Updated September 2017

 

Packing - is it your least favourite part of a holiday? Do you struggle with what to pack, and find that when you do finally get it all together, you don’t have enough space? The fact that there is no weight limit for luggage on a cruise is extremely attractive to passengers, but what happens when you are flying to meet your ship?

The job of packing completely changes when there is a weight limit involved, and it is estimated that 40% of holiday-makers will not take a fly-cruise due to airline weight limits. With most European flights having a 20kg allowance, it can spark instant panic about what to take and what to ditch.

 

Do all airlines have a 20kg weight limit?

Although international flights often have a higher weight limit, flights within Europe continue to have a 20-23kg limit and appear to continually raise their overweight prices. With this in mind, see below for a list of weight limits for the most popular airlines when flying in Europe:

 

British Airways

Checked baggage: One checked bag per person weighing up to 23kg

Hand luggage: One Personal bag (laptop/handbag) 40cm x 30cm x 15cm plus one cabin bag 56cm x 45cm x 25cm

Children: Same as adult allowance plus a collapsible pushchair and one car seat

Virgin Airlines

Checked baggage: One checked bag per person weighing up to 23kg

Hand luggage: One cabin bag 23cm x 36xm x 56cm weighing up to 10kg

Children: Same as adult allowance plus a collapsible pushchair and one car seat

EasyJet

Checked baggage: A charge of £13 - £35 per bag is required for any checked luggage weighing up to 20kg and totalling in size less than 275cm (adding length + width + height)

Hand luggage: One cabin bag 56cm x 45cm x 25cm

Children: Same as adult allowance

RyanAir

Checked baggage: You can purchase checked baggage of either 15kg or 20kg at a cost of £10 - £60 

Hand luggage: One cabin bag 55cm x 40cm x 20cm weighing up to 10kg plus one small bag

Children: No cabin bag allowance for infants (8 days - 23 months) travelling on an adults lap, however a baby bag up to 5kg may be carried by the accompanying adult in addition to their own allowance plus one pushchair free of charge

Thomas Cook

Checked baggage: One bag weighing up to 15kg whereby an extra 10kg can be purchased at £25 - £30

Hand luggage: One cabin bag 55cm x 40cm x 20cm weighing up to 6kg plus one small personal bag/laptop/coat/umbrella

Children: One checked in bag weighing up to 10kg plus a pushchair, a travel cot or a car seat

Thomson

Checked baggage: One checked bag per person weighing up to 15kg

Hand luggage: One piece of cabin baggage per person 55cm x 40cm x 20cm weighing up to 5kg, other bags such as handbags must be carried within the single item of cabin baggage

Children: Same as adult allowance apart from infants under 2 years old have a 10kg allowance plus pushcharis

 

Tips for making the most of 20kg

From the above it is clear to see most airlines still offer around 23kg per person. Although your initial reaction may be that this is not enough, if you pack right it should be plenty. Tips on how to make the most of your 20kg:

• Take full advantage of your hand baggage allowance – Pack heavy items such as shoes and belts in your hand luggage.

• Wear what you can – Try to wear any heavy items such as your coat or costume jewellery when travelling.

• Forget the 'just in case' – We all do it, but you do not need to pack the 'just in case' pile. You will not need multiple layers, that extra pair of shoes or a spare swimming costume. If the worst comes to the worst and you do, there are shops onboard.

• Towels are not needed – Towels take up lots of weight and space in a suitcase. As well as bath towels, a fresh beach/pool towel is provided every day on a cruise.

• Purchase travel size toiletries – Toiletries are the main culprit for heavy luggage, so taking travel-sized bottles are perfect for a one/two week cruise. Most cruise lines provide shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotions so these are not required unless you have specific needs. Taking minimal make-up will also help keep the weight of your case down.

• Make the most of your children's allowance. Naturally, packing for children will not require as much space as adults, so be sure to use all their allowance too!

• Invest in a foldable beach bag – It's a good idea to take a beach bag, as you're likely to use it every day on a cruise - whether carrying a towel and sun lotion to the pool, or using it to hold belongings when out exploring. You can purchase a lightweight, foldable bag for just a few pounds.

• Do not over-pack formal attire – Most cruises will only have one or two formal nights during a cruise, so you don't need to pack a selection of dresses or suits.

• Plan your outfits – Knowing what you'll wear each day will make it less tempting to pack clothing that won't be needed.

• Use the onboard laundry service - Most cruise lines provide a laundry service. Some have a self-service laundry room, whereas others offer a valet laundry and dry-cleaning service. This means you can pack less clothing knowing that you can wear the same basics again.

 


Original copy by Sally Grimes