How to Fly With Just Hand Luggage
Credit: Free from Wix
I got so excited when I joined up to the frequent flyers club, I'd always envisioned "frequent flyers" as these elegant, successful, international type people. In reality, it means early wake up calls, long journeys to and from the airport and imagining stabbing people who stop right in the walkway to look at the departure board.
Anyway, I thought it would be helpful to share the little tips and tricks I've picked up that makes flying that bit easier. Firstly, it's hella expensive, and they enjoy charging for every little add on, so I always travel with hand luggage when I can. I would say it's perfectly manageable to go on a 2 week trip with just hand luggage unless it's for an event or wedding etc.
So, number one, always buy your ziplock bags and don't take the ones the airport give. The reason? Airport bags are ALWAYS smaller than the ones you are actually allowed to carry! Give yourself some extra room and buy in advance! Also remember that if you're taking a lighter with you (you're only allowed one) that has to go in the bag too!
More importantly, make sure you know the rules of flying and pack accordingly. At security you're required to take out liquids, laptops and other large electrical devices, remove any metal from your body (watches, belts etc. - although I leave jewellery on), take off coats, scarves, hats and shoes if you're wearing heels. Therefore, it makes sense to keep these things easily accessible so as to get through security as fast as possible. I usually keep my laptop and liquids in my handbag until after security so I don't have to faff around with opening up my suitcase and wear an outfit that doesn't require much stripping off. Also make sure you're certain what you can and can't take in hand luggage - even just a stray manicure set can hold you back more than a few minutes as they take it out, give you the spiel, bin it, and then rescan your bag - take my word.
Packing wise, make sure you pack as economically as possible. Take a few pieces of clothing that you can swap around to make new outfits, instead of taking 7 or 8 different outfits and pack them efficiently, rolling prevents creases and fill shoes with underwear to keep space open! Sometimes it can work better to take one travel adapter and an extension lead, instead of 3 or 4 travel adapters as an extension is slimmer and easier to slip down the side of a suitcase.
Also, it can be tempting to try and get away with a bigger case than is allowed or an extra handbag but trust me it is not worth the bother if you're asked to put it in the measuring rack or to put your extra bag in an already full case. I remember being 16, late for a flight, wearing two heavy winter coats (they wouldn't fit in my bag!) and running through CDG only just making the gate to be told my carrier bag needed to be inside the suitcase (despite the fact that if it had duty free on it, it would have been fine!) and holding up the entire flight as I sat on, knelt on, jumped on my suitcase until it shut. It will cause more stress, time and money than it's worth, however tempting! Just check the measurements beforehand and stick to them to avoid any trouble! Or if you really want to take the risk with an extra bag, grab a carrier in duty free to shove it all into!
Most of this is common sense, but with a million and one other things on your mind about wherever it is you're travelling to, it can be easy to forget, so hopefully these little suggestions can help!