There are a lot of blogs and articles out there that will give you “first hand” travel advice about where to go and what to see – basically, all the exciting stuff.
This article is not like that at all! Sorry to get your hopes up.
However, the information I am going to present to you is important, because if things awry with your luggage, it has the potential to ruin your holiday. No one wants that.
When travelling, you should only pack the absolute necessities and nothing else. I doubt you will more than a couple changes of clothes, a pair of shoes and a bag of toiletries. Be smart about what you pack. For example, do you really need a jacket for that tropical holiday?
Another way to travel light is to leave your laptop at home. Ask yourself why you need take it when a phone or tablet has pretty much everything you would need. I have also found that replacing books with an eReader will significantly reduce your luggage weight.
So, you’ve gone a bit crazy with shopping during your holiday and now you find yourself with a suitcase that exceeds the weight allowance for the flight back home. It happens! Airline companies are well aware that people regularly do this, which is why they make such a killing with their excess baggage fees.
Instead of paying a small fortune in fees, it might be more economically viable to use an unaccompanied baggage service to ship them over. My local guys have saved me thousands on trips to Bali.
Ditch the wheels
Wheeled suitcases might seem like a good idea, but I would recommend getting a bag without them. Sure, it might seem convenient to roll instead of carrying your bag, but I believe the cons outweigh the benefits.
For one, wheels can add a couple of kilos to the overall weight of your suitcase – weight that could be put to better use.
Secondly, wheels can actually be a hindrance to your movement. I distinctly remember struggling up and down stairs of the Paris Metro system. What a pain! Instead, invest in a good quality backpack with strong, supportive straps.
Tag, locks and identifiers
Tags – Attached tags to your luggage with your name, address and a contact number. I know it sounds a bit OCD, but this bit of information might help you be reunited with your luggage if you get separated from it.
Locks – Locks and straps are a good security measure that will deter most thieves.
Identifiers – A lot of luggage looks the same. Having something that helps you identify your bag is going to save you a lot of time at the baggage carousel. I personally use a piece of red cloth tied to the handle, but anything you will quickly recognise will work just as good.
Know the rules about carry-on bags
Each airline will have rules about the baggage limit of carry-on bags. While some companies a rather lax about enforcing those rules, others are very strict and will check you before you board. Make sure you’re not over.
On shorter trips, you might find that you can fit everything you need into one of these, saving you money on baggage costs. If you are going to be over with your main luggage, you can always take some of the heavier items on as carry-on to stop you getting stung with excess fees.