How to travel with hand luggage only and not check bags at the airport

In the present times, few things are more desirable for travellers than to avoid airport queues and prevent their bags from getting lost when they travel. Although not impossible, being able to pack everything you need for your trip in just one cabin size bag is a hard task to tackle, and this post is about to give you some good clues on how to do it successfully. Imagine breezing through the airport terminal with your digital boarding pass stored on your phone, having checked in for your flight already, leaving the baggage drop counter behind, clearing security and heading straight to the departures hall where your gate is. That are just some of the joys of travelling with just a carry on or with a backpack only.

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Continue reading below to discover the benefits of packing just one cabin size bag, our hacks to fit everything into a carry on and the maximum hand luggage dimensions allowed by some of the main airlines flying globally nowadays.

Perks of travelling with just a carry on travel backpack

Even if you travel for business, a stylish backpack can be the perfect piece of hand luggage, as opposed to a trolley, which will always be heavier and more difficult to fit into the overhead compartment inside aircrafts. To avoid queues and never leave your belongings unattended, choose to invest in a quality backpack that does not exceed the maximum cabin size dimensions allowed by airlines, is comfortable to carry, anti-theft, easy to organize and multifunctional.

When you search for your ideal backpack for travel, look for those:

  • featuring large capacity
  • made of water-resistant material
  • incorporating USB ports to charge your phone and devices
  • with interior compartments or zipped cases for laptops and electronics
  • theft resistant
  • integrating a safety lock with password.

Best hacks to pack a cabin size bag only before you travel

  • Pack the bare essentials for a trip and nothing else; forget about the “just in case” items and all those things that will never get out of the bag.
  • Roll your clothes up as tight as you can, or use packing cubes and compression bags if you prefer.
  • Instead of packing two or more pairs of shoes, choose one single pair that is multipurpose (like the 24 hour comfort ones, for instance).
  • Buy solid toiletries, all-in-one cosmetics (such one that doubles as body gel and shampoo), or plan to use the courtesy ones at the hotel.
  • Wear your heaviest clothes or put on several layers to catch your plane: that will surely give you some extra space in your backpack.

Maximum hand luggage size allowed by international airlines

Generally, the maximum cabin bag size allowance around the world is somewhere between 40 cm high, 20 cm wide and 25 cm deep (Ryanair) and 56 cm high, 45 cm wide and 25 cm deep (British Airways), while the allowed weight for hand luggage ranges from 6 to 10 kilograms. Other carry-on permitted dimensions are:

  • American Airlines: 45x35x20
  • easyJet: 45x36x20
  • Lufthansa: 55x40x23
  • Emirates: 55x40x23
  • Cathay Pacific: 56x36x23
  • SAS: 55x40x23
  • Avianca: 55x35x25
  • China Southern: 55x40x20

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How to avoid having your luggage lost by airlines

When we travel by air, especially to go on vacation or on the occasion of an international business trip, we often need to bring several pieces of luggage with us, meaning that some of our bags or suitcases will be transported as checked baggage in the hold of the aircraft. Looking at today’s technologically advanced systems that are used to handle airport operations, we assume that an airline has no reason to misplace our belongings, but statistics show that it does happen more frequently than we would wish. While common sense tells us to pack the essentials we won’t be able to do without during our trip in our carry-on, we have compiled the best tips and recommendations to ensure you won’t need to deal with lost luggage at all on your upcoming travels.

Follow the steps below every time you catch a flight and airlines will never lose your luggage:

-Remove all previous flight tags that may still be attached to the bags you will check. Absent-minded and nostalgic travellers have a tendency to keep old airline tags fixed to their suitcases, oftentimes just to boast their alleged frequent flyer status, yet this might lead to an unwanted outcome. For instance, if you are about to catch your flight back home but the tag corresponding to your outbound flight is still attached to your luggage and the check-in agent does not notice it, chances are that the wrong bar code will be scanned by the system. As a result, it will be understood that your bag must stay in that particular airport, be sent to a different destination or simply put aside since the information cannot be processed.

-Examine your baggage and detect any protruding handles or straps that might get caught in the moving belts or machinery at the airport; these should ideally be detached or removed to avoid one of the main causes of lost luggage without the airline even knowing or being able to track. The worst case scenario could be that neither the luggage tag nor your bag can be identified anymore.

-Be at the check-in counter at least one hour and half before departure time for domestic flights and two hours before departing for international flights. Or even better than that: find out when the check-in desks for your flight will open and try to be the first in line. Those who check in early rarely have their bags lost by the airline, because it is in the rush hour and last-minute handling when ticketing agents are more prone to make mistakes and send the bags to the wrong place.

-Before your bags go away on the belt at the check-in desk, quickly double check the info on the tag against that on the receipt the agent has given you and confirm it is correct (both must coincide and indicate your actual destination). Few people do this, but we do recommend you politely ask the airline agent to give you a minute for it, as most human mistakes originate in this step of the process.

-If you will be making a connection, layover or stopover in one or more airports before reaching your final destination, confirm with your carrier and its partners whether you must collect your luggage or not at each stage of your trip. In most cases, if you have purchased all the legs as a single ticket with connecting flights, it is highly likely that you won’t need to worry about claiming baggage until you arrive; however, when landing in small airports or flying with airlines that do not have a codeshare agreement, you will be in charge of collecting your baggage and re-check it prior to departing on your next flight.

-Nowadays, too many people rely on the classic plain grey or blue trolley, and differences in design from one manufacturing brand to another are barely noticeable, so make your checked bags stand out by means of adding stickers, your engraved initials or a colourful ribbon. Unless you are a business traveller whose job requires uniform formality in your dress code and complements, choose distinctive carry-ons and suitcases with striking designs and colours. This way, you will help the airline to identify them easily as well as prevent them from being taken by mistake by jet-lagged and sleepy passengers.

-Upon landing, check the baggage carousel for your flight several times as you approach the claim area for a simple reason: as is the case with boarding gates, the assigned baggage carousel may be changed after the airline staff has announced it over the speakers. Also, do not stop along the way to have a cup of coffee or buy gifts, it is preferable to have to wait for the bags to come out than arrive late and discover somebody else has left with your bags.

-Use approved TSA locks or an equivalent and not just for safety and privacy reasons. In the unlikely event of the presence of thieves at the baggage claim hall, a security lock that looks like it is hard to crack open will dissuade robbers who will turn to easier targets.

Have you got everything sorted out for your trip? If you need to find a place to stay in your next destination, learn how to search for and book accommodation online.

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How to watch Netflix in your hotel room TV

In the not so distant past, when our hotel stay featured satellite TV channels we would already consider the service to be high-standard, especially if we had travelled overseas. Today, with fast access to worldwide news via the internet connection of our smartphones, this feature is no longer as appealing as it used to. That is why some hospitality chains are taking further steps to set a new milestone: making Netflix available for guests to use in their hotel room TVs. Come to think of it, being able to binge-watch your favorite streaming TV shows after a long, exhausting day doing business in a foreign city would certainly feel like home. Let’s take a deeper look at how this innovative hotel amenity works.

Which hotels have the in-room TV Netflix feature enabled?

For the time being, you can log into your Netflix account using the TV in your hotel room at select United States locations of internationally renowned hospitality chains like Marriott, Starwood, Best Western, Hilton, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Intercontinental and Wyndham. You may contact the property where you will be staying to ask whether the service is enabled prior to your arrival.

Accessing your Netflix account from your hotel room TV

If this amenity is indeed available at the location where you are staying, you will have to options to log into your account: pressing the Netflix button on the remote control or else looking for the Netflix icon on the main menu on the TV screen. Both methods will lead to the displaying of a login screen and a touch keyboard; all you need to do at this point is entering your e-mail address or username and password and start enjoying your binge-watching session. Well, before you do, perhaps you should order room service.

Are my personal details safe if I enter my Netflix account at a hotel?

Watching Netflix on the TV of your hotel room does not entail any risk, since all the information you enter to log in is automatically cleared up as soon as you check out. For your peace of mind, though, you may want to sign out before you leave your room by selecting this option from the main menu.

What if I don’t have a Netflix account?

If you are not a user yet, you can still sign up for a Netflix account during your hotel stay, which you will be able to access from your own electronic devices using your chosen credentials after you leave.

What can I watch during my trip?

It largely depends on how much time to spare you have before bedtime or an appointment, if you watch TV to relax and fall asleep or if you really want to make the most of your hotel stay and watch meaningful content. In case you simply can’t make up your mind, scroll down and browse the menu for documentaries, movies and series, search for a specific genre or actor or trust Netflix’s personalized recommendations.

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