How to avoid extra baggage fees

Jenai Laignel / 18 May 2015 ( 18 April 2016 )

We've all been there. You arrive at the check-in desk, put your luggage on the scales and watch through your hands, praying that you won't have to remove that seventh pair of shorts.

With some airlines tightening their belts on the limits they allow, it's vital that you pack sensibly. Here are some tips to help you avoid paying excess baggage fees.

1. Upgrade your suitcase

Firstly, invest in a new, lighter suitcase like this. Although it's an upfront amount to pay, it will soon pay itself back. Old luggage can be significantly heavier than modern, lightweight suitcases currently on the market.

Related: Seven tips for single bag travel

2. Do your homework

There's absolutely no need to pack towels and a hairdryer if your holiday accommodation supplies them.

3. Keep your heavy luggage on you

Pack any heavy items, such as shoes, books and cameras, in your hand luggage (double check with your airline that there are no weight restrictions for carry-ons). Similarly, if you plan on taking any chunky jewellery with you, wear them on the plane.

4. Vacuum packs

Increase the amount of space in your suitcase by using vacuum packs. These nifty little bags will shrink your clothes, allowing more room for heftier items.

5. Invest in an e-reader

Relaxing holidays are made for reading. Think about investing in a Kindle, which can store thousands of books, rather than packing heavy paperbacks into your suitcase.

6. Be strict

Finally, once packing is complete, take some time to consider any items that could be superfluous. Take care when using your home scales as these can differ from airport ones – it's best to err on the side of caution.

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With exclusive discounts on car hire, airport parking, hotels and lounges, you can be sure to avoid those nasty hidden holiday costs.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.