The passengers of commercial flights have the privilege of taking in cabin baggage, to keep at hand everything they need while traveling – subject to security restrictions and prohibited objects. However, the airline remains entitled to refuse hand baggage that is obviously too heavy or whose dimensions are not suitable for cabin travel.
By choosing to lighten your hand luggage as much as possible, you will avoid incidents when boarding, have more peace of mind and will be much more free to move around during your travels. The 10 tips listed below will be your best allies for a mini weight trip!
Comply with the standards imposed for hand luggage
The best way not to overload hand luggage is still not to opt for a model with excessive proportions. The airlines have set maximum dimensions for suitcases, bags and other luggage wheeled accompanying cabin until passengers.
To check the suitability of the baggage, it should be measured by including all its elements, including the wheels, the outer pockets or the handle. Templates are also available in the airport boarding hall. These strict conditions can be explained by the configuration of the luggage compartments in the aircraft cabin, located high up and limited in volume: it is essential that hand luggage can all fit in and do not clutter the aisles.
Choose a light carry-on baggage
Some companies do not provide for any maximum weight for hand luggage, as long as it respects the regulatory dimensions. Others set it at 10 kg or even less . For the same capacity, a little lighter hand luggage is therefore an advantage in this case, since it allows you to store more things without exceeding the weight limit.
New generation luggage and suitcases favor semi-rigid shells that are both resistant and increasingly light . It may therefore be interesting to buy a new model before the trip, in order to save a few hundred grams and store one or two additional items. Another popular solution is to opt for a soft hand luggage made of textile or synthetic material, such as a backpack .
Take only the essentials in the cabin
Ideally, only three categories of items should find their place in your hand luggage:
-The items you will actually need during the flight: medicines, books, gluten-free foods, games for children… The list is long and depends above all on your profile.
– Items that you cannot afford to lose if your checked baggage ever gets lost: cash, house and car keys, personal documents and of course travel documents, including your passport. This also includes fragile objects that could be broken during improper handling in the hold.
– Items prohibited in the hold but authorized in the cabin. These are in particular battery-operated electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops and even electronic cigarettes.
Choose a mini-size toiletry bag
It is always a good idea to pack in your hand luggage what you need to cool off or get a makeover after a long international flight . However, and whether it is toothpaste, shampoo or even liquid soap, conventional products sold in supermarkets are not necessarily suitable for air travel. On the one hand, they tend to take up a little too much space in the toiletry bag. On the other hand, remember above all that liquids, creams and gels are limited in the cabin to bottles with a maximum capacity of 100 ml , placed in a transparent plastic bag.
So prefer a “mini” toilet bag format, specially designed to slip into hand luggage or a plastic bag.
Take one change of clothes
The textile and fashion accessories take up much space, and their weight tends to quickly add up. This is the reason why most of the clothes should be relegated to the hold baggage, where they will be neatly stacked and rolled up, and not in the hand baggage which is not intended for this.
As a precaution, however, it is better to provide if possible a single change of clothes in the cabin baggage (underwear, T-shirt, pants, etc.). This precaution will prevent you, for example, from making half the trip with accidentally stained clothing, but also from buying other clothes in disaster if your hold baggage is lost on the way.
Optimizing the storage of hold baggage
Anything that fits in the hold baggage no longer needs to be taken into the cabin if there is no other solution. So follow all the usual advice to optimize the capacity of your largest suitcase and do not hesitate to show ingenuity. Clothing, for example, can be rolled into a ball to take up less space, while liquids and other containers need to be properly wedged to prevent accidents .
Using vacuum bags
From new vacuum bags models have appeared in recent years, and their use is particularly simple. Store the objects to be transported inside – most often clothes or other textiles – then take a vacuum cleaner to vacuum it , through the opening provided for this purpose.
This method makes it possible both to compress the clothes to save a lot of space in the luggage, and to reduce its overall weight thanks to the evacuation of the air. A smart choice to stow more and more items in the carry-on baggage!
Store apart from duty free purchases
Passengers are limited to one piece of hand baggage, the only exception tolerated for products purchased in the duty free area of the departure airport . Concretely, the store will place your purchases in a carefully sealed bag, which you can bring to the cabin in addition to your hand luggage. However, be sure to keep the receipt to certify the origin of the product, and especially not to break the seal before your arrival at your destination.
Please note that some airlines – especially low cost operators – may charge a duty free bag as additional cabin baggage. So check this point before shopping around the airport shops.
Wear certain clothes or objects
If the capacity of hand luggage shows its limits, all you have to do is use the good old “system D” and put the pockets of your jacket or your pants to contribute, within the limits of the reasonable goods. understood. Nothing forbids, for example, to slip one or two chocolate bars, a paperback book or any other small object.
Likewise, it is possible to wear two layers of clothing to avoid exceeding the authorized weight limit for hand luggage or checked baggage.
Finally, provide some free space!
Hand luggage filled to the brim and optimized down to the smallest cubic centimeter, even if it can be the pride of its owner, is not necessarily an asset. On the one hand, this makes it particularly difficult to extract an object without emptying all of its content. On the other hand, it is always interesting to keep a small margin to be able to add an object or an element during the journey – for example a tourist guide distributed on the plane.
The less heavy and bulky hand luggage, the better! The most experienced travelers have often learned the art of traveling light.