Weighing up what to take on your business trip, but not sure of the best solution? Well, here are six quick-fire tips that'll help you banish the extra baggage, kick excess fees into touch and make you a smarter, lighter Wise Traveller.
Weigh before you go
Stuffed to the gunnels? Then that'll be a one-way route to the extra fees channel. The best option is to pack a few days before you go, invest in some portable luggage scales and find out how much your baggage will be. Then empty and start again by re-packing just the essentials for the business trip and stripping out any unnecessary clothes and shoes. At least by packing smarter you give yourself a greater chance of getting off the plane fast and straight out the airport.
Source excess fees online
As a precaution and days before you fly, take the shock factor out of the system by researching online how much you are allowed to take on a flight and what the extra baggage fees are. At least being forewarned is forearmed when you head to check-in. But, if you can, get the luggage within weight to avoid problems and delays.
Pay online for extra luggage
If you're resigned to carrying excess baggage, then it may serve you best to pay for extra luggage. You can buy extra weight online via the airline, usually with discounts thrown in compared to what you pay at the airport. If you're flying a budget airline, be clear on what you are paying for, and that you are not incurring extra fees.
Pack with a partner
When you are travelling with a business colleague, and there is a risk of luggage being overweight, then you can always pool your baggage and spread the weight across both of you. In doing so, you will more than likely fall below the 40 kg limit for two people and avoid the need and embarrassment of trying to even out the luggage.
Lightweight luggage options
Business travellers can reach the goal of stepping off a plane and straight into a waiting taxi by packing lighter and smarter. So it lends weight to consider your actual pieces of luggage when they’re empty. If they’re heavy and cumbersome, look at lightweight luggage options that will enable you to pack more in if you need to.
Another way of avoiding excess fees—and if the budget allows—is to upgrade to first or business class. Rather than give it to the airline in fees, why not spend it on yourself, and in doing so, fly in luxury and comfort. Check that the airline offers free luggage for business or first class before you commit.
Andy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.