How To Avoid Charges From Over Packing When Returning From A City Break

Over packing – it’s costing you and not just in excess baggage charges

If there’s one thing many of us are guilty of when abroad, it’s overspending! Whether it’s buying souvenirs for our loved ones or treating ourselves to a new designer handbag, we always seem to come back with more than we went with.

Avoid over packing

There are, however, times when a seemingly low-cost city break purchase turns out to not be such a bargain after all. Have you ever had to sit on your suitcase just to be able shut it?

last minute packing

Suddenly the realisation that you may not be able to get your luggage onto your return flight without being charged hits home – if you flew out with hand luggage only, you will have to pay to check a case in, or, if your hold luggage is now over the allotted weight, you will have to pay for excess baggage, possibly after having to buy a new bag!

To find out just how many people have had this problem, we decided to quiz the nation on their city break packing habits

Leaving items behind when returning from a city break!

Nearly a quarter of the women we asked, told us that they have been forced to leave something from their luggage behind when returning home from a city break.

Avoid over packing

Tip 1: If you can’t fit everything back in your case, and you can shed some load, then this may be a solution. Can you leave behind items such as half used shower gel or shampoo bottles for example, or old items which needs replacing anyway?

According to our survey, the items most commonly discarded to make room are; toothbrushes, hairbrushes and items of clothing. Perhaps this is because these items can be easily replaced on return to the UK at a relatively low price.

The ‘heavy luggage’ sticker

How to avoid over packing

Over 20% of the women we questioned, admitted to having to check in a suitcase on the return journey, having gone out only with hand luggage, due to the weight of the extra purchases during their city break.

Some of the most serious shoppers on our panel went one step further, 3% told us they have had to purchase a bigger bag to check in when returning from a city break.

Tip 2: If you are prone to shopping sprees, then be prepared! Take a spare bag rolled up inside your case, then at least you won’t have to buy one. You will however, have to pay to check it in, if you only travelled out with hand luggage, it can often be cheaper to pay for hold luggage when booking your flight, than adding it just to the return – so if you know you’re likely to shop, then just pay upfront.

On the other hand, 70% of the men we asked, proudly proclaimed never having to check in an unplanned bag due to its increased weight. As a couple, use this to your advantage.

Tip 3: Can you share space with a travel companion? It seems men travel lighter, so can you plan together and use a case and a half between you going out, leaving room for purchases coming home?

Premium perfume causing a packing problem

How to avoid overpacking

So, just what are you spending your cash on? Perfume was the most popular choice amongst the women we spoke to, with nearly 10% saying they buy fragrances as a city break treat.

Marbella and Vienna are the top destinations for perfume connoisseurs with 14% of travellers to these destinations splashing the cash on the latest fragrances.

You’re also twice as likely to purchase new perfume in these destinations than you are if you were travelling to Lisbon, Munich or Paris.

However, this causes an issue if you have travelled with hand luggage only, due to the strict 100ml limit on liquids taken into the cabin.

Tip 4: If you really want to buy perfume but only travelled out with hand luggage, then there are two options available to you. Buy bottles that are under 100mls if you can, or if not, then prepare to decant. This way you can take multiple bottles under 100mls.

City break must-haves

How to avoid over packing

Surprisingly, bikinis and swimming shorts were at the top of the list of their city break must-have purchases. At least these items roll up nice and small taking up very little space!

Tip 5: Utilise the smallest space in your case. Roll (rather than fold) your swimwear and pack into the space inside your shoes.

Still need to fit more in your city break suitcase? Our list of packing hacks might be able to help.