At the airport

At the airport, you’re all excited about your new adventure. You have planned that holiday for a while, you have chosen the places you want to visit there and the excitement is building up very fast. Everything is packed and ready to go, your new adventure is about to start.

You need to make sure you take everything you need. Apart from your suitcase, you may need to take some extra items, such as your laptop or a small jacket. If you travel with kids, you may need a few items more. Depending on the age of your children, you may need more or fewer items.  I know how difficult it can be as I am a parent myself.  But I guess the secret is to be organised and frugal with things.

Your hold luggage

Put as much as you can in your hold luggage. Most importantly, be frugal with what you carry with you. These days, airlines are very restrictive with the weight we can carry, so we must be aware of that or we will have to pay an expensive excess luggage fee. It can be difficult to select. Over the years I have travelled and I have made a few mistakes, so these days I am very careful with my luggage. I usually take the basics I need for my trip and I put most of it in my hold luggage. I select those items that are really necessary and I leave those that may stay behind. Then I weight my suitcase to make sure it is within the limits. Sometimes, I may even add a few extra items that I had set to leave behind. This way, I ensure I take what I need and I don’t get nasty surprises at the airport.

Your hand luggage

This is where we usually make mistakes. I know I did and I regretted it until today. If you are going on a direct flight straight to your destination, you may be able to take a few things, but if you are going on a long-haul flight with multiple stops and waiting times, you must reconsider what you take in your carry-on luggage.

On m first trip to Australia, I was too excited to travel. I knew it was a very long trip, so I thought I should carry my CDs and the old walkman with me. I also took a few other things. Back in 2003, the limits on carry-on luggage weren’t as strict as today and poor me ended up spending hours walking in airports with a very heavy bag on my shoulders. I didn’t explore the airports because I was too tired and in pain to even consider it. I learnt my lesson. From then on I only take the bare minimum. First of all, my travel documents, such as passport and ticket, now we can even have our ticket on our phone, so it’s much easier. Then, I carry a light bag with my shoulder pillow and a cardigan in case I need it, I may take a book to read.

This allows me to walk through the airports with ease and enjoy my trip. Some of us may need to take a laptop. But as long as it is a light one and you don’t exceed your hand luggage limit, you will be fine. Making this plan allows for a much more enjoyable trip and avoids extra costs at the airport.