A number of UK airlines have begun to outline restart dates for itineraries, sparking summer holiday hopes for many Britons. easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2 and British Airways have all suggested making some form of return to the skies by July.
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However, with air travel comes a number of hidden costs – particularly when it comes to budget airlines.
While many things about air travel will be very different now, from the use of face masks to the lack of food service onboard, some things will stay the time.
This likely includes the additional fees for hand and hold luggage implemented by many airlines.
Flight operators often set out varying weight and size restrictions for baggage, and customers found to be in excess of this could face a surprise fee at the check-in desk.
Fees with Ryanair, for example, can be as high as £40 for passengers who are asked to check their hold luggage at the airport.
This is why Myles Quee, CEO of SendMyBag, says that the way you pack is absolutely crucial.
No stranger to the art of packing, Myles shared some of his best tips for saving space and weight with Express.co.uk.
“Question each item and why you’re taking it,” he advised.
“If it’s not essential, then consider more carefully whether you need to include it in your luggage.
“To help you pack, check the weather, plan your activities in advance, and always remember there will often be washing facilities available abroad so you can clean your clothes in the worst-case scenario.”
If you are heading off to a colder climate and need to take a winter jacket or heavier clothing, Myles suggests layering items.
“Wear larger, heavier items as you board the plane to increase the weight and size restrictions in your cabin or hold luggage,” he continues.
“For example, wear socks and trainers on board the plane and store smaller and more lightweight footwear in your luggage. Bulky jumpers can also be used to keep you warm during the flight too, which can often be cold.”
If you’re jetting off somewhere warmer, something as simple as the fabric material is made of can be the difference between headache-worthy costs and a fee-free flight.
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“Consider the different fabrics of the clothing you’re taking and factor in its quality, thickness, weight, and textures,” he said.
“Try and whittle your selection down where possible to clothing that is durable, light, and isn’t bulky. Synthetic materials are often better than cotton because they’re lighter, smaller and they dry faster.”
Myles also suggests thinking outside of the box when it comes to deciding what you require on holiday.
“Choose versatile, and low-maintenance clothing to help you pack light,” he said.
“A sarong, for example, can be used for several purposes including providing shade in the heat and warmth when it’s cold, and beyond clothing, it can have other uses including as a tablecloth for a picnic or as a changing room on the beach.”
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Similarly, fashionistas should think about their vacation outfits before they even leave the house.
“Think carefully about the different colours of clothing you’re taking,” suggests Myles.
“Options which could work with a number of other colours will help to reduce the number of clothes you need to bring and will increase the variety of outfits you can put together.
“Put in the extra 10 minutes of outfit planning, and it’ll prove worthwhile.”
Of course, the method you choose to employ when packing is also key to saving space.
“Rolling clothes rather than folding them can help you to increase the space available in your luggage,” he recommends.
“Similarly, smaller items such as socks and underwear can be tucked inside larger ones such as shoes.”
Myles adds: “Consider how you can save space in your luggage by potentially buying items such as toiletries while you’re abroad.”
These space-saving tips become even more vital for hand luggage now, as travellers may be packing some extra items they would not have thought to take in a pre-coronavirus world.
Holidaymakers will likely want to be armed with a bottle of hand sanitiser for when they can’t access soap and water quickly.
“In airports, there are potential hazards of passing the infection by handling or touching surfaces that have come into contact with someone carrying the virus – it can live on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours,” says Myles.
“Passengers need to be extra vigilant and well-armed with hand sanitiser to ensure their hands are washed regularly and thoroughly. Provided the bottle is below 100ml, it can also be boarded on the plane in your hand luggage.”
Airlines including Ryanair and easyJet are now both asking passengers to wear a face mask, and having an extra spare is a good idea.
easyJet has also recently announced it will be removing its meal service when flights resume mid-June, which means extra space for snacks and drinks may be needed in your luggage.
Myles also offers a tip for holidaymakers arriving in their destination during these uncertain times.
“In case you are quarantined on arrival, it’s always worth bringing some spare clothes in your hand luggage to prepare you for all occasions,” he suggests.
Though summer travel is still up in the air, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continuing to advise Britons against all non-essential travel for an “indefinite” period of time, many tourist favourites such as Spain say Britons will be welcomed back.
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