Hard to remember the last time I checked in a bag! At first it might seem daunting not being able to take “everything you need” with you. But really it’s not such a big deal and you get better at it.
There are a few pros and cons of travelling with hand luggage only and of course it’s up to you to choose what suits you best.
- You save money as checking in bags can be quite expensive
- You save time as you can go straight to security and there is no need to wait for that bag to show up at the conveyor belt for endless minutes after a tiring flight
- No uncertainty regarding possible lost luggage
- Less bags to carry around
- Easier to find your stuff as it will all be in one bag (before it is all over the place)
- Usually no struggle to fit your luggage in the rental car.
- The liquids’ restrictions can be a bit of a pain as you won’t be able to take a lot with you and some products don’t even come in 100ml (or less) bottles
- The amount of clothes you can take with you is fairly limited
- Packing can take longer as you need to be more selective with what you are taking with you
- Not being able to buy stuff when away and bring it back.
Now, a few notes and tips to go on a hand luggage only adventure:
- If you live in the UK most of your “liquid” necessities will be available at Boots inside the airport after security so you can buy all you need there and take a carrier bag with those on the plane no questions asked
- Coming back you can always buy gifts or any local treats at the airport. It will be more expensive but not as much as checking in bags
- Anything you are not sure you are going to need when away and that you can easily buy it there (like an extra jacket) just don’t bother taking it and use it as an excuse to buy something new for yourself. If it doesn’t fit in your hand luggage coming back you can always wear it
- If you own a big camera you can usually take it with you outside the bag. At least I never had any issues with it
- And always double-check each airline’s hand luggage maximum dimensions/weight allowed as you don’t want any unplanned extra charges.