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packing, suitcase, travel

These packing hacks will save you money on luggage 🧳

We have rounded up our top 6 hacks to save you money on luggage for your next flight.

Published by
Caitlin Moore·29/11/2023

We know the feeling, you find flights for £9.99 return with Ryanair but adding on a carry-on case would set you back more than the flight. Our Pirate crew have become masters at avoiding extra baggage costs, and we're sharing our top 6 hacks with you to save money on baggage for your next flight.

1. Get the right size personal bag

Invest in the right size personal bag, and you can save loads of money on baggage costs in the long run. Most budget airlines only include a 'personal item' which must fit under the seat in front of you. The exact dimensions vary between airlines.

There are great options on the market right now that maximise the space available within the size requirements. I've personally packed for a 3-week trip in one of these bags, including a laptop.

2. Pack your neck pillow

This one's a bit naughty, but it works. Get a neck pillow that has a removable cover, remove the cushion and instead pack it with clothes. This works best with soft items that are easy to roll like dresses, shorts, t-shirts and underwear.

Security aren't in charge of airline baggage allowances, yes, they can see what's inside through the scanner, but they don't care (just keep it legal).

3. Pre-order your toiletries

If you're packing light and have a limited liquid allowance then this hack will definitely help.

Pre-order your toiletries to Boots for collection (make sure it's through security). Pre-ordering means you'll get regular prices on the website and won't be rushing around an airport Boots trying to think of what you need. This way you can get items like shower gel, sun creams and shampoos without adding to your luggage allowance.

4. Buy something airside

You can take 1 'Duty Free' bag on the flight with you, on top of the airline luggage allowance. Buy a bottle of water from WHSmith and keep the bag, and you can use it to pack items that you couldn't fit in your backpack.

5. Don't pay for checked luggage when booking flights

If you do need checked luggage, then this last tip might be useful when booking flights through a third party website.

I booked flights to New York with Virgin Atlantic through, the price was for 'economy light' tickets which only included hand-luggage. didn't have an option to add baggage, but you could upgrade all passengers to a 'plus ticket' which included checked luggage for £141 per passenger. However, booking checked baggage through Virgin Atlantic once I had my booking reference cost £50 per passenger each way. We shared a case to keep costs down, which cost £100 instead of upgrading both passengers to a 'plus ticket' for £282.

6. It's not what you pack, it's how you pack it

There are loads of ways you can maximise space in a small bag just by how you pack your clothes. Rolling your clothes is a great way to get more space. We also recommend using packing cubes, which will keep your items organised and also help to condense them. If you really want to save space, then vacuum packing your clothes is another great option, as long as you're willing to iron your clothes on arrival.

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