RHODES - the Sunshine Isle

WARWICK GREEK ISLAND GUIDES

         Baggage & Packing Issues

 

By Tim Hamilton  ©2010

 

Never pack your pussy!

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Tip:  Always try to buy brightly coloured baggage – even shocking pink will show up more easily on those confounded carousels, and anything that makes identification of your own luggage easier has got to be taken seriously.

 

Baggage Issues...

Sure, if you’re rolling in money a PA or even a butler, would take care of the packing of your baggage, but let’s be realistic…

                       ↑Rhod Gilbert - watch and laugh your head off↑

Tips About Deportment (how we look) When Travelling Abroad...

 

  • Always dress smartly – I hate to say this but if you look smart in a proper dress/ensemble and long trousers for men and good shoes, you will usually get treated better. Although you do not need a tie!  It's the way of the world, generally, and an aspect of human nature that probably will never change.  So avoid shorts and short skirts/even swimming costumes and T shirts (a major faux pas) like the plague.  Some cultures find flimsy, scruffy looking clothing unacceptable and even, culturally disrespectful – especially when you are exposing a lot of flesh.  Make the effort - it's for the sake of expediency that such protocol is adopted and it works.
  • Never wear valuable jewellery.  It's not a good idea to advertise your wealth anywhere. Always pack the real thing away in your cabin bag (insurers usually DO NOT cover jewellery packed into hold suitcases) and make sure it's covered by insurance.  Even the rich are  wise enough to take just a few bits of costume jewellery and leave the 18ct Rolex watches and the diamond-studded tiaras in the safe back home. 

Going on a trip abroad can be heavy stressful work when you have big heavy suitcases to lug around.  Wheels or no wheels, the vagaries of packing, lugging, check-in, and collection and more lugging; then unpacking, and packing again - plus another run-in with check-in and the interminable baggage carousel - can be a right pain and sometimes literally.  It is often exhausting for the less muscular traveller and so making things easier is always a good idea.

The science of good baggage packing is actually about common sense and a good idea of form, weight and spatial awareness. A badly packed bag is the difference between a conglomerate mess of this and that, and a neat cushioned lesson in tidy precision.  Yet it’s also very easy to get it right.  The better you pack the easier it is to unpack – trust me.

Although some say it’s not necessary to take a suitcase in the first place…

 

 

THE TRAVELLING LIGHT METHOD

 

This is a no suitcase idea which means all you take with you is a very large bum bag and standard size Cabin Bag.

Wear a dress or long trousers to travel in to use in the evenings and proper shoes or stout smart sandals with good soles; and shirts in a darker colour to hide any stains you may acquire during those long journeys (think about air turbulence – but don’t panic!).  Also, linen or cotton is more comfortable than man-made stuff.

The bum bag is for…

  • All travel docs
  • Money
  • Currency
  • Wallet
  • Cheques
  • Cards
  • Passport
  • Cigarettes & lighter (NEVER pack lighters/matches in the hold)

It also contains any

  • Prescription drugs (with an original prescription form in case the authorities want to know who gave you them – rarity but you never know
  • Keys (car and home)
  •  Insurance details (what you are covered for and any contact details)
  • A colour photocopy of your passport in case of loss – this is essential and will speed you on your way
  • Urgent repatriation or other phone numbers
  • Important personal data
  • Mobile phone.  
  • Always keep your bum bag strapped around your waist at all times except when going through security, when you will be asked to remove it. But make sure you wear it and not treat it like a handbag – those who have forgotten what it’s meant for have sometimes left it lying somewhere, or had it stolen with disastrous results.
  • The cabin bag or similar contains…
  • Small toiletry items (within the 100ml limit)
  • Shaving items, etc. Other items would be
  • Two changes of underwear/socks
  • Shorts
  • Sun glasses
  • Spare glasses/contact lenses
  • Sandals or good shoes
  • T shirt and a
  • 2nd casual shirt/blouse/top
  • Small face towel
  • Wet wipes

 

Usually the weight limit is 5 kilos – remember that and weigh it properly.  Your bum bag is excluded as it’s strapped around you.  Some people have been known to wear extra clothes, but climate issues may cause problems. Clothes made from thinner fabric weigh less.

You can buy any extra items you may need when you are over there, and bring them home in carrier bags – but keep the receipts to prove they were purchased in abroad.

The result is a suitcase-free trip that will be amazingly hassle-free - in theory anyway, although it will not suit everyone.

 

BUT WHAT DO I PACK IN MY SUITCASE IF I GO THE WHOLE HOG?

 

Good question.  Let’s try to get this down to a fine art (impossible?).  Below is a general list giving approximate clothing items you need to take with you.  Notice it is not the figure you normally play with – you know, that mass of stuff you never really wear but take anyway?  Forget it – it’s just more dead weight that will not add anything to your holiday or vacation. Be brave and be decisive – ruthless – and you will be amazed at how right this ethos is.

First things first…

  • Wear a dress or long trousers to travel in and for evening wear, proper shoes or stout smart sandals with good soles and shirts in a darker colour to hide any stains you may acquire during those long journeys (think about air turbulence – but don’t panic!).  Also, linen or cotton is more comfortable than man-made stuff.

Packing List (for either gender)

  • Socks x 2 pairs
  • Stockings x 2 pairs
  • Sandals or trainers (decide what you want to wear – no one else will be bothered) Make sure they are comfortable and safe for rougher terrain.  If you are hiking you must bring your hiking boots or shoes.
  • Beach and swimming shoes for where sea urchins are an issue.
  • Snorkel equipment if you are an enthusiast.
  • At least 3 pairs of knickers or pants (you can  easily wash them in the sink using a little liquid antibacterial hand-wash and dry them in the sunshine very quickly)
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • 4 T Shirts
  • 3 Short sleeved shirts (linen or cotton)
  • One long sleeve shirt or blouse or light dress.
  • No more than three summer dresses or ensembles.
  • A light jacket for when the evenings get a chill on.
  • A sun hat – any kind but don’t even try to weather the mid-day sun in a hot climate.  It could bring you down with sun stroke – which can be very serious.
  • A small telescopic black umbrella for when you have had enough of the sun exposure and need to stop your head from frying.  Actually, don’t laugh; it’s perfect for shutting out the power of the sun during those lengthy excursions.
  • Suntan lotion and other toiletry items
  • Medicines, etc.
  • Small hand towel
  • Glasses and sunglasses.

 

 

LOST LUGGAGE

 

As stated by the British Airports Authority, for example, individual airlines have responsibility for the management and security of your bags.

If your baggage does go missing in transit it is important you report your luggage lost immediately to the airport's lost baggage desk (or at your returning destination) at the airport.

    * You must report your lost luggage to the Lost Baggage desk at the airport.

You will need to give a description of your cases as best as you can. You'll then be given a reference number so that you can track the progress of your lost luggage either on-line or by phone.

Your airline might request you list the contents of your lost luggage and also that you provide the original receipts for these items. The airline then acts like an insurance company, and like insurers their offer for compensation is unlikely to match your claim in full.

Or it could be that your airlines does not actually declare your bags lost until they have been missing for a certain amount of time. British Airways for instance officially declares baggage as lost if it has not turned up after 21 days.

You then may be entitled to compensation from your airline. Many airlines state that they are limited by the Montreal Convention to paying customers around £800 per person in compensation for lost luggage.

Many airlines will ask passengers to claim for their lost luggage on their travel insurance however, do note that many insurers do not cover valuables in luggage stowed in the hold of the aircraft.

If your insurance company does cover you for lost luggage it is likely that

they will make a money reclaim from the airline's insurance anyway.

Connecting Flights

Often, if your trip involves several connecting flights between different airlines you may be able to check in your luggage just once for the entire journey.

If you inter-connecting flights and you are only required to check your luggage in once and it is then lost you can claim against any of the airlines that carried it. However, most airlines try to blame each other and refuse to handle the claim. If this happens they are in breach of the Montreal Convention.

Limited Release Tags

When you check in certain types of luggage - prams and buggies, musical instruments or sporting equipment (surfboards) - some airlines attach a Limited Release Tag (LRT).

Do note that this LRT is intended to remove the airline’s liability if the item is damaged and you could find that the airline refuses your claim. However, if your airline accepts your item at check-in and your item is actually checked in luggage it must accept liability for it as set out in the Montreal Convention.              

Heathrow Passenger's Delayed Luggage ...

As set by the Montreal Convention, passenger's luggage is officially consider 'delayed' for a period of 21 days after it is reported as missing.   

For delayed luggage some airlines offer customers immediate one-off payments at a set amount to cover any emergency purchases such as toiletries and underwear.

Some will pay this set amount on a per day basis up to a maximum number of days. Others will not make any cash payments at the time, preferring to reimburse essential items upon seeing receipts.

However the general principle is to cover essential costs resulting from the delay to delivery of the baggage.    

Should your luggage be missing for longer than 21 days then they are deemed as lost and you can then proceed immediately to make arrangements with your airline or travel insurance company to claim compensation.

                          

Damaged Baggage...

When airlines assess claims for damaged luggage most airlines make a payment based on the value of the damaged bag and it's contents.

Some ask for original receipts for the contents, then many apply a scale of depreciation to any payment offered.

If it is just the suitcase that is damaged a new one from their store cupboard can be offered.          

Lost, Stolen & Damaged Luggage ...           

Do bear in mind, when packing your bags with expensive goods that it can be difficult to get compensation from an airline, as they say it's difficult to prove that the goods were actually there.

So it can be worth not using your very high value luggage, especially if you are on many flights, and also not to put extreme valuables in your luggage.

Many airlines will have a clause in their T&Cs stating that they don't accept responsibility for perishable or valuable items (like camcorders, cameras, documents, mobile phones and jewellery.

If for some reason you have included in your luggage things that were listed as “items unacceptable as baggage” in the airline’s conditions of carriage you won't be able to claim against the airline.             

Preventing Lost Luggage...   

There is always a risk that your luggage might be lost or stolen or delayed. However, there are a few things that you can do to help:

    * List what you have packed so if the bags are lost you can use it as an inventory.

    * It's worth putting your name and address or contact details on a piece of paper inside each piece of luggage in case the label on the outside of your bag falls off.

    * You might want to use Flymycase which will transport your luggage anywhere in the world for a small charge.

    * As much as you can keep (at home) your receipts for the items in your bags.

    * Pack jewellery, cameras etc in your hand luggage not in your main luggage as airline's can consider these 'unacceptable baggage items' so you won't be able to claim compensation from the airline for these items if they were stowed in the aircraft hold.

    * Take out travel insurance before your trip so you can make sure your luggage is covered. Read our Travel Insurance Page for more information and advice.

    * Purchase brightly coloured and distinctive luggage that can help prevent other passengers from mistaking your bags as theirs and will also deter thieves!

 

 

BON VOYAGE!

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