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7 tips for flight luggage in Southeast Asia

As part of your travel planning, you should also deal with the topic of packing. You can find some useful tips about hand luggage, packing your rucksack and fees here. (This post contains advertising for Zalando).

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At the latest, when the flight date is approaching inexorably closer, it is time to sit down on the packing list.

The most important points on it are the passport that is valid for at least six months at the time of travel, a credit card and - if necessary - the visa. You can get (almost) everything else on site if you have forgotten something. At least in the big cities and the tourist centers of Southeast Asia there are shops, supermarkets and shopping malls with a wide range of goods.

This should be mentioned to prevent you from falling asleep for the last few evenings before the trip from excitement for fear of forgetting something. At least that's how I felt before my first long-distance trip. When I was there, I found out that many worries were unfounded and that I was able to buy many things on-site without any problems.

I have summarized my experiences from more than 20 trips in my packing list for Southeast Asia.

7 tips for luggage and hand luggage in Southeast Asia

Here are my tips on luggage:

That's how I pack properly

Once you've piled everything you want to take with you on the floor, all you have to do is pack it up. Sounds so simple, but it isn't. At the latest, when the suitcase or rucksack can no longer be walked, there are only two options: Either leave things at home or pack more intelligently.

I was surprised myself how much space can be saved when packing with the right technology. The company Zalando has created a travel suitcase guide on its website. There you will find very useful explanatory videos for packing suitcases, rucksacks and hand luggage. After that, not only does it fit in more, the things don't arrive as wrinkled as they used to be.

Note import regulations!

Before you travel, you should briefly check whether the country in which your destination is located has special import regulations.

For example, taking certain drugs with you when changing trains in Dubai is a criminal offense if the substances contained are on the drug list there.

A Swiss man was arrested in Thailand for carrying an e-cigarette. These are banned in Thailand.

Your individual Southeast Asia dream trip

Would you like to have your trip organized by professionals? Whether beach vacation, cultural sights, nature experiences or honeymoon: With Fascination Southeast Asia you can book your very own dream trip. It is organized and carried out by local experts who have been active in Southeast Asia for many years and know the best destinations, accommodations and insider tips. The itinerary is designed on the basis of your wishes, expectations and ideas. Basically, (almost) anything is possible.

Interest? Check out some sample routes here.

Check in baggage

When booking your flight, be aware of how much baggage you can take with you so that you don't have to pay additional fees at check-in.

Airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa, Thai or Singapore Airlines generally allow luggage up to 30 kilos in the standard tariff.

Low-cost providers such as Eurowings only calculate the lowest price in the basic tariff with hand luggage. If you want to check in a suitcase or backpack (up to 23 kilos), a total of 50 euros more are due for the return flight.

Important: Registering baggage at the counter is always more expensive than booking it when purchasing the ticket.

Connecting flight in Southeast Asia

If you are doing a domestic flight immediately after your long-haul flight, there are a few things to consider:

  • Find out in advance whether the luggage will be booked through from the start to the destination. If not, you'll need to allow more time to change trains. When you continue your flight with the same airline, the baggage is almost always reloaded, but the same applies to many partner airlines.
  • Regardless of what you learned in advance: Ask at the counter again whether the baggage is really booked through to the destination and check whether the airport code of the final destination airport is on the baggage sticker.
  • If you did not book the connecting flight in a booking process with the long-haul flight, but only immediately afterwards or a few days / weeks later, then you have two different flight tickets. Make sure you pay attention to the baggage guidelines for the connecting flight. It may be that you are allowed to take 30 kilos with you on the Frankfurt - Bangkok route, but only 15 kilos are allowed on the onward flight Bangkok - Phuket.

Book flights: pay attention to hidden costs

Especially with the low-cost airlines in Southeast Asia, additional costs are lurking almost everywhere. The number that appears first on the screen and that is so incredibly low is usually just the base price. Luggage costs extra and you have to be careful not to accidentally book additional services.

This includes travel insurance, choosing your seat on the plane, or having a meal. Sometimes these additional services are automatically clicked on and you first have to uncheck the box to return to the original price. The selection of certain means of payment can also be associated with additional costs.

Here you will find tips on how to book cheap airline tickets.

Be careful when changing trains

Many of the low-cost airlines are point-to-point carriers, which means that every flight is treated as a completed trip. Even if you book a flight with a change on the airline's website, you will receive two tickets and have to pick up your luggage after the first flight and check it in again.

The best travel credit card for Southeast Asia

You can save a lot of money on your travels with the right credit card. Here you can find out which cards you can use to withdraw cash free of charge worldwide and pay in local currency at no additional cost. And who is currently the only provider who reimburses you for third-party fees at the machine, for example in Thailand or Vietnam.

Here is the credit card comparison

Hand luggage: note the different dimensions!

Most airlines in Southeast Asia allow you to take 7 kilograms of hand luggage with you. However, the luggage dimensions differ slightly. Here is an overview of the most popular airlines (dimensions in cm):

  • Nok Air (7 kg) 56x36x23
  • Air Asia (7 kg) 56x36x23 + an additional laptop or bag: 40x30x10 (total weight remains at 7 kg).
  • Bangkok Airways (5 kg) 56x36x23
  • Tiger Air (7 kg) 55x38x23 (there is a Cabin + tariff that allows up to 12 kg)
  • VietJet (7 kg) 56x36x23
  • Thai Lion Air (7 kg) 40x30x20
  • Cebu Air Pacific (7 kg) 56x36x23c (56x35x20 for ATR flights)

Note: The regulations can change at any time. Therefore, ALL without notice.

A final tip: Be sure to observe the regulations for hand luggage. What you are allowed to take with you may vary from country to country. You can find the relevant information on the websites of the airlines and airports.

And now have a good trip!

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Due to the corona crisis are almost all income broke away from fascination with Southeast Asia practically overnight. Nevertheless, we will continue to report updated daily about the situation on site, expand our content and update existing posts. So that this is still possible, we need your support. With a membership or a one-time donation, you help ensure that we can continue to create useful content for Southeast Asia travelers in the future. THANKS!

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Photos: Measure hand luggage and overhead bin plane from

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About the author

Stefan has been traveling to the countries of Southeast Asia since 2006 and often spends several months there. In 2013 he founded Fascination Southeast Asia and since then has also written several eBooks and books on the subject (including the insider travel guide “555 Tips for Bangkok”). Between his travels he lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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