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The perfect hand-bag

Thanks to the excellent rates of low-cost airlines, it is easy to travel and visit new cities, spend a weekend in a capital city or take a short getaway for a few days.

But the main problem that presents itself when traveling with a low-cost company is the exaggerated cost of baggage, and it becomes essential to be a master in preparing hand luggage.

Not only remember what to wear and what is not allowed, but we have to fit everything you need in a small space, without forgetting anything and perhaps advancing space for any souvenirs and travel purchases.

In short, the preparation of hand luggage for many turns into a real nightmare, so as to postpone its preparation until the last second before departure.

How to prepare a perfect hand luggage

First of all it is good to have a list of essential things to pack, "basic" things that cannot be missed and that are the same for all journeys.

Then there is the beauty case, to which particular attention must be paid to the respect of the quantities and to the verification of what can be carried in hand luggage.

Particular attention also to clothing, preparing an intelligent and reduced suitcase, without wearing excess clothing that only takes up space and that we won't use much.

Finally a small bag with everything we need to keep on hand and the necessary for the flight.

Essential items

Regardless of the place and season, there are some items that are indispensable, which you cannot give up even if you are traveling only with hand luggage and you have to be careful about the spaces.

I recommend you check this list every time you leave!

  • Pajamas
  • Slippers for shower
  • Brush
  • Basic medicines (I always carry them in my bag, I usually carry: painkiller / anti-inflammatory, Tachipirina, lactic ferments, intestinal antibiotics, sprays and candy for sore throat, patches) and any medicines you use daily (and possible recipe, in case you lose them!)
  • Handkerchiefs and wet wipes
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Power strip and adapter (if required)
  • Chargers, cables and various batteries
  • Camera and related (objectives, selfie sticks, and various photographic gadgets)
  • Folding umbrella or k-way
  • Bags. They can always be used, to separate things, to store garbage, to be kept in the bag for various needs, ...)
  • Large bag or backpack, to be used every day and therefore able to contain everything you need.
  • A copy of all travel documents and documents

Personally I do not recommend bringing hair dryer and towels, usually they are provided, and even if you sleep in the hostel, in almost all rent them has a ridiculously cost, so I advise you to make this small investment rather than sacrifice space in hand luggage.

The beauty case for hand luggage

Given the limitations for hand luggage liquids, the preparation of the beauty case requires special attention. All liquids, gels, creams and sprays must not exceed the capacity of 100ml (or 100gr), so even if you have a 250ml bubble bath but it is almost finished it MUST NOT BE GOOD, because the capacity of the container is greater!

In addition, liquids should be stored in a transparent container, which can be easily opened, but if you do not have it, a small bag of food can be fine.

However in many shops, are sold transparent bags with 100ml vials, they are cheap and very comfortable, I recommend you buy those.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner
  • Detergents, creams, various tonics
  • Deodorant (I personally recommend stick or roll-on, I had big difficulties find the spray in the travel format)
  • Basic make-up and remover wipes
  • Electric shaver (both for him and her: fast, comfortable, generally with batteries and no problems with the blades). Attention, remember that for some destinations (for example USA or Great Britain) the electric razor in the hand luggage must be loaded and be able to work in case of control, so if it requires batteries, make sure to have them with you!
  • Eye drops, artificial tears and liquid for contact lenses (obviously for the lucky hawks or for those who quietly bear glasses these products are not necessary)
  • Soap or powder for clothing (below you will understand why)

Always remember to pay attention to the quantities, and perhaps for these occasions, you could use the various samples that are found in magazines or that perfumeries and pharmacies gift you!


If you decide to leave with hand luggage only, you should know that the thing you need to cut more is clothing.

Among the indispensable objects and the beauty case, the space that remains is not very much, moreover, if you think of buying souvenirs you will need to leave some space in the "departure suitcase".

Carrying the entire closet is not a smart choice, not only in the days prior to departure you will be forced to run like vagabonds because everything is already in your suitcase, but also because you will avoid taking up valuable space with clothes that you won't even wear.

Following some small steps you will prepare a perfect hand luggage!

  • Think about the possible combinations between a few items
  • Prefer trousers/skirts broken to dresses, you can combine them in different ways with switwears
  • Do not take more than 4 changes + the one you wear, you have brought the dust or soap, don't you? Here, on the third day, indicatively wash the changes, so they will have a day to dry in case there are no dryers. If it is a matter of few things and it does not seem the case to use the washing machine (almost always available in the hotels or in any case there are everywhere the coin operated ones) do as your grandmothers do and wash the clothes BY HAND.
  • NEVER forget a scarf, it could always be used. Trust me.
  • Roll up your clothes, as you do with a sleeping bag... they will take up less space, you can put them in the corners and they won't rub.
  • Try to bring a pair of spare shoes, no matter how you choose comfortable shoes, after a day of intense walking your foot may be affected and changing shoes the next day will be a relief. Not to mention that in the event of persistent rain and consequent wet shoes, the next day you will have a dry change
  • Socks, underpants, costumes in bags must be put inside the shoes, thus optimizing the space

Now it's not up to me to tell you which clothes to wear, but broadly try to choose comfortable clothes, easily washable, not too delicate and not too bulky (especially the winter sweaters... abandon the thick wool sweater and choose one in thinner cashmere, or equip yourself with thinner thermal sweaters).

I usually carry 1 bottom (pants or skirt)+ those I wear and, depending on the season, 1/2 sweater + the one I wear or 3/4 t-shirts + the one I wear.


Now almost all low-cost companies in addition to handbag allow you to carry a small handbag, usually with very small sizes (for this among the indispensable I have indicated a large bag), in which I advise you to put everything you need keep at hand.

  • Travel documents, maybe all kept in a transparent folded envelope to keep them better
  • Cell phone, earphones, charger and powerbank
  • Wallet
  • Lip stick
  • Sun glasses
  • Contact lenses (in flight it is recommended to keep the glasses for pressurization)
  • Snacks
  • Paper or agenda and pen
  • Inflatable neck pillow and mask

And any others that you always carry in your bag when you go out normally.

What you are NOT allowed to carry in your hand luggage

Finally, I want to give you a little reminder of what you can't carry in your hand luggage.

I may seem repetitive since it is repeated everywhere, but just as I was embarking on my weekend in Madrid, the girl in front of me was praying in vain for the airport clerk not to throw her expensive perfume... ...so it's always better to repeat it once more.

  • Weapons of any kind, but also toy weapons that can be exchanged for real. Slingshots, often sold at toy stalls, are also prohibited in hand luggage!
  • Stun devices, like tasers but also irritating spray (like pepper spray)
  • Sharp objects, including then cutters, razor blades, knives and scissors with blades over 6 cm (so be careful, scissors for children's nails are also excluded!!), but also corkscrews and screwdrivers
  • Explosive and incendiary substances, including firecrackers and realistic toy reproductions.
  • Liquids, gels, compressed gases in containers exceeding 100ml (or 100g), as I have already described a few lines above.

To conclude, I want to remind you that in general the first 90 carry-on bags are guaranteed, then they will be put in the stow free of charge. But be careful !! If you have lithium batteries, but also tablets or PCs, take them off! They absolutely cannot be put in the stow.