If, like us, you live life on the edge, piling further stress on your mad dash to the airport by guesstimating the weight of your luggage and then reward yourself for surviving it all with a cocktail at departures, overweight baggage will be no new concept for you.
Coat options for Queensland? Got ‘em. Footwear for every eventuality from hikes to hurricanes? In the bag.
It’s a risky dice to roll – fees for extra luggage can reach $1000, depending on the airline and destination, so how do you avoid being stung with a fine?
The team at Wotif travel a fair bit, so we reckoned who better to ask for luggage hacks? Wotif travel expert Chris Milligan shares his top tips for maximising your allowance and avoiding a hit on your wallet.
1. Maximise your carry-on
Can’t be without that extra pair of sneakers? Devour entire books by the pool? Drop them in your carry-on. "Most airlines allow you 7kg of hand luggage. Some will allow you a handbag plus a laptop bag but it pays to find out your airline’s policy and use your allowance wisely," says Chris. "Also, it might sound obvious, but wear your chunkiest boots and weighty jacket, to free up valuable space in your bags."
2. Spread out
"If you’re travelling with someone, or even better as a group, sharing the love can balance out the weight between those who packed light and those whose bags are bursting at the seams. Tip: kids’ backpacks are unlikely to meet the weight limit and every kg is up for grabs!"
3. Learn the art of layering
Layers are a smart choice when travelling – there’s nothing worse than freezing on a plane – then you can add and remove as you need and be appropriately dressed if you land in a different climate to the one you took off in. Even Sydney to Melbourne can be quite a temperature drop. Chris's tip? "Wear the weightiest items – you can kick your shoes off once you’re comfortably in your seat – tie a sweater around your waist… use a jacket as a pillow..."
4. Scale down
Less than $10 can you buy peace of mind. "Invest in a luggage scale and never wonder again. Plus, rather cheekily, scales at the airport can vary so having a portable scale on you can prove you’re underweight and save you any hassle before you board."
5. Be ruthless
How do we say this? Travel light. "Leave that extra pair of jeans at home. Leave your ragged old towel at the resort. Unless you have to use a special product, pick up toiletries when you arrive at your destination," says Chris. Extra room for souvenir shopping at the other end.
6. Ask ahead
If you really can’t bear to travel with any less, ask about fees in advance. "Checking before you reach the airport and paying for extra baggage is usually cheaper than the cost you’ll be hit with at the check-in desk." Save your dollar for a glass of bubbly on the other side.
Feeling inspired to book your summer getaway? You know what to do.