Airline Baggage Allowances

As a rule of thumb the allowance for carry on is 115 cm linear and most manufacturers provide this size. NB A minority of airlines will state 105cm linear on their website.

Packing Tips and Slim down your luggage

1. Do your homework. Call the hotel, motel, friend's house where you're staying and ask the following: do they have a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, beach towels, bathrobes, sand toys---basically anything that's bulky and that you'd rather leave at home? If the answer is yes, do not under any circumstances bring your own.

2. Check temperatures and events at your destination. Only pack what corresponds---do not bring "just in case" clothes.

3. Choose a central color to pack around. A neutral such as brown, black, or tan is a good place to start, then bring accessories and accent pieces that go with this color palette.

4. The numbers game. A good rule of thumb for trips less than one week is one shirt per day, one layering jacket or sweater, one bottom per every two days (but never less than two pairs of pants), no more than two pairs of shoes (one you wear and one you pack), underwear for every day, and seasonal additions, like a bathing suit.

5. Wash it out. If you're traveling for more than a week, follow the same numbers as above and plan on washing clothes instead of bringing more. If you're in a country with a good exchange rate, or aren't on a tight budget, take advantage of the hotel laundry service or dry cleaning. Otherwise, bring individual packets of Woolite and a travel stain-treatment stick (Tide to Go is the best one).

6. Write it down. Make detailed lists of everything you plan to bring. That way you can easily see if you've allotted six pairs of pants for a four-day trip. Be honest, note everything---including socks and underwear---and then stick to your list when packing.

7. Downsize toiletries. Pick up travel-size versions of your favorite products whenever you see them, not just when you're getting ready to travel. If you can't find miniatures, buy small plastic bottles and decant from larger products.

8. Wear your heaviest shoes, sweater, and jacket. That way, you don't have to pack them.

9. Pack outside your bag. Before you actually pack your suitcase, pile everything you plan to bring on your bed or dresser. This is your opportunity to eye your clothes and cull a few more items. If you pack directly into your suitcase, you'll be tempted to throw in a few extra items (trust us, you will). Once you've made the final edit, pack only what's in front of you. If you've followed our advice, your suitcase should now be a lean, mean, traveling machine: happy travels!

Wrinkle Free Packing

 One word: Plastic. If you remember only one word in your packing efforts, this is the one. And here's why: friction causes wrinkling, plastic reduces friction. It's that easy. The best way to utilize this basic plastic physics is with dry-cleaner bags. All hanger items should be packed in individual bags (one outfit per dry-cleaner bag). Clothes arrive in a perfectly preserved state. Really! Another great plastic tip: zip-top baggies. Use these for dirty shoes, shampoo bottles, or anything else you want to isolate from your good clothes

Rolling, rolling, rolling. You have two options for items that you're not hanging: folding or rolling. Rolling is a great space-saving and wrinkle-reducing choice for jeans and T-shirts. Here's how you do it: take a pair of jeans and fold them lengthwise so that the legs are stacked on top of each other. Now, starting from the cuff, roll your way up. For T-shirts, place face down, fold arms back (you should now have a long rectangle), fold lengthwise, and roll up.

Fold it. For sweaters and other non-T tops, the square fold is the way to go. Here's a quick primer: button all buttons and lay shirts face down on a bed or flat surface. Smooth away wrinkles. Fold material in at the shoulders and lay arms flat along the body so that you create a roughly two-inch overlap of material on both sides. Now fold up a third of the material from the bottom and overlap a third from the top. You should now have a tidy package worthy of any chain retailer.

Delicate situation. What to do with your undies and lingerie? Buy inexpensive mesh laundry bags; they're made of nylon and are lightweight. Stow your delicates in here. An added bonus: if your bag is inspected, no one need touch your underwear since an inspector will be able to see into the bag. Socks, by the way, should be rolled up and placed inside shoes or used to fill gaps in your bag (see below).

Pack it away. Now take all your tidily arrayed garments and put them outside your bag. Your goal is to use them to create a clothing jigsaw puzzle where no empty spaces remain and items won't shift. Lay your bag flat and put folded clothes in piles down the center. Put your toiletries kit at what will be the bottom of your bag when it's standing (this should now be the heaviest item in your bag; in this position it won't crush other items). Rolled clothes fit into the spaces around the stacked clothes. Single shoes should be tucked into remaining openings (remember, shoes aren't friends; they don't need to travel right up next to each other). Socks fill in remaining holes. Voila! You are now a wrinkle-free savvy traveler!

Security Tips

There has been a lot of publicity regarding the safety of baggage. Common sense is your best friend and remember do not let anxiety spoil your trip. Just because you are away doesn't mean the world stops turning. Keep in mind that the mail will still be delivered and bills still need to be paid. Make sure you have taken care of these items before you leave.

  • Do not put your home address on luggage tags on the outside of your suitcase. This will let a people know that you are away from your home. It is better to use a business address whenever possible.
  • Stay with your bags. You might feel the need to rush over and grab a great duty free deal before you go but remember, your bag should go with you. Countless bags are stolen because people don't keep an eye on them.
  • Many people want to lock their suitcases for added protection. There are a couple of things to remember though. Firstly, in many places you travel to baggage is not allowed to be locked. Secondly, if someone really wants to get into your bag then a lock may not stop them. A lock or baggage strap however may create enough of a deterrent so that a would-be thief can't be bothered with the extra effort.
  • Carry a photo copy of your passport and visa page. This is a great help if the originals are stolen or lost. Keep the original and copy in a different place because if they are both in your hand luggage, and your hand luggage goes missing.
  • Using a major credit one of the better ways to shop. Most large credit card companies offer great consumer protection which can assist you if you fall victim to fraud.
  • Don't travel with irreplaceable items unless absolutely necessary. Airlines are usually not responsible for their breakage or theft.
  • Keep an eye on your laptop. Nowadays you may have to take your laptop out of its case before it goes through the x-ray machine. Keep an eye on it as it goes through the scanning process.
  • Carry a copy of your itinerary in your luggage. Hopefully when the bag is inspected they will find the itinerary and will get your bag back to you.
  • Be an informed traveller! Know the places you are going to as best you can. Needless to say, read up on every aspect you are able to find including what to eat, where to go (and where not to go) and what vaccines you need. For example, I travelled to India not long ago and found out that I needed a Hepatitis A vaccine and was told to only drink bottled water.
  • You are not like the locals in the country you visit. Just because they can quite happily eat and drink from the guy selling food on the street doesn't mean you can. You don't want to catch something then spend your whole trip in bed.
  • Conditions change so consult the latest source of information. Just because you don't need a vaccine for travelling one year, doesn't mean you won't need it for the next.
  • Go to this site before you travel!

Buy Travel Books
Travel books are a great resource to learn about the most interesting places, best restaurants, places to stay and hundreds of insights about your destination.

Bring a Dictionary
Carry a language translation dictionary with you. You'll find it useful.

Family, Friends and Relatives
Before leaving on a trip, make sure to give all travel information to your family and close friends. If anything should happen while travelling, several people will know where you are and have a better chance of reaching you in an emergency.

Do you have a valid Visa?
Renew your visa before departing.

Native Phrases
Learn a few essential terms in the native language of the country you are visiting. The effort is usually appreciated.

Identify Luggage
Place photocopies of your identification in your luggage to help your airline or cruise ship to return it if lost while travelling.

It's okay to lock your luggage again.
TSA locks. They allow inspectors to open luggage and relock it. 

Photocopy Identifying Documents
Photocopy all documents and cards and store them in a secret place in your suitcase. If your wallet is ever stolen, you will know exactly what you have lost and will have telephone numbers to call to cancel credit cards.

Scan Identifying Documents
Instead of photocopying your important documents and carrying them with you, scan them and email them to your email account as attachments. Use a free Web-based e-mail such as Hotmail or Yahoo! that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Rent a Wireless Phone
Rent a GSM (Global System for Mobiles) wireless phone before you leave your country. One number works in over 92 countries worldwide.

Convert Cash
Convert some of your cash to the currency of the country you are visiting before departure to get a more favorable exchange rate.

Passport Expiration
Make sure your passport does not expire within six months of your travel date as many countries insist your passport be valid for six months to a year. Make a copy in case you lose it.

Renting a Car?
Get an international driver's license as many car rental services will require it. Reserve your car rental and arrange for collection in your arrival airport.

Confirm Reservations
Be sure your airline tickets and hotel reservations are confirmed to avoid surprises.

  • Know the value of your money in foreign currencies especially in places where the monetary values are very different. Don't get ripped off.

There is no point in taking a holiday if you don't enjoy yourself. We wish you  happy, safe and above all a fun and memorable trip.