How to travel light when going abroad

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How to Avoid Draconian Charges

The days of check in staff turning a blind eye to your luggage being a few pounds over are well and truly over, indeed it is now quite the opposite and I would not be surprised to learn if they were not on financial incentives given the zeal with which they impose the weight limits.

Any excess will result in draconian charges of anywhere between £15 to £20 a kilo and the only sure way is to comply and make sure you are below these limits. To some such as my wife, this is nearly akin to a complete life style change whereby the objective is no longer to transport all the pots and potions with clothing for all occasions.

Your packing just needs to be more streamlined with a common sense approach of what take but what more importantly what you can leave behind.  On each and every trip there are always items of clothing that never get worn which you have carried there and back for no good reason.

Fresh mindset required

Let’s start with the suit case; if you buy the largest one you will fill it. Purchase a medium sized suitcase and you are half way there because you are already limited.

To get you operating along the right wavelength you need to approach packing with a fresh mind set, take for example some of the items in your bathroom cabinet. To use these items from start to finish may take weeks or even months but your holiday may be for only two weeks but you still lug them all the way there and back. You need to purchase minimum sized items of the following.

  • Tooth paste
  • Deodorants
  • Shaving cream
  • Only pack sufficient sun tan lotion
  • Hair gels and sprays.  Ladies are these really necessary at all?
  • Perfumes and after shave. Only take small bottles or ones which are nearly finished.


Now we come to the difficult part – hair dryers, curling tongues and irons. Most hotels and self catering apartments provide these but we still take one just in case. These are heavy and if you have to take a hair dryer, take a small one and not one the size and power of a RB211 jet engine. Same goes for electric razors plus attachments; these weigh far more than a wet razor.

If you are going to a hot country remember, casual weighs less than formal and is far more comfortable. You are on holiday and shorts and T shirts with a jumper for the nights is all you need and a pair of sandals. Why would you want to put on jeans and shoes which all weigh a great deal more?If you are travelling to a destination with a more moderate climate, only take one top, a couple of jumpers and one pair of jeans or trousers or two at the very most. They will not wear out.

Handbags and shoes

I am sorry ladies but you need a reality check. Why is not one hand bag sufficient and a couple of pair of shoes?  These are heavy items and a bit of self control needs to be applied; I best say no more on this subject because my wife may well come across this article.

Hand luggage

Make the best use of this by not filling it with a load of books and magazines; use it for those hand bags and shoes. When you get to your destination there is always somewhere to swop books for nothing. The usual limit is 5 kilos which means another 25% on top of your luggage allowance which in the UK is around 20 kilos so use it wisely.

By David Cook