Flights come with strict hand luggage rules on budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet. The carriers have a limited luggage allowance which requires savvy holiday packing. It’s important to only take the belongings you’ll really need on your trip away and eschew those you won’t. However, it’s also key to put careful thought into the bag you’ll be putting everything into.
By choosing the right sort of bag you may well be able to get away with taking more into the cabin.
To beat low-cost airline rules, consider packing your hand luggage into a soft-sided bag rather than a hard suitcase.
Thomas Cook shares its cabin baggage advice on its website to help passengers.
“These days, most people tend to take hard-sided, wheeled cases for their hand luggage,” said the airline’s blog.
“But these can sometimes be quite heavy and also fairly restrictive if there’s no give for fitting more in or fitting them into the overhead cabin on the plane.
“Instead, opt for a soft-sided bag such as a hold-all or, even better, a soft-sided bag on wheels.
“Be sure to check the size and weight restrictions for the airline that you are travelling with.”
A backpack for hand luggage is a particularly good choice as airline staff might not spot the size of your bag so easily and you can avoid attention.
This means you are less likely to be asked to pay extra or put your bag in the hold, which can infuriate travellers hoping for a smooth and quick journey.
Soft bags are also great when it comes to putting your baggage in the luggage measuring cage.
Because they are more malleable they can more easily be squeezed in – and one trick, in particular, might help.
Travel company Contiki explained the hack is to put your bag into the size cage upside down if asked to check your case.
This because it’s likely the bottom of your bag will be bigger than the top.
Putting the suitcase in upside down will create a funnel effect and make it look like it fits.
Another trick to sneak past the gate officials is to use a black bag as it will stand out less and blend in, meaning airline workers are potentially less likely to stop you.
It’s also worth making the most of any pockets you have to cram in any items that might not fit in your hand luggage.
A frequent traveller shared their top tip on consumer website Money Saving Expert: “We always wear light jackets with as many pockets as possible,” the globetrotter explained.
“Put sandwiches, water, etc, for the flight in pockets, along with paperbacks, rolled-up socks and undies, and any food items that will fit in them.”