Tricks and tips for traveling with hand luggage Skip to Content

Tricks and tips for traveling with hand luggage

To check or not to check our luggage when flying. That´s the question we all ask ourselves before a trip. And we need to be aware that, depending on the decision that we make, the price of the ticket can vary, as well as the time of arrival at the airport, the lines … On the one hand you prefer to save money, but on the other you doubt that you’re going to be able to fit everything you need in a carry-on suitcase. How do we decide then?

The best way to make a decision is to think about the following details:

  • The length of the trip: if we are only going to be away for a weekend, you probably won’t need many things; however if the stay is more than seven days you may need to carry a large suitcase.
  • The weather: summer clothes don’t take as much space as the winter jerseys, so this is an important aspect.
  • Your budget: Depending on the company you’re traveling with, checking a suitcase can mean more money. If you want to travel low cost you will have to manage to fit everything in a small suitcase!

If you’ve finally made the decision to travel with hand luggage, these tips will be useful to get the most out of the 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm suitcase that you can carry with you in the plane. Cheer up! It fits much more than you can imagine, you just have to organize and take advantage of the space available.

Less (clothing) is more (space)

Select the clothes you will wear and forget the “just in case” stuff. Bet on basic clothes that combine and multiply your options. Also, check the weather forecast on your destination so you can assess what exactly you need. Extend it all on a plain surface and, if you´re still tight in space, think again if you can do without something else.

Vanity case with basics

Toothbrush, paste … and little else! Remember that gel and shampoo are usually complementary in any hotel, so you won’t need them. Try to minimize your case and take into account the restrictions of liquids that the law imposes on hand luggage. Remember: you can only carry a maximum of 10 individual containers of less than 100 milliliters capacity and in a transparent plastic bag with a capacity of less than one liter.

Use your Tetris skills

Here comes the important part. Once you have selected everything you are going to take with you, it´s time to place it in the suitcase. The strategy to make the most out of the space is as follows:

  • Except clothes that are easily wrinkled, make small blocks with shirts, pants… The Japanese expert in order Marie Kondo recommends this technique to fold clothes and occupy as little space as possible.
  • Place heavier garments in the lower part of the case.
  • Make the most out of the holes created when placing clothes. For example, you can put your socks or underwear inside your shoes.
  • Place the shoes and individual bags so they don’t stain and occupy less space.


And of course, another sacred rule for traveling with a suitcase: leave out what occupies most and wear it the day you’re traveling. For example: a coat, boots …

Preparing a suitcase is like playing Tetris, but if you spend time thinking about how to fit all the pieces best, you will optimize the little space you have.

Keep in mind the limitations imposed by each airline for carry-on luggage. Some allow to carry in the cabin the small suitcase and another small package like a bag or a backpack; but there are others that don´t, so it is important that you check it before flying!

To help you, we have created a chart with the conditions of the main companies operating in Spain. Pay attention!

With all this information you are ready to travel with a carry-on bag. Discover how comfortable it is to travel light on luggage!

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