The time to start your journey has finally arrived and you are looking from your wardrobe to your suitcase and back again wondering how on earth you are going to make everything fit…
Read the luggage policy before you pack anything
Before you make the decision to reach for a larger suitcase read the luggage policy for every flight, cruise, tour, train, ferry or bus journey that you will take during your travels.
The policy for the weight, dimensions, and number of items that can be checked-in or carried-on will vary between carriers. Budget carriers generally require you to pay extra for checked luggage and can be fanatical when it comes to enforcing what you can carry on.
If you are a frequent flyer check the airline policy as you may be entitled to an additional luggage allowance. This can be particularly useful for your return journey home.
If you do need to purchase an additional luggage allowance I would recommend doing so via the airline web site as the fees are usually much higher at the airport.
Weigh your luggage before you check-in to avoid expensive surprises.
Invest in travel scales
Invest in a small battery operated luggage scale that you can pack in your bag. You will thank me one day.
These scales are great for keeping track of the weight of your luggage as you move from one place to the next.
They may just save you being slapped with a huge fee at the check-in counter by a zealous customer service officer enforcing the weight restrictions for luggage.
Travelling light is the name of the game
The good news is that it is usually not necessary to carry everything you own when you leave home. You will find that virtually everywhere you go you can purchase things like clothing and toiletries if you need them.
I prefer to start my journey with as little as possible and expand my wardrobe as I go rather than buy new clothes before I leave home. If I need to reduce the weight of my suitcase at any point in time I can always throw away a few toiletries or donate my old clothes to a charity.
Know the local dress code
Be mindful of the local dress code of the place you are visiting when you pack. Not all cultures welcome the freedom that Westerners have to dress as they please.
Some monuments, temples and restaurants will require you to be dressed according to the local customs to enter. Don’t miss out just because you have the wrong clothes.
Spices in the Market, Old Phuket Town, Thailand