It is never easy to think of what to pack before you set off on your holiday. And some might say it’s even more difficult when you’re planning a trip that will take you to the end of the world! Well, the reality is that Argentina is not the end of the world but it is very far away. That is why most of our travelers do not usually come to Argentina for less than 12 or 15 days, during which they will traverse the country from north to south. As travel experts, this is great for us because we know we can organize a trip in such a way that our clients get the best experience possible. But we always reach a point where, to our dismay, because of the weight restrictions on internal Aerolíneas Argentinas flights, we can not help but disappoint them. Then they throw us the damning question: And how am I going to go from hot to cold with ONLY 15 KG in my suitcase ?! And we, who are already used to all of this, say that although in Argentina not everything always works as it should, with a bit of teamwork, we always find a solution for everything :).
The terror of 15kg
It is true that 15 kg isn’t much, but we can get around it by thinking about what we are going to do in each destination and choosing accordingly. Of course, the sooner we know what destinations you have in mind, the better. So, let’s talk about the restrictions that Aerolíneas Argentinas imposes on the internal flights necessary for your trip. For Economy (Tourist) classes, the maximum allowance for checked luggage (whose dimensions should not exceed 158 cm) is 15 kg, and hand luggage has an allowance of 8 kg (no more than 115 cm). Obviously passengers traveling in Club Economy will be entitled to more, and in this case the hand luggage can be 10 kg and the checked baggage allowance is 2 bags weighing 23kg each. Something important to know: children between 2 and 12 years have the same baggage allowance as adults, while children under 2 years fly for free but they do not have the right to occupy a seat or carry baggage (they can only carry one stroller which must be placed folded in the cabin if there is space). If you are traveling with small children, we recommend visiting the Aerolineas Argentinas website for more information: www.aerolineas.com.ar.
So what happens if your luggage exceeds these allowances? Aerolineas Argentinas has established fixed pay rates according to each particular case (there are special discounts if paid in advance online up to 6 hours before departure) and the type of excesses, although they are all cumulative! That is, if a bag exceeds the weight restrictions and volume, a penalty must be paid for both. To get a general idea: the excess weight on a flight originating in Argentina costs $650 pesos, while online and in advance the cost is $455. Of course, it’s better not to find yourself in this situation. So to avoid this, here are some tips that we, and others who have traveled with us, have learned while exploring Argentina.
An old trick
Sometimes it happens that some of our more independent travelers book their accommodation in Buenos Aires by themselves. With the number of online booking platforms, this is becoming more common and we have all done it once. But what we need to keep in mind when we plan a trip to a country as big as Argentina, is that, if we want to take advantage of the time and see everything we can, we will have to fly to each destination, and that means traveling light if we do not want to pay for excess baggage every time we set foot in the airport. Although it would be great if there was a clause that said “pay 3 excesses at the price of 2” or “promotional package of airport penalties for your trip of 15 days in Argentina”, unfortunately, there is not, even though we’ve looked for it! For now, while we wait for the air God to do his justice, we try to find other solutions.
If you are planning to visit several places in Argentina (such as Iguazu Falls, El Calafate or Ushuaia in Patagonia), we recommend you start and end your trip in Buenos Aires, and depart and return to the same hotel. Although it seems like a banal fact, our experience and that of our travelers has taught us that it is not. Many of them arrive in Buenos Aires, where they are received by someone from our team and transferred to their hotel in the capital, where they usually leave after a few days to the other planned destinations. The advantage is that, when they have enough time to prepare, these travelers can leave the excess baggage – if any – at the hotel at the beginning of the trip. It is a service that most hotels offer in Argentina to all guests who have booked a stay with two check-ins.
The second part of this master plan is also to foresee something before embarking on a trip: two small backpacks or suitcases, stowaways that will travel incognito in large suitcases and end up saving us a lot of hassle :). Something that may be useful to bring is a portable weight meter. It was first shown to me by some American passengers and I found it very useful, because of the small size and because sometimes it is not easy to find scales everywhere. And sometimes we have to wait until we get to the airport to ask some of the guys who wrap the bags with that “anti-theft” plastic to weigh it, to be sure that today we will not pay!
This is our traveler weight meter, thanks Joann! 🙂
One country, thousands of climates!
“But how do I pack my bags if I’m going to be going from cold to hot?” This is one of the most frequent questions our travelers ask us. Argentina is a very large country and if we are lucky enough to see all of it, we will have to deal with the changes in climate (especially now that temperatures globally are unpredictable).
There are 4 main types of climate in Argentina:
– The warm / subtropical in the Iguazu Falls region where it is usually hot all year round with a lot of rain. In the northern part, especially in Salta and in the sierras, the climate is similar to that of Iguazu, but it also affected by periods of drought.
– the temperate climate prevails in the region of Buenos Aires (where it often rains too), and some areas of La Pampa and the province of Córdoba.
– the median temperature can be found mainly in the province of Mendoza. It extends to the south of the province where the Cordillera begins and that is where the Patagonian arid cold originates.
– cold extends along the entire Patagonian Andean chain, where there is usually also rainfall from north to south. In different sectors of Patagonia, the climate can be more arid and windy, with very low temperatures and heavy snow. In Tierra del Fuego, the climate is a little more humid but always cold.
You can visit this site (https://es.climate-data.org/) to find some tables with the average temperatures of some of the most visited cities in Argentina.
Our top tips to adapt to the different climates are:
– Dress in layers to adapt to the climatic variation.
– Wear light fast drying clothes (ideally Gore-Tex).
– Wear a coat that is light but warm, like the ultra-light ones made of synthetic feathers that easily roll-up and that have becomes fashionable lately (originally they are made by the Japanese brand Uniqlo).
– Shoes: very important! Forget about high heels and choose flat shoes, and remember to bring trekking shoes or boots (the high ones that avoid ankle sprains), which you will definitely use if you are planning on hiking.
-And last but not least, these elements: hat, sunscreen and lip blam, sunglasses (to protect from the reflections of both water and ice), flip flops to rest your feet after walking, mosquito repellent (especially for the Iguazú area).
Here we have Hector, a friend of the agency, who will illustrate our advice on what clothes to take on your trip to Argentina:
Image courtesy of www.australis.com
As you will see, it is not necessary to bring everything, but just what is needed, once we know where we are going. If you want to add more interesting destinations to your trip, read our last posts: