Packing up

What to take

Think about what you own and what you really need to take home with you. You will probably find that there are a lot of things that you won’t need or can easily replace once you get home. By reducing the amount of luggage you take home, you can save on the cost of excess baggage and shipping.

To reduce the amount of luggage you have, make sure you return borrowed items, sell things you don’t want to take with you, or arrange to have them passed on to new arrivals.

Decide what you want to take with you on the plane, and start thinking about shipping goods home far enough in advance for you to make the necessary arrangements. Check with your airline for specific regulations on the weight and size of suitcases and excess baggage through to your final destination. Be sure to ask about baggage regulations for your intermediate stops.

Alternatives

Look into some of the baggage and transport agents that are available. There are usually a few options such as sending your belongings by surface or by air, through the Post Office or with a baggage agent. Compare costs of sending things by post, by air freight, and by hiring a shipping company. Consider the length of time it will take for the parcels to arrive and any potential damage to equipment and books etc. Flyers for some popular baggage services are available from the LTI, or look in the telephone directory under ‘Baggage Agents’ and ‘Transport and Forwarding Agents’.

Also make sure to confirm regulations on the size, weight and content of boxes if you are sending your belongings home by sea mail.

Try to arrange for your baggage to arrive after you so that it does not need to be to be stored. Often airports will store your luggage for a short time free of charge (usually not more than 24 hours.) Ask your travel agent for more details on how long you can store your luggage at your destination.

Customs

Make sure that you are aware of what you can and cannot take out of Australia, and also what you are allowed to take into your home country, by visiting the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).

Also pay attention to airline restrictions on dangerous items such as flammable materials or aerosol canisters. If you are not sure about something that you want to take with you on the plane, contact your airline.

Some companies that can assist you with sending bulky or excess baggage back home: