Are you taking the mick when it comes to your holiday packing?
Ryanair thinks you might be. Chief financial officer Neil Sorohan has been berating passengers for abusing the airline’s newfound generosity when it comes to carry-on baggage, warning the company might change its policy if we don’t collectively clean up our acts.
In a bid to improve its image, Ryanair upped its carry-on allowance a couple of years back, to include a second item, like a small handbag or laptop bag. Sorohan says passengers have been quick to take advantage of Ryanair’s newly lax attitude. “We are victims of our own niceness,” he exclaimed.
Ryanair has been accused of many things over the years — excessive niceness has never been one of them. I suspect this is a pre-emptive PR strike before it cracks down on our carry-ons again, and we’ll doubtless be told to ‘stop whinging’ when that happens, we’ll have brought it on ourselves.
We all remember the days of the carry-on crackdown; the palpable waves of stress rippling up and down the boarding queue as people anxiously eyed up the luggage gauge, suddenly second-guessing their soft holdall; the one that just kept fitting extra jackets and spare pairs of trainers.
We remember women reduced to tears as they were told to squeeze their handbag into an already over-stuffed case; robotic attendants in branded sweatshirts patrolling the queue like reverse-Oprahs: You pay €50, and you pay €50, and you pay €50!
None of us wants a return to those dark days, so let’s acknowledge that with the right luggage and a bit of sensible packing, there’s no need to take the piss — especially if you’re travelling without kids.
We know in our hearts and souls that for a standard, short-haul couple’s week in the sun, 10kg of luggage each is ample.
We just need to shrug-off the ‘what ifs’ that lead us to overfill our cases, and accept that, in most European holiday destinations, a trip into the nearest town will proffer almost anything you suddenly find you need, from sun cream to a nice pair of earrings.
Fair enough, you might not pay Penneys prices for that spare pair of flip flops, but the question becomes: is it really worth paying soaring baggage charges to try to cater for every possible ‘what if’, or can we bring it back to basics and learn how to travel light without sacrificing on style?
I don’t for one moment believe that Olivia Palermo and her hubby Johannes Huebl travel light — if anything I’d imagine they give Liz Taylor and Richard Burton a run for their money, but I do love their couple style; I’m in awe of it.
She is the thinking woman’s fashion goals, and he is quite simply her perfect match — physically and sartorially. She might have genetically engineered him to be her walking, talking dress up doll.
Does he even talk? I don’t actually know; I had to Google his name five minutes ago, but the point is, they are on point, unfailingly, all the time, so if you’re the type of person who has #couplegoals, these should be those, and here they neatly illustrate rule one of travelling light: choose your travel garb carefully.
This is where you want to consider your ‘what ifs’, and instead of packing them, wear them! Comfort needn’t be a major concern on short-haul flights, so don’t travel in clothes that won’t see the light of day until your return journey.
Instead, pick a look made up of items that can pull double duty and maximise your holiday options.
For her, a light, long-sleeved shirt can be knotted and worn with shorts or a maxi skirt; canvas trainers or comfy flats will be perfect for little excursions; and an unlined, unstructured blazer is a great cover up for an evening chill.
For him, lightweight chinos or jeans can be worn at night; you can ace a sockless look in suede driving shoes; and a thin cotton shirt worn over a t-shirt and under a light jacket gives you several workable options to keep in the mix when you hit the heat.
Along with the obvious essentials — sunglasses, sun hat, beach bag, flip-flops or plastic slides for the pool, plus leather sandals or more comfortable walking shoes — a few well chosen extras should see you through a week of sunshine in style, from the airport to the beach to the bar.