How to travel with just a carry-on suitcase?

How to travel with just a carry-on suitcase?

Before you quit reading this post because there’s no way you can pack everything in only one case, let us remind you that it is cheaper and more efficient. Ask yourself this: would you rather take an extra pair of shoes or have the money left over to buy a new set? That’s what we thought. Traveling with just a carry-on suitcase comes with many advantages and some of them might surprise you. Let’s take a look.

There is one great benefit right off the bat - you will definitely pay less, the difference in tickets from the low-cost flight can be between $20 and $50. To put that saving into perspective, that is about an extra night in a well-priced hotel, a day pass to a waterpark, a trip on a boat, or enough spare money to buy around 15 Starbucks. Now, doesn’t matter sound enticing? Besides, it’s easier not to carry all those heavy things which you probably won’t even use or have to waste time looking for storage and unpacking to repack.

But how are you going to do this? There are lots of effortless ways. Here we’ll give you a few tips and then look at some of the dimensions with different Airlines of what a carry-on case looks like - and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


·       Explore the rules of each airline for carry-on bags

·       Purchase the most suitable and comfortable bag if you don’t have one

·       Create a packing list.

·       Weight the bag up before the airport, so you don’t have any unexpected surprises

·       Pack your personal item. It can be a lady bag or a laptop bag. Just make sure your airline allows one.

·       Check the weather the week before going and prioritize your stuff.

·       Tuck things inside each other, like socks in shoes, or roll toothbrushes and essentials in your beach towel

Items you can’t carry or are limited

Some items are limited on more factors than just what space you have left


Traveling with only a carry-on also affects the amounts of liquids, gels, and aerosols you can bring. That is because of TSA requirements that inhibit certain substances due to the potential for danger. This means that you’ll need all items of this nature to be less than 3.4 ounces each. They will also have to fit into a 1-quart bag. Quite often, it will be requested that this is a clear bag so that they can be seen if necessary, which is very likely as your hand-luggage is placed through the scanner. It’s all for safety, so totally worth it, but it can be a bit confusing. Anything flammable like lighters is exempt even if they fit the limits and are not allowed at all.

Makeup and snacks

This ruling about being under 3.4 ounces and fitting into a 1-quart bag includes makeup and snacks like peanut butter. It does not include medications with the original label, baby formula, or duty-free items purchased at the airport.  When you buy duty-free, they are put in a specific bag, making the process easy for the crew and means one less paperwork for you.

Let’s get technical

There are many rules, and if your head wasn’t already spinning, we are sorry to tell you that each company has its own definitions. We’ve gathered a few of the companies rules to make your life easier.

Carry-on bag rules.  Wizz Air.

Allowance: Onboard

The maximum weight for a carry-on bag with this company is 10 kilograms

Wheels: Allowed/Not mandatory

The maximum size is 40 x 30 x 20 cm. However, it must fit under the seat in front of you; it can be a laptop bag, woman’s purse, or small backpack

The best part is, it’s free!

Carry-on bag rules. Ryanair

Only priority boarding passengers will be permitted to take one small bag and one larger one.

The small bag will be limited to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm.

They will allow a larger cabin bag of 55 x 40 x 20cm, with a maximum weight allowance of 10 kilograms into the cabin free of charge.

However, if you are a non-priority customer, you can only bring one small bag.

This small bag must measure 40cm x 20cm x 25cm or less. Additionally, there is another rule which states that it must fit into the sizer provided.

If non-priority customers want to bring a second bigger bag, they can purchase a lower cost 10-kilogram check-in bag at the time of booking online. It must be checked-in at the airport bag drop desk before reaching airport security.

If you are a non-priority customer and have not already added a 10-kilogram bag to your booking but would like to, you can purchase one at the airport bag drop desk for an extra fee.

Duty-free bags are permitted in the cabin along with your cabin baggage, but they do count as part of your carry-on.

Carry-on bag rules. Lufthansa

As carry-on baggage, you can take one item of luggage with you. This could be a trolley case, a compact, foldable baby buggy, or a foldable garment bag. This applies to a standard ticket.

You can take two items in Business or First Class.

The dimensions for carry-on baggage must be a  maximum of 55 x 40 x 23 cm.

You can also carry foldable garment bags. For foldable garment bags, the maximum limit is 57 x 54 x 15 cm.

In either case, one item of carry-on baggage is considered to be up to 8 kilograms.

Carry-on bag rules. Spirit Airlines

This company allows a maximum of 22 x 18 x10 inches, which is 56 x 46 x 25 cm, for a carry-on bag, including handles and wheels.

Carry-on bag rules Frontier Airlines

Carry-on bags can be no larger than 24 “H, 16 “W, 10” D (including handles, wheels, and straps), and no heavier than 35 pounds.

Carry-on bag rules Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) allows one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, laptop bag) per passenger fee-free.

They state that the carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm), including handles and wheels.

Carry-on bag rules JetBlue Airways

JetBlue (B6) allows one carry-on bag and one personal item like a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag per passenger fee-free.

Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm), including handles and wheels.

Of course, if this is too complicated or you can just think of more fun things to do, Tripening can do it for you.

Please always check directly with the airlines, and only use the information above as an overview, but not rely on it for your final travel plans,  as rules often change.