1. Research baggage allowance
Don’t guess and hope for the best. Before you buy a ticket, find out how much baggage your fare allows for. This information should be easy to find on your airline’s website, like this from Air New Zealand.
2. Pay for additional bags online
If you know your luggage will be overweight, don’t wait until you get to the airport; pay online. As this post from Flight Centre illustrates, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money.
3. Check your frequent flyer programme
Are you part of a frequent flyer programme? If so, check your benefits. Depending on your level of membership, such as Air New Zealand’s Gold, you may be entitled to an extra baggage allowance.
4. Get Smart, lightweight luggage
Older bags and suitcases can be bulky. Modern designs are not only robust but also lightweight, which will help you avoid excess baggage fees. Here’s a useful post on things to consider when choosing luggage.
5. Make a packing list
When travelling overseas, you don’t want to forget to pack something important. Don’t overdo it, though, because there is no point in carrying around unnecessary belongings. To choose your luggage wisely, make a packing list. This post provides a step-by-step guide with pictures.
6. Pack efficiently
There are several things you can do to ensure you pack your belongings efficiently. For example, roll soft garments, like t-shirts and underwear, and fold stiffer garments, like starched cotton shirts and dress trousers. Also, it pays to favour cotton and woollen fabrics, which don’t wrinkle much. Here are some more tips.
7. Transfer liquids into travel-size bottles
By transferring fluids, such as gels and creams, into travel-size bottles, you not only cut back on weight, but you also avoid leakage. Nalgene bottles are designed specifically for travellers.
8. Wear bulky items
To save as much space as possible, wear heavy clothing, like heavy jackets and shoes, on the plane. You can remove them once you get to your seat, and a jacket is handy as a pillow. Also, have you heard about wearable suitcases? Check out this video.
9. Buy luggage travel scales
Not knowing whether or not your luggage is overweight when checking in is stressful. You can remove the stress and uncertainty by using travel scales. Here is a video that reviews 10 options.
10. Pool baggage with a partner
If, when you arrive at check-in, despite your best efforts, you discover your luggage is still overweight, all is not lost. Will you be travelling with friends? If so, see if you can spread the load.