Inefficient packing has cost Brits £619m in excess luggage fees

Money wasted on items not even used on holiday 

With many holiday-goers making the most of September travel deals, new research into packing habits has revealed Brits are officially a nation of over-packers, costing over half a billion pounds* in excess baggage charges.

Shockingly, 83 per cent don’t even use the items they’ve paid extra for whilst on holiday and could save money by packing more efficiently.

The study, conducted by discount voucher website MyVoucherCodes, found that excessive toiletries (36 per cent) and books (27 per cent) are the worst offenders for unused items, followed by too many shoes, warm items such as hoodies and waterproof jackets all at 18 per cent.

But not everyone is happy to part with their cash at check-in…

15 per cent reported they had tried to WEAR as many items as possible from their hold luggage to avoid excess charges, six per cent have thrown items of clothing away and five per cent asked a family member to come to the airport with them so they could take any excess items home.

And when it comes to packing styles, men are firmly ”Team Fold’ (71 per cent) whereas more women roll their clothes compared to men (34 per cent).

Men prefer to pack the night before a flight and favour vacuum packing clothes, compared to women who like to get organised and write a list (43 per cent) and pack a few days before. 

Profile of a British over-packer:  

  • Over packs toiletries the most (36 per cent)
  • Folds clothes (69 per cent)
  • Does not check the weather before packing (11 per cent)
  • Forgets to check facilities at their destination (six per cent) 
  • Packs the night before the holiday (31 per cent)

Chris Reilly, managing director of MyVoucherCodes said: “Holiday goers should check their luggage allowance before packing so there are no nasty surprises at the airport. The average hold luggage is 20kg but there are airlines such as Jet2 which offer a generous 22kg - so shoe lovers might be able to pack that extra pair after all.”

Top tips for packing perfection:

1.     Write a quick list before packing: According to our survey, over 80 per cent admit they pack too many items to use on holiday. A simple way around this, to save money on excess baggage charges and to make sure you don’t forget anything essential, is to write a good old-fashioned list.

2.     Roll your clothes tightly: Spending your holiday with a suitcase full of creased clothes won’t do any favours for the inevitable Instagram uploads. To look your freshly-ironed best and also save space, you’re better off tightly rolling your clothes rather than folding them.

3.     Pack a canvas bag: A trusty canvas bag may not be your first thought when considering travel hacks, yet they make for excellent spare hand luggage capable of carrying shopping, beachwear or even dirty laundry – ideal for discretion when the cleaner comes around.

4.     Do a “Joey” and wear your bulky items: Even if you check the forecast in advance, we feel better packing a jumper or waterproof coat in case the weather turns. The trouble is bulky items like that take up way too much room. Instead, embody everyone’s favourite Friend (don’t tell Phoebe) and wear as much as you can on the plane. 

5.     Wrap your toiletries in cling film: You may think attacking your toiletries with cling film is a waste of valuable packing time, but consider how long it takes to clean clothes covered in erupted shampoo, face wash and sun cream. It may smell amazing, but you’ll be left having to spend money replacing items you need – not ideal for relaxing!

6.     Leave no space un-filled: This classic tip usually involves stuffing your shoes with socks to make the most of that empty space. However, we’ll go a step further and tell you to also stuff your socks with fragile items like glass perfume bottles. The result? A Russian doll of packing efficiency.

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