Luggage Allowance and Packing Advice

Baggage Allowance

During the tour each customer is limited to one (1) piece of checked luggage. We regret that we are unable to make exceptions. Under extreme circumstances, such as goods purchased at destination, the customer may be allowed to check in a second piece subject to extra charge by the airlines and a handling charge by us at $25 per piece per city or port. Charge for excess weight will be decided solely by the airline at the time of check-in. According to the air carriers at destinations, your checked luggage must weigh no more than 20kg (44 lbs) to avoid excess weight surcharge. One carry-on weighing no more than 5kg is allowed by the carriers although it is not uncommon to see passengers exceeding that limit to be allowed onto the plane.

Our tours may include train travel. It’s crucial that you limit yourself to one suitcase and one carry-on bag with a combined weight of 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or less – this is one recommendation, not requirement by the railway companies. Your suitcase should have wheels and measure 25″ by 18″ by 10″ or smaller. The overhead luggage rack is not designed for bulky suitcases. Navigating train stations means lots of walking. If escalators are shut down for maintenance, you will be forced to walk up and down long flights of crowded stairs. In situations like this, passengers with too much luggage would find it challenging to keep up with the group. We should also keep in mind that luggage storage space on the train is very limited.

The customer must be able to lift and comfortably transport their own luggage short distances as porter service may not be available at all hotels, airports, train stations, cruise and ferry terminals. If you have difficulty lifting and carrying your luggage, it means you have packed too much.

Maximum Size of Checked Baggage

Maximum dimensions should not exceed 100 x 60 x 40 in centimeters (39.5 x 23.5 x 15.75 in inches). Baggage exceeding the weight and/or size limitations should be transported as freight.

Type of Suitcase

You’ll need a very sturdy suitcase with strong wheels to survive the rough handling by the airlines. You should also get a strap to wrap around the suitcase to prevent the content from spilling out in case of the suitcase being damaged.

Riding Escalators with Luggage

If you go on a tour involving train travel, chances are you’ll have to ride escalators with your luggage. Remember to always pull your luggage. Never ever place the luggage in front of you when riding escalators. To prevent sliding, you should consider bringing a suitcase with two wheels, not four.


We recommend that you bring a medium sized backpack that double as day pack. The fully packed carry-on if you use your backpack as carry-on should weigh no more than 5kg/11lbs.

Packing Advice

Over-packing is a common problem among inexperienced travellers. Frequent packing and unpacking can be stressful and time-consuming. The more you carry, the more likely you’ll lose something along the way. We advise our customers to travel light. Airlines are reducing checked bag allowance, making it necessary for passengers to pack light. Also, almost anything you forget can be replenished at destination, often for less.

What to Wear

Comfortable walking shoes and casual clothes that can be worn in layers are essential. T-shirts, golf shirts, shorts and jeans are fine – you won’t offend anybody. Convertible pants with side pockets are more desirable than jeans. You’ll find the pockets handy, especially at airports.

When we travel in Japan, it is better not to run around in shorts. At the very least, we should appear presentable before the local host and our fellow travellers. Instead of T-shirt or golf shirt, why not wear an easy-to-wash short-sleeve shirt that also comes with a pocket?

When visiting temples in Southeast Asia, you may be required to cover your shoulders and legs above the knees. If you don’t have the necessary clothing, don’t worry because our guide can always find a solution to help you out.

It’s better to bring clothing that can be worn in layers and easy to wash by hand. Underwear and socks should be easy to wash by hand and dry quickly. Short sleeve shirts with a pocket are better than T-shirts or golf shirts.

It may be advisable to bring a dress shirt and a pair of dress pants just in case. However, at no time during the tour would formal attire be required. Overcoat or heavy jacket is not necessary unless you travel in cold weather – contact us or check weather forecast for your destination(s) before packing.

Medicine, Travel Documents & Valuables

Please do not pack your passport, prescription medication, money and personal electronic devices in checked bag. Checked bags are not allowed to contain lithium battery (this requirement is not consistent across the airline industry). List of banned items can be found on the airlines’ websites.

Things You Should Not Bring

You do not need to bring your own hair dryer. If you have a smart phone, then you don’t need a flash light. If you have to pack an alarm clock, others may think you are still using telex machine to conduct business!

A Special Note on Air Travel in Southeast Asia

Due to lack of efficient rail and highway systems, we generally travel by air from city to city even for short distances – Bagan to Mandalay is a perfect example. Because the aircraft are small, standard-sized hard case carry-ons won’t fit into the tiny overhead bins. We strongly recommend that you bring a small or medium-sized backpack as carry-on.

packing advice for china travel