As airlines become ever more competitive, enticing customers in with super cheap flights and charging more for suitcases to go on holiday than actual people, it is good to know how best to pack for your airline while ensuring you are still able to bring things home from your holiday if you want to.
It was very sad this year to see shops in Menorca that I had known for 38 years go into liquidation and finding out how baggage restrictions effect the shops at your holiday destination has proven to be totally unfruitful. No one is talking about how baggage allowances are effecting tourist shopping on holiday yet.
Here is a simple guide to navigating your chosen airline’s luggage quirks to take what you want to Menorca and bring home souvenirs such as the Xoriguer gin or the typical Menorca sandals. Menorca is also a great place to shop for presents.
Here is a link to Skyscanner’s guide to hand luggage weight restrictions. I am not sure how up to date this is, so will look more into BA to see what short haul flight restrictions apply if they do. Thomson Airways is of course now TUI.
These are the airlines that fly to Menorca:
Weight restriction on cabin bags
The strictest airlines on cabin bag weight are Thomas Cook (6KG) and TUI (5KG), which means you can take barely anything in a correctly sized 55cm x 40cm x 20cm wheeled bag.
This means, to get around a 5/6KG weight restriction on a wheeled bag:
- Use a ruck sack as your cabin bag. They do not weigh ruck sacks or handbags, just wheeled bags. Here are some options.
- If preferred, Argos do some of the lightest wheeled bags around leaving 3kg for contents.
- Wear as much luggage as possible. Here is a review of wearable luggage items. There are jackets with oversized pockets for myriad devices on the market, but I’m sure you already wear your heaviest clothing when traveling to or from the United Kingdom!
- Ryanair allow you to take two bags into cabin if you pay £5 priority boarding or put you small suitcase in the hold for free. Easyjet have no weight restriction, just 55x40x20cm size.
Liquids in cabin bags
- Airports are now enforcing a restriction on 100ml liquids in hand luggage so taking essentials in small bottles is of benefit. Perhaps take sample perfumes, travel toothpaste and Boots sell 100ml bottles for contact lense solution etc.
- Pharmacies are being strategically placed in departure lounges, so if you are taking hand luggage only, make sure what liquids you carry through security can fit in one 20cm x 20cm bag. Best to restrict what you carry in hand luggage to items you cannot replace easily.
- Bring doctor’s prescriptions for medications so they cannot be taken from you. They can be over 100ml but must be shown, with proof of requirement when going through security. Here’s a handy guide.
- Take items to use up on holiday, leaving space to bring souvenirs home.
Bringing souvenirs home and shopping on holiday.
Even if we manage to get all our holiday essentials to our destinations with us, what about bringing things home? Menorca is fantastic for finding presents including home ornaments, unique sandals (now sold in the UK) alcohol (Xoriguer gin, pomada, Herbes of Menorca etc), local cheeses, olive oils, , tobacco and ceramics, clothing and woven items are all popular.
- Airlines are very tricky about booking additional cases for just one leg of the journey.
- Only one hold bag is allowed per person. Therefore if you are traveling with others, it is good to bring one hold bag each that can fit in 20KG of contents.
- The weight restrictions vary slightly but the additional costs are much more at the airport. Portable scales are light and very useful.
- It seems that one bag of purchases at the airport per person is allowed. Therefore bringing what you can home in your suitcase is the best bet.