Thanks to budget airlines it’s easier and cheaper than ever to head off on a mini-break and going cabin-bag not only saves you money but spares you that tedious wait at the baggage carousel. Now that some budget airlines like Norwegian Air are charging extra for hold luggage on long-haul flights too, it’s no wonder more holidaymakers are ditching bulky suitcases and jetting abroad with nothing more than a small cabin bag in tow.
Travelling with just a small case has a number of advantages, but especially for longer holidays or trips to a different climate, it does mean you have to get creative with your packing.
There’s no point in ditching the hold luggage if you’re going to arrive at your accommodation missing key items. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you to make the most of the space you do have so that you don’t have to leave your favourite flip-flops at home. Here are the Flexicover team’s top tips on how to make the most of the space in even the smallest of suitcases.
Be Sure About Your Allowance
Luggage allowance varies between airlines: some airlines will only allow one small bag per passenger, while others let guests board with a handbag as well as the cabin bag. These rules and permitted cabin bag dimensions change all the time – more cynical people might say this is to catch out a few passengers. So make sure you know your exact allowance. You don’t want to leave some of your favourite outfits at home, only to find you could have brought them after all. Or if you bring too much, it could save you serious amounts of money and hassle at the gate. A quick look online is all it takes!
Wear As Much As You Can
There are two major obstacles to effective packing: coats and shoes. You may only be allowed one cabin bag, but there’s no restrictions on how many of your belongings you can wear - within reason - so why not incorporate your bulkiest shoes and coat into your travel outfit? Yes, this might make for a slightly uncomfortable or uncoordinated ensemble, but it means you’ll be able to squeeze plenty more into your cabin bag. Don’t get too creative though; wearing your phone charger as a bracelet or toothbrush as a hair accessory will likely be frowned upon.
Squeeze Your Clothes Into Ziplock Bags
Every seasoned traveller knows that rolling up clothes is a surefire way to save space and avoid creases. You can take this method one step further by stuffing your rolled up clothes into large ziplock bags. Not only will this mean every single inch of your case is put to good use, but it will also help you to get organised. Either allocate each bag to specific items, shirts or dresses for instance, or sort by outfit. Your future self will thank you for making unpacking easy. There’s also the added benefit of limiting the damage of any potential make-up spillages or sun cream explosions.
Re-Package Your Liquids
It’s unlikely you’re going to need full bottles of shampoo, conditioner and other liquids during a short trip, but travel-sized products are notoriously overpriced. Instead, invest in some small reusable bottles and pots. This goes a long way to freeing up space for items you do actually need, and will also reduce the weight of your luggage. It should also mean you can fit all your liquids into one plastic bag at security. Remember, if you’re staying at a hotel that’s likely to have complimentary toiletries you can leave your shower gel, shampoo and soap at home too.
Buy A Material Suitcase
Material cases are a godsend when it comes to packing bulky or oddly-shaped belongings. Unlike bags with hard shells, more flexible suitcases will adapt to the shape of the items inside, meaning less time spent sat on top of your bag desperately trying to jam the zip shut. This adaptability is handy when you pick up chunky souvenirs like ornaments. Soft cases are also easier to travel with as you can shove them into all manner of spaces without doing much damage. This is especially helpful when there’s not much room left in the plane’s overhead locker or the train’s luggage rack.
Whatever the size of your suitcase, it’s important to remember that if you take any valuables with you they should be placed in your hand luggage and not in the hold for your travel insurance to cover them!
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.