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All In Your Hands

16 September 2013

Photo credit: yahoo images

Budget airlines and low cost fares have made travel much more accessible. There was a time, not so long ago, when the cost of air travel was so expensive that only the well-off, or those able to save, were able to jet off to destinations that couldn’t be reached by car. Luckily, nowadays we can head off on a jaunt to a European city, or a beach break on the Med for often less than the cost of a holiday in the UK!

Whilst air travel costs are now lower, I’ve recently found that the cost of adding on baggage bumps up the price considerably. It’s important to note that the price you see on searching for bargain flights, is often not the price you will end up paying. Add on baggage, occasionally insurance (although I’d certainly be arranging that myself!), taxes, check-in fees, and the cost goes from ‘ooh that’s cheap’, to ‘ooh that’s not so good’.

It’s through many of these occurrences I decided to try travelling on the light side, and foregoing expensive baggage fees. Now, I am a girl that generally doesn’t know how to travel light, so this was somewhat of a challenge, but it was surprisingly easy once I got my head around it!

Hand luggage allowance is generally free, and although the weight restriction and size varies from airline to airline, there are several companies offering a little more in the way of cabin luggage. Monarch, Jet 2 and Easy Jet all offer more than the standard 5kg allowances with the likes of Thomas Cook and Thomson. I recently travelled with Turkish Airlines, and was offered 8kg hand luggage, and then Monarch and Jet 2 came in at 10kg. It doesn’t sound a lot, but if you’re willing to buy your toiletries at the airport, it is possible to cram a week’s worth of clothes and accessories into a 10kg case. Surprising, but true!

This challenge turned out to be a difficult one in terms of what to take, but once I cracked it, it saved me around £40, not to mention time as I didn’t have to wait for my case at the packed carousel – straight onto my transfer, and onto my destination!

Whilst we’re on the subject of saving money through baggage, let’s look at saving even more money, meaning more to spend whilst you’re in resort, or even at duty free, which is certainly one of my favourite perks.

Getting to the airport can often be a costly business, especially if you’re booking taxis, trains and coaches, not to mention the inconvenience of it all. The last time I took a coach to the airport it took five hours, when the airport is literally a two hour drive away. It’s through this I decided to pre-book Luton Airport parking for my holiday last year, and since then I’ve been hooked. The cost was lower, the service was fantastic, and I was chilled-out and raring to go by the time I arrived at the airport. I would highly recommend this service for anyone who is able to drive, and no matter where you’re flying from, you’ll find a service to suit. I’ve also used Stansted parking in the past, whilst taking advantage of a very cheap flight from the capital, and again, I can’t rave enough about it.

A little packing planning and a few sneaky extras can mean a considerable amount of money saved on your holiday. Consider it a challenge – see how much you can cram into 10kg!

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