Resources - Travel Tips



Most airlines impose a checked-in baggage allowance of 20kg-30kg for economy, 30kg-40kg for Business class and 40kg-60kg for First.

These rules are now governed by IATA Resolution 302, and airlines can and do offer travel industry members, traders, premium economy seat holders, higher tier frequent flyers, migrant workers, package-holidaymakers and long-term students extra allowances in all classes (hence the range given).

In the US however, many airlines have a zero baggage policy for domestic flights, which means that these have to be paid on checkin.

Checked-in Luggage

The normal weight of a single piece of unaccompanied baggage (luggage in the hold) of 23kg and dimensions should be less than 158cm (62 inches) in total (length+width+height). Certain airports will not handle bags even in transit, weighing over 32kg, so this is the upper limit given by airlines even for preferred customers. Oversize baggage may be sent as unaccompanied cargo separately paying a (usually high) premium. To the United States and Canada, the allowance states "two pieces" (32kg each for major North American carriers, and 23kg for British/Asian/Middle Eastern carriers). For practical considerations, it is recommended that the aggregate weight per person be less than 50kg. The First Class allowance is "three pieces" (as above).  You have to re-check in your baggage at your first point of entry, in countries like Australia, the United States, Canada and Russia.

Hand Luggage

The weight limitations for accompanied / hand luggage / cabin baggage is a total of 7kg. Dimensions (length+width+height) should not exceed 115cm (45 inches) including protrusions. This is subject to it fitting into, and the passenger being able to lift it with assistance into, the overhead locker.

All airline members of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) have agreed that the following may also be carried over and above your entitlement of cabin baggage.

  • A lady's handbag
  • An overcoat
  • An umbrella or walking stick
  • A laptop or notebook computer
  • A small camera
  • A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight
  • Infant's food for consumption in flight and infant's carrying basket
  • A fully collapsible wheelchair and/or a pair of crutches and/or other prosthetic devices for the passenger's use, provided the passenger is dependent upon them
  • Infant's stroller provided a young person under 24 months of age is travelling

    Security Procedures for Hand Luggage

    There are quantity limitations for liquids, aerosols and gels taken on board with you, to almost any country. These are the Guidelines.

    Since 09 July 2014, devices taken on board the aircraft with you for flights both to and from the United Kingdom and the United States, should be enabled and charged. If they do not "power up" on demand, they may have to be abandoned as per the new regulations. This applies to anything "with a battery", including mobile/smartphones, tablet devices & Ipads, MP3 players, electrical shavers, hair-straighteners, travel irons and cameras.


    Recommendations - please read carefully

    • Please do travel light!
    • Do not carry your wallet in your rear hip pocket at your destination
      (some countries are tourist-secure, but it's better to be safe, than sorry).
    • Please remember to check your room safe on departure
    • You do not need to carry your passport around at your destination. However, keep it secure and always with you. Ensure that you do not keep it in the room safe.
    • You will not require your NID, local membership cards and any other identification only in Sri Lankan languages. Don't carry them with you
    • Do use good quality bags with two or more wheels and a good combination lock which is not damaged easily
    • Don't wear your belt and shoes or carry a lot of coins in your wallet if your itinerary involves a transit in Dubai. You will be inconvenienced at the gate before boarding. Keep these alarm-triggering items inside your cabin baggage
    • Do not place jewellery and valuables in your check-in baggage
    • Do remove old baggage tags and stickers, so as to not cause confusion
    • Do retain your baggage tag (usually pasted on the rear of your ticket) and boarding pass on hand, as you may be checked when retrieving bags
    • Do avoid overpacking, and pack fragile items securely and mark your baggage clearly with your name, address and contact details
    • Do adhere to the restrictions of the airline regarding liquor, inflammable, sharp, dangerous, poisonous, corrosive and oxidising materials in the cabin and in your checkin baggage. These should appear on your ticket
    • Do buy at your destination(s) if you can't fit everything in
    • Don't carry more than 2 suitcases with roll carriages per person

      Road Warrior Checklist


      Ever forgot something that you really should have packed?
      Click the link above to download a list that may prove useful. 
      Please read our disclaimer.

      For Gents - leisure
    • Trousers, shirts, underwear, socks, one pair each formal & informal ("trainers"/"sneakers"/"sports shoes").  Omit formal if not required. One colour scheme advisable (i.e. matching colours: Blue/Black, Brown/Green). No more than two changes per day
    • Wallet (see above)
    • Slippers/Flip-Flops. For pool, beach or desert only
    • A Comb or hairbrush
    • Nail clipper for long trips
    • Passport (both passports if a dual citizen), Air ticket, embarkation card and a pen in your shirt pocket or in the travel agent docket inside a cabin baggage sidepocket
    • Train tickets and timetable, Hotel Vouchers and / or booking references, if applicable
    • Handkerchiefs same colour scheme
    • Leather/Heavy Jacket and sweaters (if applicable)
    • Toothbrush(es) & Toothpaste, razor with spare blades
    • Hardcopy of essential addresses, tourist advice and telephone numbers
    • Booking Nos. and/or reservation printouts for attractions/events and other Traveller's Passes, if purchased in advance
    • Roaming/Local Country SIM Smartphone or other mobile device with Wi-Fi connectivity
    • Camera with extra memory
    • Mobile charger or extra battery pack for your devices
    • Medication if required with its prescription if available, and a moisturiser for cold and dry climates. Note that the requirement for a prescription may change from country to country
    • In Summer: Sunscreen SPF 35 or better (protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays)
    • Travel Insurance, with the card for numbers to call
    • Neckties for formal occasions
    • A small, portable umbrella per person
    • A large compressed laundry bag for your used clothes on longer trips

    • Travel Money
    • Cash (destination currency). However, most currencies (except: USD, GBP, JPY, CHF, EUR) cannot be easily purchased in Sri Lanka.
    • Credit cards - Ensure that you have a VISA or MASTERCARD with the security settings turned on. American Express (AMEX) and Diner's Club are less widely accepted.
    • Chip and PIN problem
    • Your ATM or account-linked credit or debit card. e.g. PLUS | Cirrus
    • HSBC Advance & HSBC Premier customers may withdraw the local currency from any HSBC ATM anywhere in the world from their own account, and not the credit card account, without any additional charge (at the prevailing VISA/MASTER cross rate). This rate is typically lower than a transaction charged to your card.
    • Traveller's Cheques are no longer available in Sri Lanka, and you should encash any that you have as soon as possible.
    • If a visa requirements list requires you to have Traveller's Cheques (which are no longer issued!). There are now two alternatives.
      Travel Lite Card.
      Seylan VISA multi-currency Travel Card
      You can also give a letter from the bank which says that you will be issued your currency on receipt of your visa.
      Remember that a 1% commission is payable on top of the rate when you use a Travel Card, or purchase currency from most banks (except HSBC which quotes nett all-inclusive for currency).

      For Ladies - leisure (in addition to the above)
    • Your purse
    • Essential toiletries and a small makeup kit
    • Browse the web for the dress codes of your destination. In most places it's better to be more formally dressed (say, in a suit or jacket) than to be too casual. Conservativeness is also safer in the Middle East, where skirt lengths to the knee rather than bare legs are advisable
    • A formal pair of shoes with a small heel would do for an evening out as well as a hotel with a dress code. A second, flat and comfortable slip-on pair is ideal for casual/exercise or travelling

    For Ladies and Gents - Business

    Notebook computer (Laptop)/Tab/Smartphone/other "Device"
    Neckties or bows and Lounge/dinner suit or other formal wear, as appropriate for the destination
    Visiting cards and your business documents

    See Also
    Packing Tips from Tripadvisor
    Duty Free Allowances
    Exchange Control Regulations
    Emirates Baggage Allowance Calculator
    British Airways Cabin Baggage | Emirates Cabin Baggage | Singapore Airlines Cabin Baggage
    International Cabin Baggage Restrictions  |  Baggage Interlining
    Currency and Money
    Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees

    Back to Travel Tips

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