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    Travel Light or Pay the Price

    In the last few days some of the major airlines and tour operators have announced some new 'green' measures designed to help us all reduce our carbon footprint when we fly. The new Emirates super-jumbo planes will be paperless - so no magazines, catalogues and other seat pocket paper that apparently adds up to an extra tonne of weight and wastes fuel. Hopefully they'll still provide those little bags for queasy travellers, or the on-board environment could start to suffer too.BA and Ryanair are reducing services to certain destinations this winter and now TUI Travel UK, which owns Thomson and First Choice holidays, has announced that new measures will be introduced soon to penalise passengers who take large suitcases on planes. According to a TUI spokesman quoted in the Times Online, a third of what's in most bags could be left at home. He added that one of the heaviest routes is the Maldives, 'where you don't need much more than a bikini'.I know we do generally tend to pack a little more than is needed, but that's just silly. Stuffing a swimsuit into your pocket and jetting off to a Caribbean island might be something James Bond would do, but most of us need to carry sufficient supplies to make sure we get maximum enjoyment from our fortnight in the sun. If I can't pack plenty of toiletries, teabags and half the stock from my local pharmacy, my holiday simply won't be as pleasant, and anyone with children knows you can barely leave the house without a bag full of stuff to cover all eventualities.The idea is that modest packers would reap the benefits of this new scheme. I'd guess that most of the money saved at the airport would be spent at the resort shop on sun lotion and other essential items you left at home in a bid to travel light. The same TUI spokesman also admitted that space in its holds is used to transport cargo such as tuna, so would you really be helping the eco-system by leaving that extra pair of shoes behind?TUI's plans will suit the seasoned traveller, with a capsule wardrobe, a cast-iron stomach and a good working knowledge of the country he or she is visiting. For most of us it will just be another way of charging higher prices for flying. The good news is you can still cram as much into the boot of your car as you like - with no restrictions on clothes, books, kettles or anything else us Brits need to make a temporary home from home.

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