Holiday Truths Forum

General Holiday Enquiries, Hints and Tips

General Holiday Enquiries? Got General Hints & Tips? Post Them Here.

General Holiday Enquiries, Hints and Tips

Hi :)
We're planning a trip to Cuba with Thomas Cook who only allow 15kg allowance :que and we were thinking of ways to cut down total weight of our cases.

Would it be advisable to put off buying sun creme and shampoo until we get past security at the airport? I think I've read somewhere that some airlines now weigh handluggage as you get on the plane!

Does anyone have any other tips for minimising weight? I always bring too much suncream, how much should we be bringing for 2 weeks?
Hi dramaqueen :wave:
I have never heard of airlines weighing hand luggage before you get on the plane, some weigh hand luggage at check-in, but have never had mine weighed at check-in so far. Probably some have theirs weighed because they are struggling and check-in staff see this.

Boots air side normally have offers as they do in their town stores such as BOGOF its a great way to buy once you are through security and helps on weight in hold luggage. For 2 weeks holiday I usually take 2 bottles of sunscreen each, that seems to be enough.

Angie. :tup
Hi Dramaqueen. We have the same problem as you. My sis is a manageress at a Boots store in the Midlands. Apparently the stores in Wales are in a lower price band than in England. We are going to the Dom Rep in August from Gatwick, & have already decided that we will buy all our toiletries & suncreams in the airport & pack them in hand luggage. They weigh a ton & we always have room in our hand luggage.

Most airlines will check on the size of hand luggage at check-in. If it looks visually too big, bulky or you look like you're struggling to lift it, they'll weight it to check complience. Thomas Cook are one such airline, they are quite strict on luggage. I've had my hand luggage weighted at check-in a couple of times, but that's only because I had quite a lot of camera equipment with me. In general though, charter airlines are less strict on hand luggage than the low cost scheduled carriers. Airlines like Ryanair have a very strict hand luggage policy and will check in some cases the weight of hand luggage after check-in, if needed. It's not that common with charter airlines though as they tend to do it at check-in. You might want to refer to the '15K Luggage-is it possible??!!' thread for some hints and tips.

I can't add anything about the weight issue but i would suggest that 2 bottles of cream each for 2 weeks is not enough if you're going to be in the sun most days. I will use about 5 or 6 in a 2 week hol. (yes, that's just for me, OH takes about 6 too!)
The amount that you should apply each time is larger than people think, apply liberally and reapply regularly :sun2
Excellent answers! Thanks everyone! We've decided on buying sunscreen at the airport unless we decide that we are under the weight limit :rofl

On the same topic, for shampoo, I'd recommend Lush solid shampoo bars they are about the same size as a bar of soap, last ages and they work on all hair types! I'll be taking a few of these with me!

Happy Holidays :cheers
I@m one of Helen T's party and as she said we're ging to get as much of our suncreams and toiletries at the airport because 15kg for 2 weeks doesn't sound like much. Those lush bars look good. Do they only sell them on their website. I find £3.95 delivery charge quite a lot when I only want to buy one bar costing under a fiver.
I bet for a fiver most resorts you travel to will have british brands of shampoo!!!
Just wanted to add about the lush shampoo bars! I use these for every day use (plus you can use them to wash your clothes while at the resort!) I have very stubborn hair (hip length, thick and curly) and I'd reccommend it to anyone!

Lush have stores all over the UK!
I bought my suncream at Boots in Gatwick last year and my aftersun. They had all the soltan stuff you normally get and it didn't seem anymore expensive. I really weighs a lot and I normally take at least 4 x 200 bottles sunscreen and a large aftersun, so this worked brilliantly for us.

I dont like buying it abroad as you are not sure of the conditions its kept in, and how old it is. If it isn't kept cool the SPF is less effective. I am sure Boots have Trading Standards in this country crawling all over them to ensure stuff is stored correctly, unlike elsewhere. Turnover in Boots at airports will be huge.

Probably not as cheap as in Wales though if they get a cheaper price bracket than the rest of the country.
Thanks for all your advice. I think I'll probably pack one large suncream and buy the rest at the airport. I've ordered a lush shampoo bar each for me and Helen so we'll share the delivery charge. I don't know why I'm fussing now as we're not going until August :D We're off to Beni in 5 weeks but shouldn't have any probs there, as our allowance is 20kgs and we're only going for a week.
dramaqueen wrote:
We've decided on buying sunscreen at the airport
Just keep your fingers crossed Boots has plenty of stock! I have often thought of doing this but worry about what I would do if they had sold out of everything!
They tend to have more sunscreen than any other product....even the smaller airside Boots have tons of the stuff :tup
I bet for a fiver most resorts you travel to will have british brands of shampoo!!!

I'll take you up on that bet as far as Cuba is concerned which is where Dramaqueen is going to - could be the easiest fiver I've ever made! I've never seen anything I remotely recognise in the way of toiletry brands out there - even in the hard currency shops or pharmacies or in the tourist shops in the hotels. And what is available is usually of poor quality and relatively expensive for what it is. I always leave whatever I have left for my hosts and they are always really grateful. In addition to making sure you take your own favourite brands (and stocking up at the airside Boots is a really good idea if your check-in allowance in on the low side) do also take your own tampons/sanitary towels with you if there's even the remotest chance you'll need them. Tampons are non-existent in my experience and friends found the local towels to be very inferior to what is available here.

To be honest, it's best to take anything you can't live without with you to Cuba. The only things that are of equivalent or higher quality and cheaper then here are the cigars and rum :D Even though they grow coffee, the quality of what is available locally is usually awful - all the best stuff goes to the export market! Nobody goes to Cuba for the shopping!

Hey, My bet was 'most resorts'
I was posting for all our other members and not about Cuba! :) So to take me up on the bet you've got to include most resorts and not just Cuba! :D
I'm prepared to pay £5 for the solid shampoo as it's supposed to last tons longer than an ordinary bottle. I wouldn't spend that much on a normal bottle of shampoo.
cough up what? i didn't say what the bet was for! I could have been betting my toe nail clippings! :tup
As far as sunscreen goes, use a once a day formula! Saves loads of space. I use this one and it's fantastic - sinks in immediately and you only put it on in the morning. xxx

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