How to pack hand baggage?

How to pack hand baggage?

The rules for packing hand baggage

Appropriate packing of hand baggage makes it possible to save quite a lot of money, especially if passengers are travelling with budget airlines. Assuming passengers do not want to pay extra, but fit all our items in the free hand baggage, we need to follow a few rules:

  • choose a backpack instead of a suitcase – it’s more ‘flexible’, if necessary you can wear a couple more things and decrease its size,
  • take the necessities only, some goods can be purchased after arrival,
  • in case of cosmetics it’s worth considering the purchase of small containers sold in drug stores, to which we could transfer some of the cream; remember also about the limitations regarding the transport of liquids,
  • techniques of folding clothes are of great importance; the most popular is rolling clothes up and putting the items close one next to another,
  • place items which need to be taken out at airport security check (cosmetics, laptops etc.) on top of your bag
  • Put the travel documents in the outer pocket.

What size is the hand baggage?

Each airline introduces strict limitations on the hand baggage amount, size and weight. Moreover, each passenger needs to respect some limitations because of security.

55 x 40 x 20 cm

is the maximum size limit for most budget airlines

8 kg

is the maximum weight limit for most budget and non-budget airlines

1 piece

is usually allowed on board the aircraft


  • With budget airlines babies are not typically allowed hand baggage. All the accessories, including baby food, need to be taken by its guardians, who do not get extended limitations on hand baggage,
  • Some non-budget airlines extend the weight and quantity limitations in business, premium or first class,
  • If your hand baggage exceeds the limits of allowed weight or size, it can be checked-in as a registered baggage within the registered baggage limits

Check detailed information about baggage size allowance for each airline.

What to take in hand baggage?

Take with you on board valuables, jewellery, documents and money. Remember that registered baggage can be damaged during the flight, therefore put fragile items, like a camera, a laptop or glass items in your hand luggage.

Can I put food or drink in my hand baggage?

When packing your hand baggage remember about restrictions on the liquids that you may transport on board , that is drinks, liquid foods, cosmetics etc. Remember that these restrictions apply to creams, gels, aerosols, shaving foams, tooth pastes or lotions. You are only allowed to transport liquids in containers of maximum capacity of 100 ml. All the containers have to fit in a see-through 1 litre volume plastic bag.

Exceptions from the restrictions above apply when transporting baby food and medicines necessary for the passenger during the duration of the flight.

There are no restrictions on food transportation within EU borders. You are allowed to take sandwiches, pastries, sweets, sausages, fruit and vegetables and other products.

Am I allowed to take my laptop on board

Many airlines (mostly regular airlines) allows one extra pieces of baggage, as extra hand baggage. The extra items include:

  • A laptop bag (possibly containing a charger, a mouse),
  • Photo camera (in a separate bag or in hand baggage),
  • Other small electric object (telephone, mp3 players, portable consoles),
  • umbrella,
  • coat,
  • reading material (in reasonable quantity),
  • woman’s or man’s handbag (the content of which should not be doubted during the airport security check).

Budget airlines usually do not allow taking any extra baggage on board, therefore all the above mentioned accessories need to be placed in one piece of hand baggage. 

What am I not allowed to take on board?

You are not allowed to take any sharp tools, like e.g. scissors, multi-tools, cork screws etc.

Where should hand baggage be placed?

Baggage should be placed in an overhead bin which can be found above the seats.

The tips and suggestions in this article and related articles are for informational purposes only and may not constitute the basis for any claim against

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