There are now more lost-cost airlines than ever, and this, coupled with the fact that many of the more expensive airlines now charge you to check luggage, means that a lot of people who opt for a cheaper flight for their weekend – or perhaps even a week getaway – decide not to check any bags at all, but to take only carry-on luggage. If you’ve been on a plane recently, you’ll have noticed a lot of people with much larger than average cabin bags, and this will be the reason why.
Although airlines do allow large bags in the cabin these days, it’s nowhere near the same as taking a full suitcase with you to your destination, which means you must pack carefully. Read on to find out more about how to do that well.
Choose the Right Bag
Before you can think about what might go inside the bag, you need to consider the bag itself. Every airline tends to have its own specific size requirements, so if there is one airline you fly a lot, that’s the ideal one to have in mind when you’re choosing a bag. Otherwise, you might want to choose the smallest allowable bag, just to be on the safe side.
Other factors to consider apart from size include:
- How heavy it is? You must carry it and lift it into an overhead compartment
- Do you want a hard shell or a soft bag?
- How easy are the zippers to use?
- Does it have wheels?
- Is there a lock?
Once you have determined exactly what it is you need, you can then decide on the bag you want to take with you.
Know What Not to Take
Just as important as knowing what to take is knowing what not to take. The key is to remember you’ll need a lot less than you think, and if there are laundry services where you are going, you’ll need even less. If you’re away for a week and there is a laundry nearby, you’ll only need two or three tops and pairs of underwear, and you might even get away with one pair of good jeans.
You’ll need space for all your electronics, books, and so on as well, so the fewer clothes you take, the better. The good news is that anything with a lithium battery can go in the cabin, so you can bring all your devices with you. That’s not the same as with the hold – lithium batteries can’t go there for safety reasons, and there are now dogs whose function is sniffing out lithium-ion batteries, so only ever pack them in your carry-on bags, no matter what else you might be bringing with you.
Wear Heavier Items
The issue with only traveling with hand luggage is the space you’ll have – or rather, the lack of it. If you’re traveling to a hot place, you’re going to need less than if you are traveling to a cold place. Even if the same amount of clothing is required, the clothing for a colder climate will be thicker and larger, so it’s going to take up more space.
One useful tip for traveling only with hand luggage is to wear heavier items. We don’t mean having layers and layers of clothing on, so that you’re uncomfortable on the plane, but if you have a jacket or thick sweater you want to take, you might consider wearing it, so you don’t have to fill up a lot of space in your bag with it.