When flying, you have the option of checking your luggage or bringing smaller bags and suitcases into the cabin with you. Most decent airlines allow one or two pieces of cabin luggage at no extra charge, thus it is possible to travel with only hand luggage and avoid checking a large suitcase. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to traveling this way. Continue reading to find out more.

Pros of travelling with only hand luggage

Cheaper

Several flights, such as package vacations and long-haul flights, include a checked bag as standard, but short-haul, cheap, or independent flights may not include luggage except customers pay extra. This can vary in price, and occasionally the cost of checking in baggage is the same (or more) than the cost of your seat on the plane. So, if you simply travel with hand luggage, you’ll save a lot of money right away, which is wonderful if you’re on a budget.

Quicker at airport check-in

Imagine not having to endure long queues to check-in your baggage! Well by only taking hand luggage you can do just that. So once arriving at the airport you can head straight through security and relax a lot more before your flight. Or if you prefer you could leave home for the airport a bit later as you’ll have one less thing to do.

No luggage to pickup after you arrive.

You’ll save time not just on the departure side of your trip, but also once you’ve arrived, because you won’t have to wait to retrieve your bags. Waiting for your baggage can be excruciatingly long at times, such as when my luggage waited almost 45 minutes to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London.

Cons of travelling with only hand luggage

It can be difficult to pack

Traveling by plane with only a small bag or luggage has many advantages, but for longer trips, such as those lasting more than four days, you’ll either have to prepare exceedingly carefully or consider checking a larger bag. You may also take a small cabin bag with you and wash your clothing while on the road.

It’s more difficult if your flight has a weight limit.

With the exception of easyJet (subject to change) and potentially others, most airlines have a weight allowance for cabin bags. Weight restrictions on planes are sometimes relatively low, such as 5kg-10kg, which means that heavier items, such as a DSLR, shoes, and other items, might quickly consume this amount. To try to counteract this allowance, you may put some heavy items in your pockets and wear heavier shoes.

Before you depart for the airport, double-check the restrictions, such as the maximum dimensions for your cabin bag and whether or not there is a weight limit. If you don’t check this, you can end up paying a lot of luggage fees at the airport.


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