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Top tips for making the most of your hand-luggage allowance


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It's not that we're stingy, it's just... well, we're stingy. £20 extra for a bag in the hold? No ta, we'll fit it all in the hand luggage allowance.

With more and more budget airlines tacking extra fees onto your ticket for using a credit card or choosing your seat, it's no wonder we're all looking for ways to cut the costs.

Packing hand-luggage only isn't always an option – if you're going skiing, you're probably going to have to fork out. Likewise Milan fashion week, or anywhere you need a lot of electronics. If, however, you're going on a city or beach break, read on for our top tips to pack light.

1. Pack travel wash. One tube will save you kilos of weight, because you can wash anything that you want to repeat-wear and save packing extra items of clothing.

2. Wear your heaviest items of clothing. If you're taking boots, sweaters and coats, wear as many of them is feasible onto the plane. The National Student can't be held responsible for any overheating which may occur, so use this tip within reason. Disembarking looking like a sweaty Michelin man isn't a good start to any holiday.

3. Purchase one of these wearable luggage-coats. Or don't.

4. Buy travel-sized toiletries or decant into small bottles. Liquids are heavy and big bottles take up space you don't have. Also bear in mind if you're staying in a hotel that most places will at least supply soap or shower gel.

5. If you want to take books with you, put them on your tablet, e-reader or phone. A few paperbacks can easily push you over the weight-limit – just make sure you remember your charger. And don't drop it in the pool.

6. Don't be a fashion victim. You're (probably) on holiday to have fun. It's nice to look good in your holiday snaps, but do you really need three different outfits per day? Probably not.

7. Do be fashion conscious. If you pick items of clothing that you can mix and match, you have more outfits, with less packing. Simples.

8. Fold it up. You'd be amazed how much more you can fit into a bag or suitcase if it's folded neatly, however little the idea may appeal. If you're really struggling, your mum can probably help you.

9. Finally, make sure that your bag fits the airline's maximum dimensions. It's annoying having to pay extra to put a bag in the hold but the fees to check bags at late notice can be four or five times the original fee. It's also worth checking that it comes in under the weight restriction.

If you have any other tips, share them in the comments below!

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