The expense and hassle of plane travel is irritating enough, without adding the additional problems of taking luggage with you that has to be checked in. You can save time, money and considerable frustration by travelling with cabin luggage only; no waiting around at the carousel for your bag to be the last one to emerge (probably split into two by customs) and no arguing with the check in staff when they try to charge you an extra £10 to check in a bag when they claim to be a low cost carrier. The smart money is on the hand luggage only traveller, who can just breeze past everyone else and take their seat with their case safely stowed overhead, confident of a quick exit at the other end.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivyfield/4731067716/” title=”iPhone 4′s Retina Display v.s. iPhone 3G by Yutaka Tsutano, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1190/4731067716_61b0fe8b59_z.jpg” width=”640″ height=”427″ alt=”iPhone 4′s Retina Display v.s. iPhone 3G”></a>
Of course, successfully negotiating hand luggage only travel means getting to grips with the details. Most airlines have limits of 5-10kg for cabin baggage, or a requirement that the bag must be able to fit in overhead locker – they will rarely offer any flexibility in this regard, particularly where there is the possibility of a charge for cases that are too big and must be checked in. In order to avoid an embarrassing conflict at the check in some smart packing is required – here are 5 essential gadgets for the hand luggage only traveler:
A smart phone might not seem like an essential gadget for hand luggage, but where space is at a premium, this little gadget really comes into its own. A phone like the iPhone, for example, can combine the phone, text and email basic facilities, with newspapers, an alarm clock, camera, music, and even a document creation system in which work papers – for example, Word and Excel documents – can be edited on the move. Give that most Smart phones nowadays fit in your pocket, that’s a lot of room saved.
A notebook computer is a key alternative to a heavy laptop for the hand luggage only traveller. Most notebook models are now being designed and made to be extremely lightweight and small and can be slipped into the outside pocket of carry on luggage, taking up very little extra room. The iPad is another small, lightweight option that is perfect for the hand luggage only traveller as it is super slim and takes up around the same room in a case as a magazine. For the holiday traveller, the Kindle is a great alternative to trying to pack carry on luggage full of lots of books.
Given the amount of electronic equipment we all seem to need nowadays, the smart traveller is one who remembers to bring the adapter. One essential gadget for someone who only has hand luggage room is an ultra slim universal power adaptor kit. These come in varying designs of compactness and will provide the traveller with the ability to charge just about anything from multiple power sources anywhere in the world.
A gadget that has been developed particularly for hand luggage only travelers is the portable luggage scales. As many airlines now judge whether or not luggage is suitable as hand luggage by its weight, the scales mean that you can check in advance whether or not your bag will qualify – even once you have filled it full of Duty Free booze.
Not a gadget as such but given the restriction on liquids, it is worth investing in a set of travel bottles to make sure that you are not going over the 20cm size liquid limits on hand luggage. This is often where most cabin luggage travellers slip up, either through forgetting the restrictions when trying to bring something back that has been purchased abroad, or not realising what might constitute a ‘liquid.’ A number of retailers now offer compact sets of travel bottles and jars that are just the right size both to meet the travel limits and to take up minimal room in a case.
With these 5 essential gadgets for the hand luggage only traveller, travelling can be quicker, easier and a much more pleasurable experience. And the money saved on check in baggage costs can be put towards another flight!
Alexandra is a travel blogger from Deal Zippy specializing in cheap travel deals.