It’s so much cheaper to just take hand luggage!

A recent study by The Co-operative Travel Company found that around 26% of passengers are taking hand luggage with them and nothing else. Taking a suitcase can set you back an extra £50 on some flights. In some cases this can be more than the flight itself!

As an example, if you plan on flying to Malta in the next couple of months and checks on Ryanair’s website, the total flight cost from London will cost just under £100 for a return trip. On the next page where the details need to be entered, they ask if they would like to take a suitcase to go on the hold. There are two options, either 15 kilos for £30 or 20 kilos for £50. This means just being able to take a 20 kilo suitcase will be 50% of their flight cost. So what was originally £100 is now £150!

The budget airlines make it hard not to take a suitcase because there are so many restricted items that aren’t allowed in your hand-luggage but as they are for safety reasons we can’t complain too much. You wouldn’t be able to take your shampoo, shower gel, makeup and even some deodorants so you would need to buy them when you get there and throw them away before you return home or just simply do without!

We don’t want to pick on just Ryanair so have also looked on Easyjet’s site.

Easyjet has offered the return flights from London to Malta for just under £120. To add a checked-in suitcase would cost another £30 and would allow up to 20 kilos. What was shocking was if the suitcase was to weigh 32 kilos they would charge another £168! If we stick to 20 kilos, Ryanair and Easyjet have offered the flight and checked-in luggage for the same price.

Although this blog may seem that we are not too fond of budget airlines, we are and we will use them. When you get a deal, they are normally much cheaper than other airlines even when you add the baggage on top!

It is important to note that if you are taking hand luggage only, most airlines have a strict size and weight limit and will ask you to prove the size of your luggage by fitting it into a baggage checker. These are dotted around the airport check-in as well as at the boarding gate. If your bag is too big, then you will be told to place it on the airplane’s hold and pay a charge.Ryanair allows 10kg of cabin luggage. If you are taking a suitcase on the hold as well, make the most of the available weight in your hand luggage and put your heavy items, such as laptop, digital camera, kindle and iPad in there. This way, you know that you will not go over your main baggage allowance with clothes and shoes. You will also know that your most expensive items are with you at all times.
Finally, don’t forget to take out travel insurance to cover your personal belongings. 24/7 travel insurance provides cover for emergency medical expenses, cancellation and departure delay amongst other benefits and costs just £10.70 for 8 days cover when travelling to Europe.Prices correct as at 26/08/2011* Premium £10.70 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged 18-54 taking out a Single Trip ‘Standard’ 24/7 travel insurance policy including personal possessions cover for 8 days in Europe. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (26th August 2011) and are subject to change. You must read the policy wording to ensure you are familiar with your cover.