Packing lightly – getting one over on airlines

“Ryanair: Strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger (excluding infants) weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm is permitted. (handbag, briefcase, laptop, shop purchases, camera etc.) must be carried in your 1 permitted piece of cabin baggage.”

While Ryanair’s baggage restrictions raises several questions, not least of which is – is an infant counted as cabin baggage?? it raises one of the most fun aspects of holiday preparation . .  packing!!! (Or as we like to see it, getting one over on crappy budget airlines)

As a matter of course we only ever take hand luggage on trips of seven days or less, and in the recent Italy / strike / delay debacle, our hand luggage actually managed to last us ten whole days (although it got stinky)!

Having to pay extra cash to wait in line to check in a hugely overpacked suitcase, only to wait at the other end again in a tense panicky desperation about if it will ever turn up again, is not one of our favourite things.

We love to breeze past the baggage reclaimation queues with a cheeky backward glance and a saucy shrug .

So we say HELL NO! to checked in bags unless utterly unavoidable for long haul trips and even then it’s not always necessary.

My luggage usually ends up busted open in transit or on route anyway – never underestimate the shame of the unfortunate sight of your not so smalls rotating on the baggage carousel or flying free from a bag as you leg it to catch a bus.

So how to pack light but still have enough clobber to see you through whatever the trip might throw at you? Including bird poo, curry spillages and any other projectile substances you may encounter.

Tips (in no particular order and no particular promises that they A) work B) are particularly useful or legal)

PACKING THE BAG:
Some travellers suggest sticking to a colour theme, eg khaki, black and cream, so you can co-ordinate all your stuff easily. Yeap, good idea, I have no further comment on that one.

Roll things into sausage shapes instead of folding them, takes up less room apparently and no boring creases.

Only pack 2 pairs of shoes (yeap I wanted to vomit too) trainers and black flip flops. Covers all eventualities. You may look like an unstylish prat though.

Make the most of the pathetically tiny bottles of liquid you can take. I use one for shampoo and conditioner in one, another for shower gel. I then steal the other half’s allowance too for body lotion, he only needs one. Then I use that one for anti bug spray.

I usually chance it taking a disposable razor or two as well. If they confiscate them then so be it, I always seem to get them through though. Possibly don’t risk taking a cut throat though. Probably can’t be passed off as a personal grooming implement.

ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT:

LAYERING – try and cram as much clothing on as possible, layer up with t shirts, thin jumper, thicker cardigan and then coat.

 Add a hat and scarf for extra effect. Sure you’ll look like the michelin man, cause utter chaos at the security check point where you will have to take it all off again and you’ll sweat like a man beast, but at least you’ve got an extra two day’s worth of outfits on!

Airport security never saw me coming . . .

BLING IT UP – along similar lines, wear as many necklaces and bracelets as possible, so you rattle while you walk. Now you’ll have lots of pretty shiny things to dress up your basic, creased little wardrobe. Again, may cause problems when passing through the metal detectors and may end in a strip search, but hey, small price to pay!!

STEAL FOOD – if you spend time in the executive lounge before flying as we sometimes do, take advantage of the adorably tiny packages of food that they have in abundance.

Sure there are signs saying do not take food out of lounge but hey… You can stick loads of peanuts and shortbread into the numerous small and otherwise pointless pockets on rucksacks.

Also good for appropriating are the little cheese portions and cream crackers. Put them in your jean pockets and try not to walk funny as you leave. The staff may hear your contraband crunching and crackling though – just stare them out and maintain a dignified and haughty manner as you exit.

Actual size of peanut packets in VIP airport lounges – see you can hide millions of them on your person . . .

I take absolutely no responsibility if you follow any of my tried and tested tips. Happy travels!!

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