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Changes to cabin baggage allowance – Better pack light!

Make sure your cabin bag travels with you

The majority of people taking flights abroad would prefer to keep their cabin bag with them – and not have to put it in the hold on busy flights, where overhead locker space is limited.

easyJet has recently announced that anyone travelling after the 2nd July will be allowed a ‘guaranteed’ cabin baggage allowance however, this does come with restrictions, as its packed planes can’t always fit all cabin luggage on-board.

To ensure you can keep your bag with you on the flight, it should measure no more than 50cm by 40cm by 20cm – including handles, pockets and wheels – this is a total of just 40 litres. The budget airline currently allows luggage to be taken into the cabin if it’s below the maximum size of 56cm by 45cm by 25cm – a total of 63 litres per bag.

When there is not enough space for everyone’s cabin baggage, some of the largest cabin bags on the flight have to be put in the hold. So if keeping your cabin bag with you is a priority, why not take a slightly smaller bag which is still big enough to hold all your travel essentials, to ensure it will not go in the hold – even if the flight is full.

What are the benefits of travelling light with hand baggage only?

Quicker – no need to join a check-in or bag-drop queue on departure, so you can get to the departure lounge first and your holiday has started. On arrival, there is no need to wait for bags at the luggage carousel and you get to the taxi queue or car hire rental desks, before the rest of the passengers on your flight. There is nothing worse than having a long flight only to find you have to wait another hour to leave the airport terminal.

Safer – if you keep your bag with you at all times, you can guarantee it will not be sent to a different destination to the one you are flying to. Also it is not going to get damaged being loaded or unloaded and it is not available for someone unscrupulous to break into and steal your personal items.

Less stress – you are in control of your personal possessions, not reliant on a mechanical baggage system and you can avoid lots of queues. There is no rush for a trolley at the luggage reclaim or the risk of someone taking the wrong bag away with them.

Packing it all in!

Only pack what you need – be ruthless! The aim with cabin baggage is to carry as little as possible. You could buy toiletries locally on arrival and clothing is where you can make a big saving on space. Do you really need to take two pairs of shoes and check with your hotel if they provide hairdryers and irons? Are you likely to read three books, why not swap with other hotel guests or take a kindle?

Kid withsuitcase, ready for journey

Which clothes to take? – check out the weather at your destination, this will help you to choose which clothes to take. Try and wear any heavy items such as coats, jeans and boots. If you need to take a pair of shoes, stuff them with your pants and socks. Stick with a capsule wardrobe, this is essentially, a small number of items that co-ordinate to produce multiple outfits by all working together. Try and buy lightweight, wrinkle free and easy care clothes for travelling. Think about previous holidays, did you spend all day every day in your swimsuit. How much clean washing did you bring back last time?

Toiletries – remember the 100ml rule. Decant liquids into travel size bottles that fit within one plastic bag for security. You can always buy toothpaste or shower gel locally when you arrive at your destination. Alternatively you can pack solid shampoo and soap bars but most hotels will give you these items complimentary. You will need to check with your airline their rules on carrying aerosols- why not take a roll on deodorant.

Medication – it is always recommended to take your vital prescribed medicines in your hand luggage but for large quantities this must be accompanied by a letter from your doctor. Remember sharp items are not permitted and liquid medicine must not be more than 100ml. If in doubt always ask your doctor to write a letter or call your airline, but make sure you take a note of the person you spoke to for confirmation.

Pockets – use the pockets of your clothes to take heavier items on board which you can transfer to your bag once you are on board e.g. phone charger, camera and toiletries. Use pockets as well for travel documents such as your passport, tickets, travel insurance, driving licence and money. They don’t measure the person only the bag. Why not buy the new generation of ‘wearable luggage’ or ‘luggage jackets’ – essentially clothing that allows you to carry your belongings about your person, you may end up looking like a cleaner though.

Folding or rolling? – folding items individually into squares is the worst way to pack, its space inefficient and increases creasing. Instead, roll clothes together, lay jackets, shirts, trousers and T-shirts on top of each in that order – alternating the thickest parts of the garment as you layer so you don’t get an uneven bulge.

Don’t pool your hand luggage – most airlines will not allow you to pool your hand luggage allowance across a party of people, so ensure that each bag is not over the limits where a weight limit applies.

Peace of mind protection

Now that you have managed to work out how to fit the majority of your wardrobe and bathroom cabinet into your cabin baggage all that is left to do is to enjoy your holiday. However, should the worse happen and you lose your bag or it is stolen, make sure you have sufficient travel insurance in place should you need to make a claim.

Free Spirit travel insurance can provide the essential cover you need to protect your personal baggage. We can offer you two levels of cover Super and Super Duper and the cover limits start at £1,500 on the Super policy for the accidental loss of, theft of or damage to baggage (Terms & conditions apply) see the policy wording for further information.

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