Tips for spending a vacation with hand luggage



Tired of waiting for your luggage at the merry-go-round, don’t want to have to lug around heavy suitcases or even the prospect of unpacking everything at the end of your trip? Well… don’t worry, we’ve put together our top tips for traveling with hand luggage to help you pack light.

1.Understand the cabin baggage allowance

Save yourself a lot of baggage stress when boarding by checking dimensions and weight restrictions before traveling. Check out our full guide to carry-on baggage size and weight restrictions.

2. Buy the perfect cabin bag

With different restrictions on different airlines, it’s not only important to have the right size bag, but also the one that will suit your travel needs. If you are a fan of weekend getaways, a lightweight backpack may be the best option. If you are going on a longer trip, you may prefer a wheeled bag to take the strain off your shoulders. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, don’t worry, our carry-on guide includes frequent flyer tips to help you find the right bag.

3. Demystify toiletries

If you are staying in a hotel, find out what is provided in the room and decide if that is all you need, you might only have a toothbrush and toothpaste in your suitcase . If the place you are staying does not offer such luxury, find out where the nearest supermarket or pharmacy is, you may be able to buy everything you need once there … and sometimes cheaper than UK prices. For all the toiletries you need to take home, be sure to decant (if possible) into reusable 100ml bottles. Remember that the containers must be transported in a single transparent, resealable plastic bag, with a maximum capacity of one liter and measuring approximately 20 cm x 20 cm.

4. Book vs Kindle vs Smartphone

It’s no secret that pounds = weight and also = space. While a Kindle is a great alternative, why not consider using your smartphone and downloading books instead. Save more space because a phone can be kept in your pocket.

5. Use “empty” spaces such as shoes

When it comes to packaging, you need to use the smallest space possible. Roll up tops / underwear / socks and other small items and place them in your shoes to make sure all possible spaces are filled.


6. To avoid stains – store light-colored clothes inside out and put disposable shower caps on your shoes.

Have you ever packed light clothes and found a stain on them when you arrived? Never have this problem again. First, you should always make sure your light-colored clothes are wrapped inside out, and second, save any disposable shower caps you find in hotels and use them to cover the base of your shoes.

7. Roll up clothes and use vacuum squeeze bags / packing cubes

To save space and no longer wrinkle, roll your clothes instead of folding them, then place them in vacuum compression bags. To use these bags, you put on your clothes, seal the bag, and then let the air out. This will give you a lot more space in your suitcase and prevent creases more effectively than folding. Another great idea for a packaging solution is to wrap cubes – they help you separate your different items and get to things faster. Vacuum bags come in all kinds of sizes that will fit comfortably inside carry-on luggage.

8. Remember what cannot be carried in hand luggage

It is important to remember that there are still restrictions on what can be carried on board and some are quite surprising, for example did you know tent stakes are prohibited (something to know if you are traveling at a festival) and multi-lighters are also prohibited. For more on-board prohibited information, see our top tips.

Woman looking through her handbag at the security fence

9. Plan ahead

Think carefully about what you need versus what you want to take. Plan each day and night and think about how an item can have versatile use throughout the week. Synthetic materials are lightweight, easy to pack, and would dry quickly if washed. Consider carrying travel detergent so you can wash it and reuse it when needed. Make sure your detergent is within the 100ml liquid limit allowed on flights.

10. Finally…

Try to wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane and use your pockets for extra storage.

For more tips on baggage, packing and avoiding baggage fees, read on:

7 ways to get around easyJet carry-on baggage restrictions

Don’t be surprised at the boarding gate by the pesky carry-on baggage rules.

10 ways to deal with lost luggage without losing your temper

It can happen to anyone, even airline bosses. So, after Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden admitted that his own airline failed to transport his luggage to the same airport as him, Skyscanner has 10 top tips on airline baggage.

11 cabin bags that will change the way you travel

With more and more airlines charging for checked baggage, you should travel light to save money. Beat baggage fees and skip the check-in counter with 11 of the best carry-on bags.

Rigid suitcase: 8 suitcases tested to destruction

We take a look at eight suitcases in our punishing “hard test” to separate the real hard cases from the soft ones.

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