Many airlines charge extra if you want to check a full size suitcase into the hold. There will be additional waiting time at your destination whilst you wait for the plane to be unloaded. Your bags will need to arrive on the carousel for you to claim. There is the risk that not only may the airline damage your suitcase but lose it entirely. Save money, time, and stress by using a cabin bag.
Although it depends on each individual airline you are travelling with, many offer generous weight allowances for cabin cases. If you are a family, then each family member has an allowance and can take a cabin bag each.
We travelled to Italy using only lightweight luggage. Our children were too small to carry their case on their own, but we were able to pack enough in four bags. The children used kids pull along trolley cases, and we were able to carry them for them as needed.
We have selected a range of luggage that would be the perfect travel companion. Please check with your airline to make sure they are compatible with their rules. Make sure you stay up-to-date as these rules do change frequently.
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The first thing to consider is the way you wish to carry your bag. Will you be using it for another purpose at your destination, or will you store it until your return journey.
The two most popular styles of cabin bags are backpacks or wheeled cases. Both help you carry the weight of the bag, and a backpack will leave your hands free.
If you want a suitcase for your carry-on luggage, you need to decide if you want it to be hard shell or soft shell.
Hard shell cabin suitcases have a solid outside. These tend to be made from strong plastic or fibreglass. Hard shell cabin bags can withstand most rough handling that they will receive on your trip and protect the contents inside. They can be waterproof too as they are not made from fabric. Many cabin cases come with wheels so you can simply pull the case behind you instead of carrying it. Some modern versions have four wheels rather than two meaning you can push them along in front. A telescopic handle allows you to comfortably pull the case along without stooping. You store the handle inside the body of the case when not in use. If there are times you will want to carry the case on your shoulder choose a model that comes with a removable shoulder strap.
Inside your case you will find lots of clever ways to keep your belongings in place. Packing straps help keep hold folded clothes where they should be. Some will offer dividers to help you separate your travel items. Pockets are useful to keep everything organised.
The rigid nature of a hard shell case means you do not need to worry about your belongings being squashed. You can safely place the case in the overhead locker knowing someone won’t crush your essential items. Despite all these features, clever construction means your cabin suitcase will be lightweight. This leaves more allowance for your belongings.
Backpack cabin bags keep your hands free. You can empty them at your destination and use them as your day-to-day holiday bag. Your rucksack should be made from durable polyester. This helps prevent tears and scrapes making holes for your possessions to fall out of. It will make your bag last for years and more than one trip.
Many backpack carry on bags have more than one main compartment. They close with zips and help you stay organised. Keep your clothes in one, toiletries in another, and travel documents in the third.
If you prefer a holdall style bag, choose a strong, lightweight version. It should have more than one big compartment. This will avoid having a huge space packed with things that you have to rummage through to find anything at the airport.
Cabin Bag Sizes and Weights for the main UK Airline routes.
Last checked on 19/6/2019
British Airways 56 x 45 x 25cm max 23kg
EasyJet 56 x 45 x 25cm
Emirates 55 x 38 x 20cm max 7kg
FlyBe 55 x 35 x 20cm max 10kg
Jet2 56 x 45 x 25cm max 10kg
Ryanair 55 x 40 x 20cm max 10kg Priority Boarders
40 x 20 x 25cm Non-Priority Boarders
Thomas Cook 55 x 40 x 20cm max 8kg
TUI 55 x 40 x 20cm max 5kg or 7kg depending on ticket
Virgin Atlantic 56 x 36 x 23cm max 10kg