Discover our 5 top tips to stress-free summer travel July 06 2015, 0 Comments

As you're planning your much deserved summer holiday, you'll probably make sure you have enough factor 15 and the perfect bikini, but read on to discover some of our tried and tested tips that could save you time and money.

 

1 - Don't overlook your choice of washbag. It may be tempting to go for a cheap and cheerful option, but that may backfire in the long run. That pretty floral wash bag for a knockdown price may feel like a bargain, but you get what you pay for, and the humble wash bag is no exception. An important feature to look out for is a strong waterproof lining. Lots of wash bag designers and manufacturers don't account for the fact that you'll be putting bottles and tubes inside that could easily come undone and leak or crack. They use cotton or nylon linings that get dirty quickly, or a cheap waterproof material that tears easily. After looking forward to your vacation the last thing you want to do is unpack your suitcase only to find that your favourite dress is covered in toothpaste or coated in shampoo. By choosing a wash bag with a strong waterproof lining you can't stop your products from leaking, but you CAN minimise the damage and the impact it will have. In our experience, the best washbags have a waterproof outer material too, as they're often in the bathroom and in close proximity to potential splashes and drips. A delicate canvas may look gorgeous on the shop shelf, but may become ruined after a single use.

 

 

2) Check your airline's cabin baggage restrictions, especially weight allowance. If you're jetting off to sunnier climes, there are a few things to consider if you're taking your suitcase onto the plane as hand luggage. The standard hand luggage size is around 55cm x 40cm x 25cm, but many airlines now have a hand luggage weight allowance of between 5 and 10kg. This isn't much if you're planning to shoe horn your entire wardrobe, accessories, toiletries, beach towel, books and cosmetics for a whole week or two. So be sure to check your airline's limits before you travel, as they've recently changed, especially if you are considering the budget hand luggage only option. It can be costlier to check in a bag at the airport than booking it in advance. Don't make the mistake I did recently - I took a suitcase within size limits, but the carrier's 6kg weight restriction meant that I had to empty most of the contents into my hold baggage at the check-in desk. 6kg is really not that much.

 

 

3) Less is more. If you're planning to take only hand luggage on your trip, then a small wash bag, that's more economical with space, may be a better bet. Each liquid must be in a container of 100ml or less. And the definition of “liquid” includes items that may not seem like liquids at all – for example semi liquids like jam or honey, cosmetics including mascara, sprays like shaving foam, hairspray and deodorants, and toothpaste. These bottles must all fit into a transparent plastic bag no bigger than 20cm x 20cm. There are exemptions to this so you can take larger baby food/milk bottles, bottles essential for medical purposes and for dietary requirements. It's definitely worth asking your airline about this before you travel to avoid them either being confiscated or transferred to the hold (for a hefty fee).
4) Airports are massive! Remember, it can take 20-30 minutes in some airports to walk to the departure gate from the security desk, and airlines can be pretty strict about closing the gate on time. So allow plenty of time, and get to your departure gate early! I always take some food on board too for short flights, as the menu onboard can be really restricted and much more pricey at 30,000ft!
5) The early bird... And finally, getting on board as soon as you can will improve your chances of snagging space in the overhead lockers. Some airlines have very limited space in the cabin, and automatically transfer the bags to the hold when the lockers are full. This can eat into the time you're aiming to save as you'll have to wait by the baggage carousel for it when you arrive at your destination.


PS. Hope you have happy holidays and safe travels. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter below to get access to all our latest special discount codes and offers!