites as of 07 June 2016