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One of the most important things to consider when traveling is what luggage you will need. The first type of luggage that people usually think about are carry-on bags, but there is another kind of luggage that many travelers don’t know much about:

what is hold luggage

Hold baggage or checked baggage. Hold baggage can either be a large bag, as in the case with suitcases and other types of handbags, but it could also be an item like a laptop or iPad, which are transported separately from your body onboard aircraft.

This blog post will explore what hold baggage entails and how it differs from carry-on bags so you can best decide which one would work better for your travel needs next time you go on vacation!

You might also like our recent reviews of Best Luggage for International Travel and Best Suitcases in the UK available on a separate page.

Types and Size of Hold Luggage

There are several different types of hold baggage:

  • -Trolley Bags (Maximum Dimension 55x40x20 cm – Maximum Weight 20 kg)
  • -Carry On Suitcases (55x35x25 cm and not more than 8 kg in weight)
  • -20″/40″ Checked Luggage (Maximum Dimension: 20x40x55 cm – Maximum Weight: 32 kg)
  • -30″/45″ Checked Luggage (Maximum Dimension 30x45x55 cm and maximum weight 40 kg)

Maximum dimensions and weight are applicable for each type of baggage as stated above, but you should also consider where your hold bag will be while on the aircraft. 

On most carriers, three sections hold luggage that can be stored: under the seat in front of you (called the seat pocket), overhead space on your aircraft, and under the cabin. 

Some airlines may also offer other types of luggage storage, such as lockers over your head or at your feet, so always check with the airline beforehand to see what options they have for carry-on luggage.

Maximum Allowed Weight of Hold Luggage

While you may be able to carry more than the maximum weight of hold baggage, it would not be good for either your back or other travelers’ backs if you did. 

Most airlines recommend that people do not exceed the following weights:

  • -Maximum Weight 8 kg – 55x35x25 cm (Carry On)
  • -Maximum Weight 12 kg – 55x40x20 cm (Trolley Bag)
  • -Maximum Weight 20 kg – Maximum Dimension: 55x40x20 cm (Trolley Bag)
  • -Maximum Weight 32kg – Maximum Dimension: 20x40x55 cm or 30 x45 x55 cm (Checked Luggage)
  • -Maximum Weight 40kg – Maximum Dimension: 30×45 x55 cm (Checked Luggage)

If you plan to fly with hold baggage, always check the maximum weight allowed for your holiday travel destination and see exactly how much you can fit into your luggage!

What can you Pack in Your Hold Luggage?

Now that you know the maximum weight allowed for your hold bag, it may be a good idea to know what exactly you can pack in there. Certain items will not be allowed on board of aircraft before takeoff, and we highly recommend checking with each airline’s website before travel just so that you don’t end up leaving anything behind and missing out on your holiday. 

Below is a list of items that are prohibited from being carried onboard either under the seat in front of you, overhead storage space, or hold luggage (to avoid confusion):

  • Weapons (knives, pepper spray, stun guns) and ammunition for any weapon regardless if it is real or fake
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Flammable liquids (Gas, gasoline, fuel, kerosene, oil) and toxic substances (solvents including paint thinner and cleaners, acids such as battery acid or pool chemicals)
  • Corrosive liquids (saltwater and chlorine solutions such as bleach for cleaning purposes, liquid soap)
  • Perfumes/colognes
  • Sprays (hair spray/deodorant)
  • Gases and aerosols (aerosol cans such as hairspray, air fresheners, cleaning fluids such as glue or paint remover cans)
  • Electronic cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories/cartridges. NOTE: Currently, possession of electronic cigarettes is legal in many countries, and their use is permitted as long as it does not discomfort other passengers.
  • Liquids or gels (All liquids and gels must be placed inside a transparent 1 liter/quart zip lock bag for easy inspection by security personnel.)
  • Sharp objects such as box cutters or scissors with blades longer than 6 cm
  • Kitchen utensils such as scissors, sharp knives, tweezers, and corkscrews
  • Batteries (primary batteries – alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion)
  • Tools that resemble weapons (crowbars, hammers)
  • Chemical light sticks of any sort, including glow sticks. NOTE: currently, liquid luminescent/glow sticks in small quantities without a light-up keyring are permitted.

We recommend renting a locker at your local airport or bringing them with you in your carry-on luggage instead of checking them into your hold luggage for items not allowed to be carried onto the aircraft.

Note that many flights do have storage bins underneath the seats in front of you and that storage bins are usually not locked for your convenience. If they do not have any storage bins under the seat, another option is to check your baggage at the beginning of the flight and store it in overhead storage throughout the flight to access it if needed during take-off/landing. 

For smaller items or for people who don’t need to access their luggage during the flight, we recommend bringing only a carry-on bag with you onto the plane.

Many airlines will not allow you to bring your hold luggage under the seat in front of you if it does not fit, and many flights have limitations on how much hold baggage passengers can bring onboard. 

Please check your individual airline before traveling for more information on their luggage policies.

Tips to Save You Money!

On some airlines, paying to check in your baggage is not a cheap option and may actually end up costing you more money than it actually saves. Other times, checking in your hold luggage might not be an option due to weight restrictions. 

That being said, traveling with only a carry-on bag can be challenging if you have many important travel documents or electronics that you do not want to risk damaging by squeezing into your bag. 

Fortunately for you, we’ve found a few ways to help make sure that your trip goes smoothly without having to worry about expensive or bulky luggage. 

1. Communicate early with your service provider to find out if you have the option of shipping your items ahead of time so that you do not have to carry them on the plane during take-off/landing. You may also want to check local storage facilities in the city you are visiting for extra storage space. 

2. Purchase a packing cube to help organize and consolidate your smaller items into a small container, so you do not have to bring as much with you onto the plane. 

3. Only take with you the essential items that you really need during your trip. Leave expensive jewelry and electronics at home as chances are they will not be insured by your airline anyway!

4. A good way to consolidate your clothing in a small compartment is by using compression bags which help minimize space without compromising on comfort. If these aren’t available, you can try using some of the clothing items that can be compressed (smaller shoes, T-shirts) as a way to zip your bag shut.

5. Also, remember that many places have laundry services these days! If you are staying in a city for, say, 5-7 days, you can always check if a laundry service is nearby to help you out. If it’s just going to be two or three days, then consider asking the hotel staff to launder your clothing at their discretion, and then you will have clean clothes available when you arrive!

6. No matter what, always pack and label your luggage. This will help in cases of loss or theft and help you avoid any extra fees depending on the rules of your airline.

7. Finally, if you are traveling with many items that would normally cost a lot to check into hold baggage at the airports, consider speaking with an independent service provider to find out about the cost of shipping your items ahead of time. Many people are surprised at how inexpensive it is to ship a few heavy items overseas via an independent service provider rather than paying for them to be checked into hold baggage by the airline.

If you do decide to check in your luggage, please make sure that:

You pack your luggage in line with the airline’s policies and try to keep it under 25kg if you are traveling by plane. This will help prevent you from being charged a fee!

If you have an overweight bag, ask at your local airport for tips on how to travel without paying extra fees (like using an oversized suitcase instead!)

If you are traveling with a lot of fragile and expensive items, check that your bag meets all the requirements for baggage so that it will be covered under insurance in case of damage.

Finally, always pack and label your luggage or use a luggage tag to help identify it if it gets lost.

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