Hand luggage: Traveller reveals simple household item which helps beat size restrictions

Holidaymakers and business travellers alike have increasingly been trying to fly with just hand luggage in recent years. With a number of global airlines ramping up the cost for checked-in luggage, not to mention the amount of time waiting around for a suitcase can add on to your airport experience, travelling with just hand luggage is seemingly more cost and time-efficient.


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However, there is a catch which comes in the form of hand luggage weight and size restrictions.

Many airlines, with budget operators in particular, now enforce stringent hand luggage restrictions which passengers must abide by, otherwise incurring a fee.

Frustratingly, these weight restrictions vary across the board, meaning what works for one airline might not be acceptable for another, and this has resulted in numerous passengers being slammed with unexpected fees at the departure gate.

In a bid to avoid costs many passengers are now coming up with their own ways to beat the restrictions.

One passenger revealed a handy packing tip they had found to maximise the space available in their hand luggage.

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The most surprising part is that it utilises an everyday household item that you might find just laying around in your kitchen.

The savvy traveller shared the tip on a Reddit forum in a bid to help other holidaymakers get the most out of their airline’s allowance.

“Put stuff in Ziploc bags,” they revealed.

“Then sit on them while you have the top open just enough to let all the air out. Seal it up quickly and there you go. Loadsa room.”(sic)

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By using a standard household “sandwich bag” the user found that they could minimise the size of many of their clothing items.

While sandwich bags are a good space-saving method for those on a budget, another user points out a similar method which they say is “terrific”.

“Get one or a couple of small vacuum storage bags and compress as much as you can,” they commented.

Vacuum storage bags are a stronger and more durable way of squashing down bulkier items, although they will cost a little more than your standard Ziploc bag.


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Though a little pricier, vacuum storage bags also tend to be reusable, airtight and watertight.

However, even with these packing tips under your belt, the difference in hand luggage standards for various airlines means it is vital you know exactly what regulations your carrier has in place.

These can usually be found on the airline’s website and travellers are urged to check them before arriving at the airport if they want to avoid fees.

“Always be fully aware of baggage limits and charges,” recommended Nicky Kelvin, Editor of Content for The Points Guy UK.

“Think ahead, because it’s always so much cheaper to pay for extra bags or weight ahead of time than at the airport.”

easyJet, for example, allows passengers to bring one piece of hand luggage on board measuring 56 x 45 x 25cm. They do not specify a weight limit for cabin baggage.

Ryanair allows travellers to bring just one small bag measuring 40cm x 20cm x 25cm that must fit into the sizer.

Customers with luggage found to be larger than this could find themselves paying as much as £40 to check the bag into the hold at the airport, or £11 per additional kg.

However, those who plan ahead can opt for priority boarding, allowing them to take one small bag plus a larger cabin bag measuring 55 x 40 x 20cm, with a weight of up to 10kg.

On the other hand, long-haul carriers such as British Airways tend to be a little more flexible when it comes to their hand luggage offering.

British Airways allow all passengers to carry one piece of hand luggage and one small item, such as a handbag or laptop, on board. Hand luggage much not exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm and the small item must be no bigger than 40cm x 30cm x 15cm, however, both items can weigh up to 23kg each.

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