Packing 101: packing hacks for the first-time traveller

October 02, 2018

Packing can be a nerve-wracking experience for any traveller. What clothes do you take? Is your suitcase the appropriate place to put your laptop? Should you be worried about the weight of your suitcase?

These may be a few of the questions circling your head as you start packing, but don’t fear – we’ve put together a guide to make your packing experience a breeze ...

1. Plan your outfits in advance

Planning is key when it comes to packing. Start with researching the weather at your destination. There are few things worse than planning a sunny beach holiday, only to discover upon arrival it’s cold and rainy and you have nothing warm to wear.

Once you know what weather to prepare for, plan an outfit to wear for every day you are away – this will make sure that you don’t overpack and end up with overweight baggage. If you are away for more than a few days, you may need to mix and match outfits, or plan to do some washing along the way. As shoes can take up a lot of space and add quite a bit of weight to your baggage, try to pack only a few pairs that are flexible enough to be worn for a series of different occasions.

Top tip: even though checking the weather in advance will give you a rough idea what to expect, it’s always best to be prepared for changes in the climate. Even if the predictions are warm, always pack a light jersey or jacket.

2. Roll, don’t fold your clothes

The way you pack your clothes can greatly influence how much you can fit into your suitcase. Rolling your clothes into small, tight roll-ups is one of the best ways to save space.

Top tip: to save even more space, pack your shoes before your clothes. Line the walls of the suitcase with the heavy soles of your shoes. Another clever space-saving hack is to put your socks and other small objects inside the shoes.

3. Keep your valuables safe

Laptops, jewellery and cameras are valuable items that you should never pack in your check-in baggage. Pack all your valuable and fragile items in your carry-on luggage, where you can be sure they will be safe.

Top tip: when travelling with electronics such as laptops, tablets or cameras, it’s always recommended to pack these items in appropriate baggage. Using soft, unstructured bags stored in the overhead storage may not offer enough protection. Rather use a sturdy laptop or camera bag to keep these valuables safe.

4. Do research on your airline’s baggage requirements

All airlines have strict check-in and carry-on baggage requirements relating to size, weight and the number of bags you are allowed to check-on or bring on board with you. If you don’t want to incur extra costs at the airport, do your research to make sure your baggage adheres to these regulations.

If you’re flying with Mango Airlines, you are allowed one piece of carry-on luggage not exceeding a weight of 7kg. This also needs to fit within specified dimensions of 36cm x 23cm x 56cm. In addition to the one piece of carry-on luggage, you can bring on board either a handbag or a slimline laptop bag. Should your hand luggage exceed any of these specifications, it will have to be checked in.

It’s also very important to remember that your carry-on luggage cannot contain any of the the following: toy guns, cutlery, knives, scissors, syringes, blades, nail clippers or other sharp objects that appear to be, or could be used as, weapons.

When it comes to your check-in baggage, Mango is the only low-cost airline in South Africa that allows 20kg of check-in luggage per traveller without penalties on the number of bags that make up the total weight. This means you can check-in multiple bags, as long as the cumulative weight does not exceed 20kg. If your total weight exceeds 20kg, you will need to pay an excess baggage fee per extra kilogram.

Top tip: if you know your check-in baggage will be overweight, you can update your booking online and only pay R35 per extra kilogram of luggage. If you do this at the airport, the cost will be R50 per kilogram. Read more about Mango's baggage requirements.

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