Irrespective of your class of travel and your destination, all passengers will have some form of luggage restriction. Airlines have different luggage allowances depending on where you’re flying to, your class of travel and your membership or status level.
As a starting point, passengers traveling in economy class are generally allowed to check in a single piece of luggage weighing no more than 23kg – but it can be 30kg on some routes. You are also generally allowed 1 x carry on piece of hand luggage. Remember that quite a lot of domestic tickets – both here in Australia and also overseas do not include any luggage allowance. A good travel advisor – like Amaco will let you know well in advance of departure what the limitations of your ticket are. Expect to be charged for excess luggage if you exceed this weight.
With baggage restrictions like these in place – it is now more important than ever to pack wisely and to travel as lightly as possible. Here are some tips and ideas that we’ve pulled together for you.
If your suitcase or bag is more than 8 – 10 years old, the first trip you take should be to look for some modern luggage. The latest fabrics and plastics are much lighter, more durable, and far easier to wheel or to carry than they’ve ever been. Many include good ideas for better packing, with separate compartments, expandable sides, strong zippers, easy-to-maneuver wheels, and longer handles.
Aim for both stylish and functional luggage, bearing in mind what you’ll use it most for. Would a soft holdall that can be squashed into the boot of a car be more useful than a rigid case? Also bear in mind the size, especially for carry-on bags. A good short-trip travel bag should always be within the size limits set by airlines for cabin baggage, either a total dimension of 105cm for domestic travel on, say, Qantas, or 115cm for an overseas business trip.
Choose your clothing carefully. Pack a careful array of mix-and-match items that can all be worn with each other, in easy wash and drip-dry fabrics, that don’t need ironing. Also, consider investing in a couple of tops made of lightweight superfine merino wool that wicks away moisture and resists odour so they can be worn again and again without washing.
Roll clothes instead of folding to take up less room and end up less creased. Even if you have a garment that needs an iron, most hotels will supply one. Stuff small items, like socks, into shoes, to make the most of space. Consider using packing cells to keep the contents of your case organised.
If traveling with someone, we recommend that you cross pack. Put half of your items in their suitcase and half of theirs into yours. Should one of your bags go missing for a day or two, you’ll at least have some clean clothes to wear!
Take enough for a seven-day trip and be prepared to do some laundry yourself or have someone do it for you.
Sturdy, properly fitting footwear can make your trip much more pleasurable. If you’re buying new shoes for this trip, please break them in by wearing them as often as possible before the trip. Comfortable rubber-soled walking shoes with good traction or lightweight hiking boots with good ankle support are the best for the days when we’re out and about. Something a little more formal may be appropriate for the dinners.
Leave all heavy glass bottles at home. Decant your favourite shampoo, conditioner, and any face and skin lotions into small plastic travel bottles and buy a sample size of toothpaste, and put all of them into a clear, resealable plastic pouch. Avoid packing a pharmacy full of drugs into your luggage – this includes tablets for constipation, loose bowels, stomach ache, dysentery, cream for bites and rashes, Band-Aids of all shapes and sizes, and a selection of bandages.
Technology has freed us these days from taking piles of airport paperbacks to read. Now a lightweight tablet or Kindle can be pre-loaded with any number of heavyweight tomes, although don’t forget the charger. Hopefully, that will power up all the rest of your devices, too, or otherwise, bring a universal charger and cable that can keep everything fired up via the tablet. Make sure your phone is pre-loaded with one of the countless apps that allow free calls back to Australia.
Amaco generally provides participants with a universal power adapter – these are included with final travel documents. These can be used in most countries in the world and avoid you needing to take 1001 different adapters with you.
If you have certain dietary needs, either check that they’ll be available at your destination or pack some to take with you, bearing in mind that certain foodstuffs are not permitted to cross borders. A small jar of decaf coffee or a packet of herbal teas, for example, is a survival essential for some, while for others that might be a bottle of duty-free wine or vodka.
If you’re hoping for an upgrade at the airport, men should always wear a collar with a shirt and have a smart jacket handy. Women should equally look smart, with shoes rather than trainers. Only those expecting to be met by a posse of paparazzi at their destination should wear heels and plenty of make-up. The general rule with travel is that comfort is king. We recommend that you put on compression socks for the long haul flights.
Shop! It’s one of the true, enduring delights of travel: shopping in an unfamiliar place for items you need or might like, in shops, you may not know, among items you don’t recognise and along with locals you’d like to meet. You can always pretend you meant to do that all along.