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Top 10 list - Holiday Packing Tips When Flying

  1. Before packing clothes, ask yourself, 'Am I really going to wear this?' Be tough. Most of us just use a few clothes, especially on beach holidays, and half our wardrobe comes home without being worn.
  2. Think about the other items you're taking, such as beach towels or childrens' beach inflatables. It might be easier to buy cheap towels or inflatables when you arrive, rather than using up luggage space.
  3. Roll up your clothes. This saves space since the air is squeezed out and (strangely) means they don't get nearly as creased as ordinary 'flat-packing'.
  4. Put heavy objects like books, as well as valuables such as CD Walkmans and cameras, in your hand luggage. This really helps if you are close to the weight limit, as most airlines don't include your hand luggage when weighing your check-in luggage.
  5. Consider buying basic toiletries when you arrive at your destination. This saves on weight (pretty important if you're flying on a charter airline) and many items such as shampoo, conditioner, sun tan lotion and aftersun are usually cheaper abroad.
  6. Consider leaving some (or all) of these items behind when you come home, especially if you are close to your weight limit. Paying for additional baggage is not cheap and airlines are not as 'relaxed' as they once were.
  7. Airlines are clamping down on the size of carry on items. Make sure that your intended hand luggage conforms to your airlines specifications. Different airlines have different allowances and these will be published on their website and are also included on your ticket.
  8. Remove all sharp objects from your hand luggage and put them in your check-in luggage. This includes scissors, your trusty Swiss Army knife, corkscrews and even tweezers. Airlines have clamped down on people carrying these since September 11 and you will not get them through the security check. Not only that, they will be confiscated and you won't get them back.
  9. Don't leave buying your holiday reading until you are at the airport, since airport retailers do not discount them. You can usually purchase the same book in the high street (quite often from the same retailer) at a lower price.
  10. It always pays to take bottled water and sugar lollies (wine gums, jelly babies, boiled sweets) onboard and remember to leave them out when sitting down. Very few airlines still provide free drinks (you can pay as much as £1 for a mini-can of coke) and very few cater for the eating habits of children even on a short flight.

    One last thing - don't forget to go to the bathroom before you get on the plane. Ideally you don't want to use the toilet, but if you miss your slot, that hour on the tarmac can really stretch more than your patience.

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