TIP – use your clothing!

One restriction that can be very annoying these days is that of luggage weight. Another that really gets my goat is only being able to take one item of hand luggage onto a plane, unless you’re female in which case you can also carry on a handbag the size of Montana.

There’s a simple way to increase the amount of stuff you can get on as hold luggage – use your clothing as storage. I’m not talking about smuggling, just being able to carry as much from A to B as possible without having to resort to using hold baggage (and thus incurring expense and more waiting time).

Wear a jacket. Jackets have pockets and you can get a lot into them if you try. And remember, there’s no weight limit on what’s in your pockets like there may be for your cabin baggage. Not enough room in your bags for the extra jumper you might need? Wear it. OK, so you’re warm but you can take it off once you’re past security.

You don’t need to carry the stuff in your pockets forever, either. As soon as you’re past security head for one of the duty free shops. Most will happily give you a large carrier bag for free. Dump the stuff in there and you can store it in the overhead locker on the plane.

TIP – less luggage, more speed

If you can get away with a day-bag of reasonable dimensions, then do so. Make sure you don’t pack anything dangerous (Bowie knife, TNT, bottled water, 125g tube of toothpaste) in case you have problems with customs/security and get mistaken for a terrorist.

Quite a few airlines will let you check-in in advance – often days in advance – if you only have personal luggage. As long as you can print out your boarding card, you can skip the whole check-in queue at the airport. This means you can get away with arriving later and have that bit less stress. Plus, your luggage can’t go missing, and you can walk straight out at the other end. No having to stand for 15 minutes at a carousel wondering if your rucksack is in Bahrain.