Hand luggage: ‘Save space’ and money by packing ‘invaluable holiday staples’

Martin Lewis Extreme Savers: Expert on how to cut luggage costs

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Airlines around the world have their own specific fees for hand luggage and checked-in bags, with some ramping up the price for passengers who overpack. While luggage fees can be paid upfront, flight operators often heighten the cost for those who need to pay for overweight bags at the airport.

With holidays to green list nations back on the cards for many Britons this summer, hand luggage concerns are likely to be a hot topic.

Luckily, one travel expert has offered her insight into the easy ways holidaymakers can save on space and weight.

Nicole Street, co-founder of Duchy, a luxury, sustainable handbag and travel luggage brand, explained that some simple swaps could be the key to reducing the risk of added fees at the check-in desk.

Toiletries, as Ms Street explains, can often be the culprit behind heavy bags.

“If you were a frequent jet-setter pre-Covid then you’re undoubtedly familiar with miniature shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and more; they’re a holiday staple, found in almost every carry-on bag,” she told Express.co.uk.

“However, using miniatures all-round, including in your suitcase and the rest of your travel luggage will prove to be invaluable when it comes to maximising space.”

Often, retailers can hike up the price of travel-size toiletries which is why Ms Street recommends making your own hand luggage friendly products.

“Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to spend an extortionate amount on new cosmetics if you don’t want to,” she said.

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“Instead, you can purchase your own small, clear plastic bottles and transfer shampoo, conditioner, foundation and shower gel that you already own.”

It isn’t just bath time and makeup products which can be condensed when packing.

Ms Street also says it is possible to squeeze as many belongings into a small space as possible with what she describes as the “Russian doll technique”.

She explained: “The Russian doll technique is simple: if there’s room to squeeze one item into another, do it.

“I don’t just mean with shoes, although this is efficient; you can fit your smaller, soft items into almost anything – from clutch bags for essential evening ensembles to hats and more, there are countless ways to fit in those last few unmissable items.”

One of her top tips includes putting “socks in your hats to help maintain their shape.”

Another of her space-saving tips is “rolling” – but only when it comes to some items.

In fact, Ms Street points out that travellers often make a “common mistake” which actually takes up more room when it comes to this method.

“When it comes to packing, we all too enthusiastically roll our clothes and accessories in an effort to save space,” she said.

“However, as it turns out, there are times when you should do this and times when you definitely shouldn’t.

“For example, when it comes to your clothes, roll away. This will help you save space, prevent larger items from taking over your luggage and, as an added bonus, it’ll keep your favourite clothing pieces wrinkle-free.

“Although, I wouldn’t recommend rolling your belts into a circle; this is a common mistake that doesn’t actually save space… in reality, it leaves your belts taking up more room.

“Instead, lay your flat belts along the edges of your suitcase or the bottom of your bag.”

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