The rules for packing hand baggage
Want to save money traveling? Pack your hand baggage the right way! This is especially important if you’re taking a budget airline because they love charging extra fees to people who can’t pack. Here’s how you can pack right:
- take a backpack instead of a suitcase – it’s more ‘flexible’, and you can put on a few extra pieces of clothing before the flight to make your bag smaller
- take only what you absolutely can’t live without and buy some things after you arrive at your destination
- put cosmetics (especially creams, shampoo, etc.) in small containers available at drug stores, and don’t forget about limits on liquids
- for ages, people have searched for the best clothes folding technique – the answer is simple, just roll everything up and put your things as close together as possible
- take things that need to be removed during the airport security check (cosmetics, laptops, etc.) on top of your bag
- put your travel documents in an outer pocket
What size hand baggage can I take?
Each airline has its own rules about hand baggage amounts, sizes, and weight. There are also security restrictions every passenger has to follow.
55 x 40 x 20 cm
is the maximum size limit for most budget airlines
is the maximum weight limit for most budget and traditional airlines
is usually allowed on board the aircraft
- Budget airlines don’t usually give babies a hand baggage allowance. Accessories, including baby food, are taken by the child’s guardians, who don’t get an extra hand baggage allowance,
- Some traditional airlines offer extra weight and quantity to those flying business, premium, or first class,
- If your hand baggage exceeds the limits, it can be taken as checked baggage, as long as it follows the relevant rules.
Ask your airline for detailed information about baggage allowances.
What to take in hand baggage?
The kind of things you should take on board are valuables, jewelry, documents, and money. Registered baggage can get damaged during the flight, so delicate things like cameras, computers, or items made of glass should also go in your hand luggage.
Can I put food or drink in my hand baggage?
When packing your hand baggage, don’t forget about restrictions on liquids that you can take on board. These include drinks, liquid foods, cosmetics, etc. Strict rules also apply to creams, gels, aerosols, shaving foams, toothpaste, and lotions. You are only allowed to transport liquids in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 ml. All containers have to fit in a see-through plastic bag no bigger than 1 litre in volume.
Exceptions to these restrictions apply to baby food and medicines necessary for the passenger during the duration of the flight.
There are no restrictions on transporting food within EU borders. You can take sandwiches, pastries, sweets, sausages, fruit and vegetables, and other products.
Can I take my laptop on board?
Many airlines (mostly traditional) allow one extra piece of baggage that counts as hand baggage. These are usually things like:
- a laptop bag (with a charger and a mouse)
- a camera (in a separate bag or in hand baggage)
- another small electric device (telephone, mp3 player, portable game consoles)
- reading material (but not your whole library)
- handbag (whose content will be examined during the airport security check)
Budget airlines usually don’t let you take any extra baggage on board, so everything we mentioned above needs to fit in one piece of hand baggage.
What am I not allowed to take on board?
You are not allowed to take sharp objects like scissors, multi-tools, corkscrews, etc.
Where should I put hand baggage on the plane?
Hand baggage should be placed in an overhead bin which can be found above your seat.