Hand luggage has never really had to be my thing, but this year I’ve got a few fun short breaks planned that hand luggage just cries for (mainly my week long sailing holiday with Med Sailors in September). It’s taken me a little while, and i’ve in no way found the dream solution to fitting everything in like some sort of Mary Poppins bag, but I think I’ve sort of finally perfected hand luggage.
The key to making the most of hand luggage is having a case near the maximum size (some airlines differ) that has quite a thin shell, or material, yet is sturdy. I personally prefer the cases that open in the middle so that you have 2 sides, but everyone has their own preference. I have the Antler Prism C1 4W Standard Cabin case in hot pink, which comes with a 1 year warranty. It measures 55x40x20cm overall and weights 2.2kg/4,9lbs. My mum got it for me as a gift from Daniels for an amazing price of £49, which is crazy as online it retails for around £150. It’s a really useful case as it has a built in keycode lock, and half of it has a zip section, and the other half has some elastic to hold things in place.
Liquids and toiletries:
Due to airline regulations you can only bring liquids in containers of 100mls, totalling 1 litre with you in your hand luggage. These liquids (including items of makeup such as foundation, concealer, mascara, face creams, lip gloss etc) then have to be taken on board in a 20x20cm (approx) clear bag. Now airports do provide clear bags sort of like sandwich bags, however they’re quite flimsy and it’s much easier to turn up with all of your liquids ready to go in your clear bag. I bought a clear bag for just 99p from Superdrug and it’s pretty bog standard but it fits all of my liquid toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner as well as my liquid makeup products all in one bag and it’s pretty sturdy. I like to leave this on the non zip side of my case so that it is easy to fish out before security.
The Packing and planning:
When I travel with my large Roxy bag I like to use packing cubes to keep my bits and bobs organised, but with hand luggage all space is super valuable and I personally find it easier to just abandon the packing cubes. I prefer rolling my clothes. If you want to take a coat/bulky jacket, it sounds obvious, but definitely wear it. It might be tempting to fill every nook and cranny of your case, but leaving a tiny space for any touristy goods you may want to bring home is always a good thing. Especially if you like to collect shot glasses like I do!
Before I put any items in my case I write a list of everything I need/would like to take and then go from there to see how it all fits before deciding if i’m just being a worry wart and taking 14 pairs of pants for a 5 night stay (true story..), or whether the items I want to pack are essential.
Before flying with hand luggage I would also check your airlines baggage policy to see if you’re also allowed a handbag/backpack too, and what the sizing regulations on those are too. We’ve all seen that lady at the gate panicking because her hand luggage case doesn’t fit in the measuring thing.