Home and abroad, Africans love to travel with so many bags regardless of trip duration. I guess because most Africans travel to visit family and friends than as tourists. So there is a constant need to travel abroad with local items. It’s a habit not soon to change, pretty much hooked on the communal lifestyle common with Africans.
In the past, most international flights from Nigeria all had 2pc baggage policy (2 checked bags weighing 23kg each plus hand luggage) that was the maximum for economy cabin. However in recent times, there has been changes, for instance Virgin Atlantic introduced 0-1 checked bag option with difference in ticket cost. Well, several other international airlines have followed on this path, more reason I am eager to share some tips with the average traveler.
Are you that traveler who likes to carry many luggage? this article will answer some of your questions.
1. What is the 0-1 bag policy all about?
Well this policy has been in place within Europe and North America, the aim is to provide travelers the option to travel for less without bags or travel for more with bags. Quiet common with airlines who operate on short haul routes within same continent or inter-continent. Its very attractive to business travelers and those who travel light. However, its now fast becoming a policy rapidly introduced by international airlines on long routes operating from Nigeria.
2. Is the 0-1 bag worth the cost?
Yes, but it varies with airlines, lets take an instance, Virgin Atlantic from Lagos to New York may cost USD1567 with 0 bags, while 2 bags on same route may cost USD1661, that’s a savings of USD94. However, this might make sense if you are travelling for business, because what its really needed for such trips maybe just a hand luggage for few items. Definitely not for travelers from Nigeria visiting families abroad if I must say.
Among countries in Africa, I think Nigerians travel more with luggage, always a sight to behold at the airport
3. What can my Travel agent do for me?
Travel is evolving fast, the average traveler is more informed than never before with smart phone technology. Therefore, its the responsibilities of travel agents to give several options with details to travelers, otherwise ask for it. I have noticed that some international airlines provide options to depart with 1 bag and arrive with 2 bag or likewise. Think through and go with whichever is convenient and cost-effective.
4. How can I modify my excess luggage habit?
Yes, you can, they say “habits are difficult to break” but its possible to either break or modify. Most of the items we carry from Nigeria or other countries in Africa, may not really be necessary, bear in mind the availability of same items in Africa stores abroad. Also, for some of these items, the cost difference might not be significant when compared to cost back home. All you may really need is to carry what is necessary for families, which keeps you within baggage limit.
A lot of Africa products are available abroad, unfortunately foreign exchange rate influences action.