An airport is a hectic place with a huge amount of activity in every direction. This means it’s often a stressful place to be, even when everything runs according to plan. When you run into complications with your luggage, the situation can become significantly more complicated and can really put a downer on your journey. Whether you are travelling to the UK on holiday or are returning home after a trip abroad, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements which will make your experience at the airport at smooth as possible. Here are 7 top tips to help you pack for your flight to the UK.
- Check your baggage allowance
Each airline has a different baggage allowance in terms of the number of hand luggage items you can have as well as the size and weight of each bag. If you need extra luggage, you may need to pay an extra charge.
- Don’t leave packing until the last minute
Leaving packing until the day of your flight is very stressful and will make it much more likely that you’ll forget something important. Make a list of everything you need to pack in the weeks leading up to departure and the night before you should tick each item off as you put it into the bag.
- Charge your electronic gadgets
Be sure to fully charge any gadgets you are taking with you from your mobile phone to your laptop and/or tablet. There may well be charging stations at the airport or even on the plane, but it’s best to be prepared to avoid running out of power at a crucial moment.
- Keep essentials in your hand luggage
Your hand luggage should include a survival kit, i.e., what you would need with you if you lost your luggage. This includes your travel documents, passport, money, medications, and electronics. You should also pack your electronic charger and a change of clothes. Liquids must not exceed 100ml in volume and should be in a clear bag which is separate from the rest of your hand luggage. Read more about cabin luggage restrictions.
- Make sure you’re not packing any prohibited items
Each airport will have its own regulations about what you cannot bring into the country such as offensive weapons, explosives, ammunition, self-defence sprays, indecent or obscene materials, and certain foods, plants and produce. If you do try to bring prohibited items into the UK they may be seized by customs and you may find yourself facing difficult questions. For example controlled drug importation into the UK is illegal and has serious legal consequences.
- Travel as light as possible
While it’s true that you are perfectly entitled to fill your suitcase up to the maximum weight allowance, it’s not mandatory. Think carefully about what you really need to take and resist the temptation to fill your suitcases with a lot of ‘just in case’ clothing items. A heavy suitcase will be difficult to manoeuvre around during your journey and you won’t have any space for souvenirs you buy during your holiday. Try packing your bags, taking everything out and leaving half of it out.
- Check in to your flight before you arrive at the airport
Many airlines enable you to check-in for your flight at least 24 hours beforehand which is when you can reserve a seat and print your ticket or download it onto your smartphone. This will make your airport experience much quicker and less stressful as you’ll just need to drop off your hold luggage and head to security.