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Travel Packing Tips

1. Know the rules

  • Take a note of the number of bags you can check-in at the airport. In most cases it’s one piece per passenger, but make sure you’re not over the weight allowance – on EasyJet you can check in up to eight pieces of luggage but their combined weight isn’t allowed to exceed 20kg (44lb) and if it does you’ll be asked to pay a hefty fine for the extra weight. Weigh your luggage on a scale before you leave home so you aren’t greeted by any unexpected costs.
  • You’re allowed to take more than one piece of hand luggage with you on a plane, but size restrictions still apply. For British passengers, bags larger than 56cmx45cmx25cm are forbidden. For further information, please visit www.dft.gov.uk
  • If placed in your hand luggage, any gels, liquids, creams and pastes have to be in containers of no more than 100ml and placed in a transparent resealable plastic bag no larger than 20x20cm.

2. Buy the right suitcase

  • Size is crucial. If the bag is too big, your case might not fit into the boot of the hire car or taxi; too small and you’ll have to sit on the lid to close it, which makes it more susceptible to breaks. An expandable case can help solve most space issues.
  • A hard shell on a case can add up to 10lb of dead weight, but it does offer the contents of your luggage more protection from damage, thieves and sudden downpours. A soft-shelled case will look smarter for longer and is easier to manipulate in terms of storage space.
  • 70% of suitcases on any given luggage carousel are black. Make yours stand out – but just to you. Don’t advertise your bags to thieves, but make your case easy to identify.

3. How to pack and unpack

  • Whether you fold, roll or bundle or wrap in tissue or plastic, the key is not to over-pack. Squashed clothes are creased clothes and the same is true of clothes that are too loosely packed, as they crease from rolling around inside the case against one another.
  • Don’t put wrapped gifts inside checked luggage. If your case is opened for inspection, wrapping will have to be removed.

4. Keep it safe

  • A suitcase is easily parted from its luggage label. Always put on more than one with details of your flight and destination inside.
  • If two or more people are travelling, split belonging between checked luggage so if one case goes missing, each of you will still have a change of clothes.
  • If you’re late to check in, the chances are your luggage won’t make it onto the flight, even if you do.
  • Always lock your checked bags – an unlocked suitcase could invalidate your insurance.
  • If you are travelling to America, you must use cases fitted with Transport Security Administration-approved locks, or a TSA-approved padlock or strap. For further details, please visit www.tsa.gov
  • There are loads of tracking services for luggage available, research some and see if they would suit you.

Remember, should the worst happen and you lose your luggage:

  • 85% of all lost luggage is found within 48 hours
  • If your case has not appeared by the time the carousel stops, check the tag of any unclaimed case similar to yours, someone may have mistaken your case for theirs.
  • If your luggage is missing, even if you’ve been told it’s on the next flight, you have to fill out a Property Irregularity Report before you even leave the airport.
  • Check your travel insurance to see if lost or delayed luggage is covered.
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