Whether we find travelling abroad exciting or a chore, one of the main constraints which it imposes on us is in the amount of baggage which airline restrictions impose on us.
If we could all travel around the world unencumbered by luggage and belongings, knowing that we could pick up everything we wanted at every port of call, and simply bring it back home with us, travel would be much less complicated.
Never enough space
But it’s an eternal truth that, wherever we travel we either like or need to have familiar things around us, along with certain possessions which can help us acclimatise to and make the most of the surroundings in our destination.
Many airline baggage restrictions exist for joint reasons of fairness and practicality. The former is simply so that the airline can accommodate a reasonable amount of luggage from every passenger, and the latter will be imposed purely because every plane is designed to carry a set payload – both passengers and luggage – which is imposed for both practical and safety reasons.
The restrictions on the size and weight of baggage which each passenger is allowed to either carry onto a plane as hand luggage or stow in the plane’s hold are usually well publicised in advance of anyone travelling, and in many cases are standardised across many different carriers. So a traveller has no reason for being unaware of the restrictions which apply to the airline with which they are flying.
Nevertheless, the amount of air traffic which now flies through our skies, carrying both passengers and cargo, means that there is often excess capacity available on other flights which can be booked for the use of people who, for whatever reason, cannot keep their amount of baggage within the restrictions imposed by their carrier.
Checking in advance
Airlines do all they can to make people aware of the restrictions which apply to the size and amount of pieces of luggage which they can carry, even to the extent of putting the size and weight restrictions on their websites. So it is usually a simple matter of checking with them beforehand to ensure that you stay within their prescribed limits.
Don’t be caught out by changing limits
But of course, limits do vary between airlines, and can change at any time. There’s no point assuming, for example, that just because you were allowed to carry a certain amount of luggage on your flight last year, that the same parameters still apply. Airline conditions of carriage will state this exact fact, and add that it is each passenger’s responsibility to check the limits currently in force at the time they travel.
The most effective way I have found of ensuring that I do not exceed my airline’s baggage size and weight limits is to travel with the intention of bringing back more than I take with me. This is almost always the case when and wherever we travel, but so many people don’t take account of this simple fact. So I always ensure that I carry much less than my airline’s limit on my outward journey, and try to consider what I will buy while I am away, so that I do not have a nasty surprise at the end of my holiday which can make the comedown of returning home even harder to bear than it should be.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This guest blog was contributed by Anya Simpson a freelance blogger who suggests that you consider investing in lightweight suitcases to increase the amount of luggage you can carry in them.