The pandemic years presented a great number of challenges to the entire hotel industry, but also provided time for greater reflection, innovation and change. Brilliant and less-brilliant ideas have been floated, and many have become an important part of Nordic Choice Hotels. Along those lines, we have now decided to become the first hotel chain in the world to introduce luggage restrictions for our guests in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Luggage weighing at check in

Every single step we can take towards reducing our climate footprint and environmental impact makes a difference. As part of our WeCare sustainability efforts, we have therefore decided to introduce luggage restrictions for our guests. Research shows that guests tend to pack far more than is necessary during their stay, including extra clothing and toiletries. We hope that our luggage restrictions will encourage guests to consider what they actually need during their stay - perhaps that extra pair of shoes or additional jackets can be left at home?

People are certainly very careful about what they pack when it comes to air travel! Are you one of those people who has mastered the art of packing all your toiletries into a little plastic bag? Smart packing has become somewhat of a norm within air travel, so we hope that the transition to luggage restrictions here at our hotels will be smooth.

How it works

So, how does this work in practice? The luggage allowance will depend on which room category you book. In standard rooms, guests are permitted to bring one item of hand luggage and a small bag that should fit into the shelf under your bedside table. In our superior rooms, you are also permitted to bring a suitcase or a large bag. Below you’ll find a list of exactly what is permitted for the respective room category. Need to bring more luggage? No problem! You can either upgrade to another category or pay a luggage surcharge of 150 SEK/NOK per bag.

Check in, bagsThis guest had booked a standard room and had to pay an additional fee as she had not adhered to the luggage policy…

The room rates published on our website will also be adjusted to clearly show what is included. Families, for example, will be able to purchase a family luggage package for a slightly better price. However, it may be a good idea to encourage children to leave their cuddly toys at home to limit excess baggage.

From now on, hotels will be equipped with special racks to measure the size of your luggage, much like those you see at airports. There will also be luggage weighing scales by our hotel receptions. There are even future plans to design hotel key cards with alarms to help our staff identify “luggage fraud” more easily.

BagagevågIt’s important to follow the rules, so the reception staff have undergone training on how to operate luggage weighing scales.

Mäta bagageSometimes it’s a matter of centimeters, or even millimeters, and in such cases we can make use of a good old tape measure!

Sustainable and minimalist lifestyle

Harald Bjugstad-Holm, Sustainability Manager at Nordic Choice Hotels, tells us more about our latest initiative: “We like to think of ourselves as rebels within the industry. The idea is simply part of our philosophy to act in an environmentally responsible manner as an actor within the hotel industry. We also want to encourage our guests to be sustainable when they are not staying with us. We know that people tend to pack more than they actually need. I myself always have to remind my wife not to go overboard on the packing... It’s better for the environment and better for my back, as I don’t have to lug lots of stuff around.”

We want to lead by example, and pave the way for a more minimalist lifestyle. If we can get our guests, or at least some of them, to consume less, this in turn leads to less waste. The production of suitcases and bags requires a great deal of textiles, rubber and plastic, resulting in a lot of emissions. We believe that this initiative will revolutionise our industry, and we hope to see many more hotel chains or independent hotels following our lead. If this can contribute to the overall decline of luggage production, then it can be regarded as a very successful sustainability project.”

Packing of travel bag_16_9We love smart and well-planned packing.

Future ideas

Harald continues: “A luggage policy for the hotel industry is a step in the right direction and it’s entirely in line with our philosophy. If this project is successful, it’ll be a good breeding ground for new ideas. Perhaps we’ll introduce a child policy in the future? Many people get annoyed by noisy children charging around the place, so perhaps hotels could set limits of one child per family to reduce the mayhem! We have also thought about limiting dogs to barking no more than twice during a stay - after all, barking dogs can be a great nuisance. Perhaps we could introduce “bark tests” in the reception during check-in to assess visiting dogs.”

Change is in the air, so if you’re planning a visit to one of our hotels, you may want to consider your packing a little more carefully. That said, there are (as yet) no special restrictions on liquids!

Lighten the load when you’re on the road!

This is what’s included in our various room categories

  • Moderate room - hand luggage only (e.g. rucksack)
  • Standard room - hand luggage and a small bag
  • Superior room - same as a standard room plus a larger bag/suitcase
  • Deluxe room - same as a standard room plus two larger bags/suitcases
  • Suite - unlimited
  • Family room - same as a standard room (a family luggage package can be added for a fee)