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Traveling light: why countries are tightening baggage rules and what prompted them to take this step

Airports are used to seeing masses of people with huge suitcases and bags. However, the future may bring a change to this habit as more countries and airlines place restrictions on the size and type of luggage they carry due to the growing popularity of eco-friendly travel options, informs BBC Travel.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

In 2014, Venice pioneered an attempt to ban chariot suitcases. But despite the failure to implement the proposed restrictions, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik successfully implemented the idea in 2023. Now tourists are encouraged to leave their suitcases at home or in specially designated places.

Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, has long struggled with overcrowding, with locals creating videos reminding them of the rules of tourist conduct, and authorities cracking down on suitcases on wheels that destroy city streets.

Pippa Ganderton, an expert on sustainable travel, notes that tourists tend to overfill their suitcases because they’ve already paid for the weight. But this leads to higher air emissions during flight and damages roads at destinations. She believes that in the future, airlines should tighten the rules for hand luggage to prevent tourists from overloading luggage.


The winter resorts of France, Switzerland, and Austria encourage skiers to leave their equipment at home and rent everything they need on-site. This includes not only skis but also other things – from glasses to winter jackets. At the same time, tourists are encouraged to abandon planes and use trains.


Japan Airlines has introduced a program that allows travelers to rent clothes in advance for the duration of their trip, eliminating the need to bring their belongings with them. The rented clothes will be waiting for them at the hotel.

Project Any Wear, Anywhere? launched in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka and will be valid until the end of August. It is designed for travelers coming to Japan to minimize luggage. However, some experts believe that such initiatives are not enough and tough regulations are needed, including compensation for air emissions.

East Africa

The national parks of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are known for their wildlife safaris. However, when traveling to these places, it is important to remember that small planes that should be flown to the parks limit the weight of luggage.

Cathy Boate, CEO of Cartology Travel, says: “Small planes have strict weight limits, and many regions have planes that can’t carry hard cases—they simply won’t fit in the compartment. During a safari, you don’t need many things. High-quality cottages provide hygiene products, towels, sunscreen, and insect repellent, reducing the need to bring things from home.” In addition, a safari is a time for enjoying nature, not dressing up.

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