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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

These days it seems like airlines will do anything to make extra money. The low cost ones especially charge for everything from blankets, headphones, in-flight catering to check-in luggage. In the days of low cost airlines, it’s essential to know how to pack lite and how to pack carry-on only.

Choosing your bag

When choosing a bag, there are several things to think about. First, the size. Airlines have strict regulations when it comes to hand luggage. If your bag is expandable, may fit fine on the way there but when filled with souvenirs, it may not fit on the way back. The second thing to consider is quality. Zippers are the first to fail on suitcases, next are the wheels. Make sure they are built to withstand the cobblestones of Europe and the up and downs of air travel. Third, is the budget. How much is too much to pay for a piece of carry-on luggage? You can pick one up for £20 but if you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll want something built to last.

Packing it all in

We’ve covered this over and over. Space is precious so if you find yourself saying, “I’ll bring this just in case…” leave  it behind! There is almost nothing you can’t buy abroad in our globalised world so hold yourself back. Take one book and once you’re finished, swap it with another traveller. Shoes are heavy and bulky, if you can’t manage with just one pair (ladies!) then wear the heaviest/most awkward when you travel and pack the other pair. Keep multi-purpose in mind when choosing your wardrobe. Neutral colours that mix-and-match is key. A colourful scarf can do wonders when sprucing up an outfit for going out.

At the airport

Your carry-on luggage will be sized up once you arrive at the airport. To avoid any surprises, measure your bag to your airline’s specification and be sure that you can lift it easily by yourself above your head. Once you’ve got your boarding tickets in hand, roll that bag right on over to security. Keep your liquids easily accessible as well as your laptop computer, these items will need to be screened separately. Once you’re through security, it’s a breeze. In the end, the most important thing with carry-on luggage is being able to handle it comfortably, to be able to lift it, pull it and carry it if need be. Easy on over-packing, it’s easy to do but is best avoided.

Could you travel with carry-on only?

Img: nicotineflv, Flickr cc.

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