How and what to pack when traveling abroad by air

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Taking a trip abroad is not just about the ability to afford but knowing what to pack can really make your trip a pleasant one and free from troubles. Taking the right items can actually save you money. First-time travelers get confused as to what to pack, how to pack and if anything is prohibited at all. puts together how and what travelers should pack when traveling by air.

Baggage Allowance

The first thing to consider when packing is to know the baggage allowance your ticket provides. Most economy class tickets on international flights give passengers 2 pieces each of 23kg bags. This may change according to the price of your ticket. It is always advisable to confirm from your travel agent how many bags, weight and sizes that come with your ticket.

You will be forced to pay extra fees if you carry more than the allowed weight or size. Most passengers who find themselves in such situation are forced to throw away their valuables. Weigh your luggage at home or be at the airport too early to check in order to have enough time to decide on what to do with excess.

You are also permitted to carry a hand luggage on the plane. Almost all airlines allow one cabin bag plus one personal item (mostly laptop). Confirm the allowed weight. Air France allows 12-18kg combined weight depending on ticket type.

Check the weather

Knowing the current weather of the country visiting will help you know what to pack. If you don’t put this into consideration, you may end up packing jackets while it’s summer. You will be forced to buy additional wears on arrival to be able to cope with the weather condition. You may want to take sunglasses to stand Dubai’s sunshine.

Wears for specific activities

Think through your trip and see if you intend taking specific activities like sports; scuba-diving, skating, swimming and others. Getting them before your trip would be more cheaper than buying them on your trip. These could also be items that you already have at home.

Electronic gadgets

Some electronic gadgets are not allowed on board. Some flights limit the number of phone batteries each passenger is allowed to carry. If you intend traveling with more electronic gadgets, check with your airline well enough in advance to know what you can put in your carry-on bag and what you are allowed in checked luggage.

Travelers returning from China are forced to throw their phone batteries away if they carry more than the permitted number per passenger.

Some airlines allow only one Power Bank per passenger.


Only a maximum of 100ml is allowed in carry-on bag. All others must go into the checked luggage. If you are not sure how much 100ml is, just put everything liquid in your checked luggage. You will have to throw them away if you carry them in your hand luggage.

Travel documents

Some passengers have reached airports without passports so it’s important that you are reminded of your travel documents. Pack your passports, tickets and other documents needed for your trip.

Take note of country-specific documents. Countries like Kenya, India and South Africa require that you hold a Yellow Fever Vaccination Card while others may require you to carry a letter of invitation, hotel reservation or even your bank statements. Check with the embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure you carry all necessary documents.

Re-check carry-on bag

Note that your checked luggage can’t be accessed until the end of your journey. If there’s anything you intend using on the plane or at your transit point, make sure you put them in your carry-on bag. If there’s any document that you may have to show immigration officers or other authorities at the point of entry, carry them in your hand luggage. It can be cold on the plane at times and people who cannot stand cold conditions  can also take along wears in their hand luggage to fight it.

Items not allowed in Hand Luggage

These items are not allowed to take on the airplane. If they are permitted at all, pack them in your checked luggage. Contact your airline if you intend traveling with any of the prohibited items on the airplane.

  • Explosives
  • Sharp Objects
  • Firearms
  • Self-Defense & Martial Arts Items
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Tools
  • Liquid (as mentioned above)

If you are departing from the Kotoka International Airport, know that Internet and printing services are not available. You have to make sure you have your tickets and hotel reservations printed before coming to the Airport. Click here to read what to note when using the Kotoka International Airport.


TIP: Never put your money in your checked luggage. That money is likely to be stolen even before the luggage gets on the plane. Always put your money in your hand luggage and make sure the amount of money conforms to customs regulations both home and abroad. Where necessary, make sure you declare at customs.

Credit: jetsanza

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