How to get around luggage allowances

One of the toughest problems with flying these days are the limits airlines are now putting on their passengers and the amount of luggage one can bring with them on the plane. Often just one piece of checked luggage is allowed for domestic flights (unless you’re flying in Business class), and two for international. Kind of makes you want to go out and buy the largest size suitcase allowed, and fill it to the brim. In case you’re wondering, it varies from destination to destination, but to and from the US, it’s generally 32kg (70lbs) with the total dimensions of the 2 pieces not exceed 270cm (106in).

While there’s generally not a way around the limitations that airlines put on you, as a traveller, we’ve got a few tips that might help you maximise the space you have.

1. Pack neatly. Seriously. Folding clothes properly will actually allow you to pack more into the small space you’ve got. Even better, try using vacuum sealed bags. Space Bags seal and compact your clothes easily, using your home vacuum to suck out the extra air. These take the extra air out of gaps and help really ‘smoosh’ the clothes in there.

2. Wear the heavy clothes. Ok, so you might not always wear a parka, or large jacket, or even need one for where you’re going, but if you do: wear it. We all know it’s cold on the plane. Why not wear your jacket? Sure, you might not wear it the entire flight, but it sure does double nicely as a pillow.

3. I’m sure you’ve seen everyone else fighting over the overhead bins. Why? Because their carry-on bag is huge. Yep. It goes back to maximising space. If you’re using old luggage, that doesn’t maximise the allocated bag space, it may be worthwhile going out and buying just one or two new bags that are as big as you can get. You can find luggage pretty cheap these days, and don’t worry about getting the good stuff. They’re going to get banged up anyways, and when they do, just chuck ‘em out and buy new ones.

4. Overweight? No problem. It’s better to overpack then bring along a 3rd suitcase. It’s also cheaper. By paying the overweight fee most airlines have these days, you’re saving money than if you were to bring a 3rd suitcase. It is in fact cheaper, at least with most airlines. They’ll slap you with a overweight fee (varies by airline) and a large bright sticker to warn the baggage handlers, and you’re golden. Well, bright orange at least.

Just pack as lightly as you can.

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.

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