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The real traveller's guide to packing

22 May 2017

One of the challenges airline passengers face before going on holiday is what to pack to cover any eventuality. And, with low budget airlines often levying a charge for carry-on or overweight bags, keeping a tight rein on the items we pack is a must.

Seasoned travellers at an amphitheatre

So, to help keep the packing process easy, travel specialist has compiled the top ten tips for this tricky task: 

Carry-on what you can

For short trips -- travel light. Use a good compact case that can be carried as hand-luggage and avoid the checked-in baggage element completely.

Look for hotel and airline luggage incentives

For passengers who are worried about being stung for baggage charges and want an additional get-out clause; it's worth considering frequent flier memberships, as these can reduce the cost of checking your luggage.

Wear your bulkiest items

Free up suitcase space by wearing a coat if you need one, and any heavier shoes, or walking boots. Temperatures on airplanes are quite predictable -- even a bit chilly at times, so it makes sense to wear those extra layers.

Only pack what you need

Practised frequent travellers probably know exactly what they need to pack on a trip of any length. However, for those who travel once or twice a year, it can be a bit daunting when it comes to the art of packing. Making an investment in some vacuum storage bags is a smart move to make the most of every inch of packing space.

Ship your luggage

An increasingly popular option amongst travellers wanting to avoid the complexities of airline baggage policies, is to send their luggage separately using a global shipping service. Sites like, can quote for shipping luggage directly from home to destination. Delivery time is usually around 1-3 days so it’s essential to plan packing that bit further ahead before departure.

Use a standard bathroom scale

There’s no need to use a specialist luggage scale -- use an ordinary bathroom scale to check the bag weight before heading to the airport. Simply stand on the scale, lift the bag or suitcase and subtract the weight difference.

Track your bags

Technology has made it a lot easier to track items at all times. Even for those who can't afford a smart suitcase, there are tracking devices such as a Trakdot or ReboundTag which can be fitted to a suitcase and tracked via a smartphone app. These are ideal gadgets for anyone who is nervous about lost or damaged luggage.

Make it distinctive

Not everyone feels confident carrying their luggage in a loud colour or zany print, but there are plenty of ways to make a bag instantly recognisable as it whizzes around the baggage carousel. Attaching a ribbon to the handle of a case will help to make an ordinary-looking bag stand out even if it’s surrounded by similar bags.

Invest in good luggage

Quality luggage pieces may feel like an excessive extravagance, but they can make travel better overall. They tend to be more lightweight and better designed than cheaper versions, which allows for more efficient packing. With a well-made bag, the whole journey is more comfortable, particularly if faced with stairs, escalators and rough or uneven ground.

Get wheels

Wheeled luggage is now available for all budgets, and saves a world of hassle. There’s no reason to travel with an old-fashioned, static suitcase or bulky carry bag anymore, so for those who are still wrestling with traditional luggage --  make this the year to trade it in for a roller case!


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.