How to choose a hand luggage?

How to choose a hand luggage?

What will be best as hand luggage? A suitcase, a backpack, a bag?

Hand luggage - the expression ‘hand luggage’ means that the luggage is placed close to us - usually we are talking about a special cabinet mounted above our heads or near our legs. So it is not taken by the carrier to a separate luggage compartment, which makes the responsibility for it rest on us.

There are, of course, a number of restrictions associated with hand luggage. These mainly concern its size and weight - usually it has to fit into the aforementioned locker, which is set aside for storing it. Various restrictions are also attached to the contents of such baggage. Theoretically, access to it is free, which means that the things found in it could be used during the journey or pose a threat to other passengers. As a result, each carrier prepares a special list which indicates what can and what should not be placed in the hand luggage.

We have to bear in mind the numerous restrictions imposed on us by transport companies. They mainly concern the contents of the baggage, as well as its dimensions. Therefore, before departure or departure it is always worthwhile to carefully read the regulations of the selected carrier, as well as the baggage fee schedule.

How to choose a hand luggage? What can you carry?

Obviously it depends on the carrier, as well as on the type of transport (different rules apply to airline transport than to bus transport), but usually the list of allowed products will not include any items with sharp edges or made of glass. There is no need to mention flammable or explosive materials. So what should we pack in our hand luggage? Here is a short list:

  • limited amount of liquids - usually up to one liter,
  • medicines,
  • medical accessories,
  • shoes,
  • cosmetic and personal care accessories (in the case of liquids, please note the capacity limits),
  • toothbrushes,
  • solid food,
  • e-cigarettes,
  • electronic equipment.

If you want to be sure which items may be placed in your hand luggage, it is advisable to study the regulations of the carrier you have chosen carefully before departure and familiarize yourself with the list of allowed and prohibited items.

Cabin baggage - prohibited items

In addition to the already mentioned flammable materials, as well as any sharp objects, the prohibited items include:

  • firearms
  • replica firearms,
  • lighters resembling firearms,
  • signal charge launchers,
  • electric stun guns,
  • instruments for slaughtering animals,
  • gun-like toys,
  • baseball bats, field hockey sticks, golf bats, cricket bats,
  • paddles,
  • skateboards,
  • fishing rods,
  • martial arts equipment,
  • chemical materials,
  • liquids that do not comply with storage regulations.

In short, hand luggage should not contain any objects that could cause any danger.

How to choose a hand luggage? Dimensions and weight

This is another issue that is regulated by separate regulations of each carrier. In most cases, however, hand luggage for airplanes and buses has maximum dimensions of approx. 55 x 40 x 20 cm. In case of some carriers (especially coach carriers) these rules are treated more freely. In case carriers, the hand luggage should be able to fit on the shelf, luggage storage above the seat or in the free space under the seat.

As far as the weight is concerned, with most carriers it fluctuates around 10 kilograms. At this point it should be noted that some carriers allow you to take, in addition to hand luggage, an additional bag or backpack, which will be carried on your lap. Analyzing various regulations of companies operating on the market, its dimensions usually reach 35 x 20 x 20 cm. Obviously its content is regulated by the same rules as for the traditional hand luggage.

As far as fees for hand luggage are concerned, it depends on the carrier's policy. Some companies do not charge any fees for small baggage, while the prices for large baggage are often symbolic or are added to the ticket price.

How to choose a hand luggage? Hand baggage vs checked baggage

If we are not able to pack all the things in hand luggage, we are forced to buy the so-called checked baggage (or main baggage), which is carried in a separate luggage compartment.

Charges in his case are different and depend on the carrier, but usually the passenger must pay extra for a one-way trip. So it's always worth checking the fee schedule of the carrier you have decided to use.

The advantage of checked baggage is that it is not subject to the same restrictions as hand luggage. So it can be much larger and heavier. It also allows you to carry almost anything - so you can take any liquids, cosmetics, metal or sharp objects with you.

How to choose a hand luggage? What kind of hand luggage?

Apart from indicating the requirements concerning the size, weight and contents of the hand luggage, the carriers rather do not define what we should pack. So theoretically we can use anything, even a large plastic bag, as long as it meets the above mentioned standards. Of course, the use of a plastic bag would be extremely inconvenient, so it is worth considering what solution will turn out to be the most suitable for us.

How to choose a hand luggage? Suitcase

It is the most popular travel product used both in planes, coaches and trains. Its greatest advantage is the great convenience of packing things and moving them from place to place.

The suitcases available on the market usually come with a variety of compartments that can accommodate clothing, toiletries, electronics, documents and many, many other items that can easily be grouped together, making the inside perfectly tidy. Most of the travel suitcases also have built-in wheels, which definitely facilitate their transportation, as well as reinforced construction, so we do not have to worry about the safety of things transported in them.

What is more, travel combat allows you to make maximum use of the available space in the luggage compartment. This is because such products are sold in dedicated sizes, which do not change, for example under the influence of too many things, which "stuff the suitcase". Disadvantages of this solution? It is difficult to use the suitcase during sightseeing, it will also turn out to be quite a bit more expensive than other products.

How to choose a hand luggage? Travel bag

Usually considered as a cheaper alternative to the suitcase described above. Its construction is not rigid, so it changes its shape under the influence of the items it carries. This can be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage. If we carry few things, such a bag takes up much less space, it will also turn out to be much lighter than typical suitcases. However, problems appear when our luggage grows - the dimensions of the bag also increase, which may turn out to be a big problem at the airport.

It should also be emphasized that a bag does not offer such packing comfort as a good quality suitcase. It usually has only one compartment (plus possible side pockets), so everything is carried in one place. Deciding on a bag, we can't count on our clothes being perfectly ironed after the trip. Not all bags also have built-in wheels, which often condemns us to carry really heavy loads on our shoulders.

How to choose a hand luggage? A backpack

Will turn out to be, above all, extremely comfortable to carry. It is enough to put it on your back. Due to the limited size associated with the rules of carrying hand luggage, it is also distinguished by a relatively low weight, so it can also serve us during sightseeing.

Due to its specific design, it is unlikely to be useful for carrying ironed clothes. However, travel backpacks usually have plenty of different sized compartments, allowing you to carry a wide variety of luggage.

As far as the disadvantages of a backpack are concerned, one should first of all pay attention to the difficulty of keeping the prescribed dimensions. A significantly "stuffed" backpack increases its volume, which, like a bag, can be problematic.

Regardless of the type of hand luggage you decide on, you should remember that it should meet the most important criteria, i.e. it should be durable and easy to carry. It is not worth deciding on the cheapest products, as they are usually prepared from poor quality materials, which quite quickly become damaged, especially in the case of "overloading".

If you buy a suitcase with wheels, pay attention to the solidity of their construction. They should be large and thick, so that they do not melt when moving - contrary to appearances, this situation is very common, especially if you buy suitcases tempting low price.

Where can you buy hand luggage? You can find suitcases, bags and backpacks both in special stores and in various supermarkets and shopping centres. It is also worth to check the offer of online stores, which usually have a much wider assortment.

How to choose a hand luggage? Hand luggage - frequently asked questions

If you buy a suitcase with wheels, pay attention to the solidity of their construction. They should be large and thick, so that they do not melt when moving - contrary to appearances, this situation is very common, especially if you buy suitcases tempting low price.

Where can you buy hand luggage? You can find suitcases, bags and backpacks both in special stores and in various supermarkets and shopping centres. It is also worth to check the offer of online stores, which usually have a much wider assortment.

Carrying things as hand luggage is often extremely problematic. This is mainly due to different policies implemented by specific transport companies. All this makes it worth answering the most frequently asked questions in this matter.

Is hand luggage weighed?

In most cases not only checked baggage but also carry-on baggage is weighed during check-in. This allows the airline to check whether all the requirements stipulated in the regulations have been met.

Is carry-on baggage measured?

Yes, in most cases it is measured immediately before boarding and not during the security check. However, it is sometimes the case that airline staff overlook this issue.

Does hand baggage have to be checked in?

All baggage, regardless of its type, is checked during security screening.

Can hand luggage be on wheels?

Yes, but keep in mind that wheels increase the surface of the luggage. Therefore, when measuring its dimensions, you should also take into account the wheels attached.

Can hand baggage be a backpack?

Yes, just like a travel bag.

Can food and medicine be carried in carry-on baggage?

Carriers usually allow solid food to be carried as well as all medicines and necessary medical equipment (e.g. inhalers). However, it is always advisable to check the regulations of a given company.