Getting to the airport, checking in, and then being told your luggage is over the allowed limit and that you need to pay a fee, is not something anybody wants. These fees can be excessive and are often more than if you pre-booked before arriving. This can result in unnecessary stress, you may go over your budget, and you may even have to pay to check-in a bag that you didn’t want to. To hopefully avoid any of these unpleasant and excessive luggage fees then keep reading for some tips on how you can avoid this happening to you.
1. Use the smallest suitcase you can
It might be nice to have a large suitcase that can fit a huge amount of items, but actually having a large suitcase means you’ll probably end up taking more than you need. This can cause you to go over your weight allowance and get an excessive baggage charge. If you don’t have a choice and still need to take a very large suitcase then try and put some of the more heavy items in your cabin luggage.
2. Check your luggage using a scale before you travel
A luggage scale is a godsend and allows you to weigh your bags yourself. I would highly recommend doing this and checking your luggage is within the allowance before you travel. This saves the stress of getting to the airport, potentially being over and either having to pay for extra kgs or throwing stuff away (which I once had to do).
3. Pay for a decent weight allowance
If you know you need to travel with a lot of items then pay for a decent luggage allowance up front. Sometimes you can get fares that include checked luggage, and these may be cheaper than buying a fare without luggage and then adding it later.
4. Fly with generous airlines
Some airlines such as Europe’s easyJet are one of my first choice airlines for short haul flights. This is due to their generous hand luggage allowance which doesn’t even have a weight restriction. This means you can go on city break trips where you only take cabin/hand luggage, and will save money on having to take checked bags.
For long haul flights decent airlines should provide a decent allowance in the fare. Such as between 23kg to 30kg. If you don’t get a decent luggage allowance included in your fare for a long haul flight, then consider researching other airlines.
5. Don’t be sneaky with extra hand luggage
I’ve seen quite a lot of people go to their boarding gate with a trolley cabin bag, as well as a large hand bag, when their allowance is only one item. They are then told by the airline staff that they need to put their hand bag in their trolley bag but it doesn’t fit. This can cause unnecessary stress and potentially excess fees.
Sometimes you may be allowed two items of hand luggage, such as a large bag as well as a smaller item, but this isn’t often the case so check before you travel.
6. Put some heavy items in your coat pockets
This isn’t always possible if the items are big, but sometimes you can put items in your coat pocket which would never get weighed. Doing this might potentially save an extra kg or two if you’re lucky.
7. Wear heavy items of clothes
Heavy clothing items such as boots, shoes, coats etc, can easily add to your luggage allowance. This can be avoidable by wearing those items and packing your lighter items. For example when I travel I often wear my heavy boots and put my more comfortable but smaller and lighter shoes in my checked luggage.
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