It’s a Mexican showdown with the airline steward and you blink first. Now the top bag you hoped would go unnoticed is heading straight for the baggage checker.
Your heart sinks as the inflated suitcase rests on the sturdy metal rungs. He doesn’t even try to force it. When the steward produces a strip of stickers, you know the game is over.
There’s nothing worse than your city break ruined by unnecessary queues at baggage claim. But careful planning and all of this could have been avoided.
With the summer holidays approaching, travel experts reveal their tips for saving space in your luggage and avoiding putting your luggage in the hold.
With baggage tax, holidaymakers may find that all they are allowed to take on the flight is a backpack – unless they want to pay more for their checked baggage (file image)
The most depressing part of any vacation… the endless wait at baggage claim
Many budget airlines now offer cheap flights, but on the basis that you add the cost of baggage later or bring a backpack.
At national scale a study found that a third of Britons had to pay excess baggage fees at the airport, which equates to more than £490million in 2022 alone.
Each airline is different, but at UK airports charges can range from £11 per kg of excess weight on checked bags to £65 for overweight checked bags.
With the holiday season approaching, travel experts from Panache Cruises shared their top tips for avoiding the dreaded overweight baggage fee.
So here are the seven ways vacationers can avoid extra baggage fees…
1. Use duty-free bags
After making a small purchase in one of the shops at the airport, you can bring the Duty free bags on your flight without being counted as additional baggage (File image)
Duty-free bags are not considered hand luggage, so if a passenger buys something at the airport, they can use the bag.
And you should also consider buying toiletries at the airport, after check-in and security, to free up your weight allowance for other items.
It’s also a great method to get more liquids on board.
2. Cushion it
This trick went viral last year, and it’s pure genius. All you have to do is dump a pillowcase or one of those flight pillows and cram into your stuff (file image)
This trick is pure genius, because clothes – even rolled up – take up so much space.
And if you really don’t want to leave that hat and bathing suits behind, this simple trick will help you avoid stuffing your bags while still having plenty of summer outfits to choose from.
All you have to do is dump a pillowcase or one of those flight pillows and cram your stuff in, making sure to fluff the pillow up afterwards.
And this trick went viral last year after a college student posted a video showing how to avoid paying for extra bags by packing extra clothes on a flight in an empty pillowcase.
3. Travel with the heaviest clothes
This might be the oldest trick in the book. But just because he’s an oldie doesn’t mean he’s not a goldie.
For this hack, all vacationers need to do is wear their bulkiest items like hoodies and shoes.
This will make more room in your suitcase – and keep you warm during the flight.
Travelers should use the pockets of their bulky clothes to store more items if they are still concerned about the weight of the suitcase.
Although sometimes impractical, layering is a great way to free up space for luggage. Under a coat, no one will know you’re wearing two more sweaters, a bikini and five tops (File Image)
Although sometimes impractical, and certainly in hot weather, layering is a great way to free up space for luggage. Under a coat, no one will know that you are still wearing two sweaters, a bikini and five tops.
As soon as travelers board, they can go back to their original outfit because, technically, nobody can say anything.
While this strategy may involve vacationers carrying clothing bundles during the flight, if they are desperate to travel cheaply, this is definitely an option.
5. Invest in a travel vest
This may be a better solution than sweating during the flight.
Portable luggage, which offers a multitude of pockets to store small items, would be a great investment for frequent travelers who don’t want to pay extra for luggage.
It is an incredibly functional, often lightweight item that travelers can use to safely store their valuables and gadgets.
6. Save space for keepsakes
Buying a souvenir of the destination you just left is a must. But it also means you’ll be carrying extra weight in your luggage when you return (file image)
Bringing home a souvenir from various parts of the world is a big part of many people’s travel experiences.
Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead for any extras you might put in your luggage towards the end of your trip, otherwise you risk paying high fees on the way back.
If it’s something generic you’re looking for like a small magnet, chocolate or a bottle of something, you can even buy them at the airport and use the duty free bag to save space.
7. Invest in the best travel bag
Airlines can be very strict about the size and weight of hand luggage and suitcases.
Therefore, it is important to shop around for the best luggage.
Investing in a lightweight bag can help travelers pack heavier items.
But always make sure your new bag matches the specific measurements of each airline’s policy.