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Christmas travel: How to beat luggage rules when travelling with gifts this festive season

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for travel, with droves of people journeying around the globe to visits family and friends or jet off on a festive vacation. As part of the seasonal tradition, many voyagers will be taking suitcases laden with gifts for loved ones. However, this can be a costly addition to the usual packing supplies, with many airlines enforcing strict rules surrounding weight and size of luggage.

While downsizing on items may help beat luggage requirements the rest of the year, it can be difficult to cut down on Christmas gifts.

Luckily, there are some simple methods that can help beat luggage rules, while ensuring you don’t scrimp on festive cheer.

One of the biggest problem areas for travellers comes the form of the weight allowance.

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For the most part, the standard hold baggage weight tends to be around 23kg per passenger.

easyJet specifies a standard checked bag is classed as 23kg, however, passengers can buy extra weight in 3kg units, up to a maximum of 32kg per bag. No single item can weigh more than 32kg.

READ MORE:  Christmas: Remember not to pack THESE festive items in your hand luggage [ADVICE]

Christmas travel: Packing gifts in your suitcase could cost you (Image: Getty Images)

Christmas travel: Using a courier for gifts means you can travel hand luggage only (Image: Getty Images)

Ryanair, meanwhile, set out a hold weight allowance of between 15kg and 20kg for a varying price.

Furthermore, travellers can only take up to 3 paid for suitcases each.

This can be problematic for passengers hoping to fill their bags with presents, particularly heavy items such as shoes, bottles of alcohol or books.

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Thankfully, we live in the age of the internet, and online shopping can ease plenty of woes.

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Consider shopping online and having your gifts delivered to your destination.

The weight of wrapping materials shouldn’t overset the mass of your overall suitcase.

Plus, wrapping presents upon arrival at your Christmas destination will ensure gift wrap is in perfect condition on the big day.

With that said, many airports also encourage passengers not to wrap items before putting them in their luggage due to enforced security checks.

In a statement Ryanair said: ”Don’t spend hours intricately wrapping gifts to carry in your hand luggage.

“Wrapped gifts may be opened, searched and screened by airport security staff.”

Christmas travel: Sending gifts to your destination can save on heavy suitcases (Image: Getty Images)

Alternatively, it can often work out cheaper to have a private courier transport gifts door to door rather than packing them for a flight.

This is particularly helpful for travellers who have a lot of presents to transport.

The best way to determine the best option is to compare the costs from your chosen airline with the charges put in place by private couriers.

Having gifts privately couriered could also revoke the need for a suitcase altogether, allowing passengers to fly hand luggage only.

However, certain festive items are banned from hand luggage.

The liquid ban currently in place around the world means that travellers can carry liquids over 100ml on board.

Popular items such as bottles of wine or wintery snow globes make perfect Christmas gifts but could be confiscated at security.

Meanwhile, Manchester airport recently urged passengers not to pack Christmas puddings, as it can appear slightly more sinister when viewed on the x-ray monitor.

Of course, there are some gift options that beat luggage weight regulation altogether, such as gift cards, days out or vouchers for exclusive experiences.


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