We take a look at how much airlines are making from charging for your baggage, and provide tips on now to pack like a ninja to get everything in one bag … and avoid the fees.

The holiday season is nearly upon us and many of us are planning to head home to visit family and friends this festive season. You’re probably flying to get there – according to Roy Morgan, as they report more Australians are choosing to fly for domestic holidays instead of taking the car. Quicker transit time means you can spend more time at your destination, which is also good, because Roy Morgan also found that most domestic holidays are for less than seven days.

Cheap domestic flight deals make air travel even more enticing – but more commonly low prices come with a catch in the form of extra fees and charges for things like entertainment bundles, food and, of course, baggage allowances. In fact, Qantas’ budget brand Jetstar made 1/5 of its revenue from ancillary charges, according to this report from IdeaWorks.

You can take a book or tablet to avoid the entertainment charges, buy a bottle of water and bring some snacks with you to avoid paying for food on board, but what about luggage? Many of the best flight deals only include a carry-on luggage, so here are some top tips to pack light and avoid unnecessary luggage fees.

Images: Jetstar and Virgin, Tigerair, Qantas

Know your limits

Every airline has different carry-on baggage limits but are usually limited to 7kgs maximum; the maximum baggage dimensions also vary by airline, so check with your carrier for specific details, or click the links below:

Get the right bag

Becoming a packing ninja starts with finding the right bag. The lighter the bag, the more weight you’ll have for your actual luggage. Bags without wheels are usually lighter and give you more space for your belongings, but carrying them can be annoying. Since every airline’s carry on baggage restrictions vary, make sure you check the dimensions of the bag you want to use before you start packing. Here are three great carry on bag options:

Image source

Write a packing list

Avoid packing too much and write a packing list. If you’re stuck, try using a smartphone packing app like PackPoint (available for Apple and Android). By making a list, you will be able to select items from your wardrobe as you work through the list, rather than emptying your clothing from your wardrobe straight into a case without a plan.

Packed and ready to go? Don’t forget travel insurance! Compare here for a competitive deal.

Pack right, pack light

Packing light requires Zen-like focus, otherwise, it can get out of hand! However, by following a few light packing rules, you’ll be a packing ninja in no time!

  1. Plan your outfits. Work out the number of days you’ll be away for and pack no more than 7 days worth of clothes. Pack outfits for each day, based on the activities you’ll be doing on those days. Here’s a basic list of items you should consider taking if you’re away for a week:
    • 7 pairs underwear and socks
    • 1 set pyjamas or sleepwear
    • 1 pair jeans
    • 2 pairs long pants – one dark pair and one light pair
    • 8 items – combination of T-shirts, shirts and dressy tops/shirts, camisoles and singlets
    • 1 item – dresses/suit (occasion dependent)
    • 2 items – shorts or skirts (weather-dependent)
    • 1 item – warm jumper
    • 1 item – jacket – preferably rain-proof
    • 3 pairs shoes, including a day shoe, night shoe and relaxation shoe
    • 1 scarf/pashmina – can be used as a sarong, head scarf, blanket or pillow
  2. Choose multifunction items. Stick to neutrals – black is a travel packing ninja’s best colour. Pack items of clothing that can be used with multiple outfits, layered and re-matched as necessary.
  3. Don’t pack too many shoes. Shoes are heavy and take up too much space, but always back a pair of sandals/thongs as they are lightweight and versatile. Pack a pair of comfortable, casual shoes for everyday that can be dressed up or down depending on the outfit. Ladies, avoid high heels if you can – choose a pair of dressy flats instead. Pack your socks inside your shoes to save space.

4. Roll your clothes. Rolling your clothes when you pack them saves space but be aware that just because it fits doesn’t mean you should take it with you! Always keep your maximum baggage weight limits in mind when packing.

5. Wear your heaviest/bulkiest clothing items to travel in. By wearing your heaviest shoes and clothing, including your jacket, you’ll save space and weight in your carry on.

Packing light for carry-on only luggage has other benefits too – last year, airlines mishandled 24.1 million pieces of luggage!

By avoiding checking in baggage, you not only avoid the airport queues but also save time and hassle waiting around for bags that sometimes never turn up. Regardless of when, where or how you travel, remember to pack travel insurance to keep you financially covered.

Author comparethemarket.com.au

Launched in September of 2012, Comparethemarket.com.au – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind comparethemarket.com.au have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

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