Travel rules may have tightened around the world, but many people are still jetting off to reunite with loved ones after long stretches of time apart. Though rules to do with Covid are constantly changing, one thing that is likely to remain the same is the baggage restrictions put in place by individual airlines.
Make sure you understand the hand luggage rules for your carrier
Hand luggage rules vary vastly from airline to airline, with some allowing larger or heavier bags to be brought onboard than others.
This is why Mr Ewart says it is vital you understand exactly what your airline permits before beginning the packing process.
He said: “Firstly, double-check with your airline what size of hand luggage you are allowed.
“Many of us may be flying this Christmas for the first time in a while and what some people may have missed is that over the last couple of years airlines, such as easyJet and Ryanair, have stopped including traditional sized hand luggage with their basic fares.
“Fliers are often surprised to find their ticket now only includes a small bag which fits under the seat in front.”
In the event your hand luggage is too big, your airline may require you to pay to check it in.
Ryanair, for example, will charge between £23.99 and £35.99 for those who need to check-in a 10kg back at the last minute.
This cost grows to between £39.99 and £59.99 if the bag weighs more than 20kg.
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Carry your gifts in a shopping bag
When it comes to December travel, Christmas presents could be the items that are tipping your baggage over the scale.
While paying for additional luggage is certainly one option, for a smaller amount of gifts, Mr Ewart let Express.co.uk in on a rather “cheeky” tip.
He said: “It’s a bit cheeky, but if you’re bringing new but unwrapped items as gifts, why not carry them through the airport in a shopping bag belonging to a shop you know is in the airport?”
Pack outfits you can wear more than once
During the Christmas season, it can be tempting to go overboard with party wear. While this may offer diversity for your festive photoshoots, it’s likely to weigh heavily on your luggage allowance.
This is where a capsule-style wardrobe can come in.
Mr Ewart said: “Consider travelling with items that have duplicate purposes, rather than packing pyjamas, shorts or t-shirts used in bed could also be used for travel or for a workout.”
He added: “If you’re packing spare shoes, the space inside can offer protection for smaller items or be filled with socks.”
Don’t go overboard on cosmetics and toiletries
Toiletries and make-up, even when below the 100ml guidelines, can add unnecessary weight to your hand luggage.
Mr Ewart said: “If you’re going for more than a few days and are checking luggage, don’t pack shampoos and shower gels – buy after you fly.
“If you’re travelling to a hotel you may not even need to buy shampoo and shower gel.”
Even if your airline does not weigh cabin bags, though, make-up and perfume bottles can take up a chunk of space.
Instead, Mr Ewart advises portioning out exactly how much you need and using travel-size containers.
The expert explained: “If you’re only travelling for a few days, instead of carrying a makeup bag, put foundation and similar cosmetics in old contact lenses cases.”