By Rhiannon Bamford-Purchon

I am no stranger to the wrath of budget airlines. My family and I stood in a tiny Santorini Airport getting charged $700aud for our 3 bags being over the weight limit. I know what you’re thinking, it’s obvious budget airlines are scammers, but when money’s tight who can resist $17 tickets?! This was a shop-aholics nightmare. However, believe it or not, budget airlines can be cheated. Have your cake and eat it too with these simple tips…

1. Go carry-on only: This is my secret weapon to avoiding lines, waiting for baggage and not spending extra money! I know this may seem difficult, but if you pack efficiently, this tip will be your best friend! Measure your bag before-hand and make sure it fits into the regulations by the airline as far as height and depth. Check the Airlines website for weight restrictions, and always make sure that your bag fully packed is lower than them. Often airlines won’t bother weighing your carry-on’s, but if they do and their over the weight limit you’ll have to check them in which can cost over $50AUD. Usually you’re allowed two pieces of carry-on luggage, so I like to bring a backpack for all my personal belongings as well.

2. Plan Outfits Before-hand: Plan every-outfit beforehand immaculately and take pictures of all of them. Try to create more unique outfits than days on the trip, using accessories and shoes to change them up. When you’re repeating pieces (and sometimes whole outfits), it’s hard to remember what you had planned and can end in impulse shopping. If you have a library of complete outfits ready to go, you avoid buying pieces you don’t want or need that just take up space. This is also a handy-way to see which pieces are unnecessary, that bright orange skirt that only matches two looks? Ditch it!

3. Make every piece versatile: Okay, so you might not have the most outrageous outfits, but who wants all of those crazy colours and patterns distracting from your bomb landscape shots anyway?! Think sleek and minimalist. Use pieces that can be worn a variety of different ways, and get creative on how to wear them. For example; a plain white tee that can be worn with jeans, a skirt, under a dress, tied up, tucked in, ect.

4. Go Heavy on the Accessories: It’s obvious, accessories are light. I will always bring a variety of hats, jewellery, scarves, socks and belts to change up my outfits when they get stale. This will be your best bet if you hate minimalist outfits, or you are a lover of colour. Accessories are also usually cheaper; so if you need to get some serious retail therapy out of your system, buying accessories won’t do too much damage to your suitcase weight.

5. Avoid winter: This is a biggie, if you can avoid it don’t go in the colder months! Coats, heavy jeans and boots are a recipe for disaster and super heavy baggage that you are guaranteed to get charged for! If you absolutely need to go in colder weather my advice is to wear your heaviest pieces on the plane with you.

6. Keep shoes to a minimum. I like to pack 2 pairs max. Flats and 1 pair of heels or boots that I will wear onto the plane. I like to keep them in neutral colours- a black and a nude. Boots, Heels and Sneakers take up way too much room in a suitcase and are hard to pack around. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane always. Flats and Sandals can be slid into a suitcase easily.

7. Go light and layer: If you’re going on holiday in a transition period, this tip is gold! Instead of packing one huge warm coat that will basically take up your entire suitcase (and you’ll get bored of real quick!) try packing a variety of lighter layers that can be worn together or separately. For example, a turtleneck that can be worn under a dress, on its own, under a t-shirt, layered with a vest over the top, with a light sweater and a jean jacket.

8. One pair of jeans: Trust me on this one, jeans are heavy and they take up room. They are an absolute essential because they don’t need to be washed after every-wear and are an amazing base for a ton of outfits, but more than one pair is a luxury. Instead try a light-weight pair of culottes, pants or tights.

9. Leave 1 Third of your Suitcase clear: This is really important, I know it’s difficult to leave this much room (especially if you’re only using carry-on), b I will almost always shop and leave no room for my purchases! If you know you are planning to buy, leave the space!

10. When All Else Fails, Thrift: If you really NEED new clothes, and you’re staying in places for longer periods of time, try thrifting. It’s cheap, and you can find some really great stuff. If your suitcase is way too full before your flight, you can always donate it back, it’s great for the environment and you haven’t wasted much money. This is especially great if you’re going somewhere cold and you don’t want to pack a coat! Thrifting one on your first day there and donating it back at the end of your trip is a great solution!