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The Ultimate European Carry-On Checklist

So you’ve finally decided to do your Eurotrip! To make life easier, you only want to travel with hand language. The only problem? You have absolutely no idea what is and is not allowed on different airlines. In order not to make it too easy for tourists, of course, the rules regarding hand luggage in the cabin always differ from airline to airline. So you either dig through dozens of airline homepages trying to find their baggage restrictions or you risk it at the airport, hoping not to get slapped with a hefty price tag at the gate.

But now you can rest easy, for we have created the ultimate hand luggage checklist. What is allowed? What is not allowed? Which airline allows which size suitcase? Can I take more than one piece of hand luggage with me into the cabin? You have a hundred burning questions and we will answer them now. So, put your seats in the full upright position, fold up your tray tables and fasten your seatbelt, because we are about to take off!

Looking for even more tips on how to travel smart in Europe? Check out more articles on budget airlines, how to beat jetlag, hot tips on flying Ryanair, and many more.

What is NOT Allowed in your Hand Luggage

Let's take a look at what is not allowed in your hand luggage. With all the concern over the size of your bags and how many you are allowed, you may forget to check what you are allowed to actually have IN the bag. Thankfully the list of items not allowed in hand luggage is significantly shorter than the list of items that are allowed.

  • Pistols, firearms, knives, penknives, pepper spray, stun guns, and machetes – Who would have thought that if you plan to fight through the jungle on your vacation you’ll have to store your machete in the hold?

  • Toy weapons - No matter how fake they look, it’s never a good idea.

  • Knitting needles - I'm sorry, Grandma, but knitting a scarf on the flight from Berlin to Madrid may not be allowed.

  • All chemical and toxic substances.

  • Petrol lighters, gas cartridges, camping stoves and spray paint cans - Explosion hazard, ahoy!

  • Classic razor blades - On the other hand, many flights will allow disposable razors.

  • Darts (or other sharp objects) - So if you plan to hang a dartboard on the door of the cockpit on your next flight to pass the time, we must advise you that it’s not possible. Sorry!

  • The same applies to golf clubs, skates, skis, hiking poles, and tents

  • And should you get the nonsensical idea to take a slingshot or catapult on the plane with you in the near future, then forget it. The bigger question for me is the story behind this ban...

Regular skateboards and smaller penny skateboards are not allowed on board as they can serve as a weapon.

  • Belt bags/fanny packs - These are considered their own hand luggage, so if you already have reached the limit with your other bags this will not be allowed on.

  • The ever-popular selfie stick - No, the airlines don’t want to stop you from taking a selfie, it just is (another) potential weapon.

What is Allowed in Hand Luggage?

Enough of the taboos—now we can finally get packing! This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you could bring on an airplane, but rather some of the more common ones as well as some that may surprise you.

  • Clothes

  • Shoes

  • (Empty) plastic bottles - even the big 1 ½ liter bottles

  • Fully foldable single and double strollers - no advance booking required

  • Child seat - for children up to 16 years of age

  • A commercial baby wrap that you can use to attach the little ones to you.

  • Hairdryer

  • Charging cables for all your electric appliances

  • Hairbrush

  • Laptop, smartphone and camera

  • Straighteners

  • Electric razors and epilators

  • If needed, a cane or crutches

  • Umbrella

  • Disposable razors

  • A nail file with blade length up to 4cm - if you are unsure it may be better to just pack a disposable file

  • Baby food for children up to 3 years of age

  • Safety razor without blades

  • Matches, a lighter and e-cigarettes - however you are not allowed to smoke these on board.

Liquids in Hand Luggage

Although airline rules differ, if you limit your liquids to a single 1 liter freezer bag you will generally be safe. You may carry 1 liter of liquids in your hand luggage, but the liquids must be divided into individual vessels that hold no more than 100ml each. The following (amongst others) are allowed:

  • Shower gel

  • Hair gel

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Nail polish

  • Shaving cream

  • Hairspray

  • Deodorant

  • Toothpaste

  • Body lotion

Side note: cosmetics, such as lipstick or lip balm, do not have to be included in your liquid allowance, nor are any other makeup products with the possible exception of mascara and liquid eyeliner

Food is also allowed in cabin baggage, although you should note that the liquid allowance still applies here (so if you bring packets of ketchup or mayo, you will have to put them in your 1 liter freezer bag). If you are planning on travelling with food, the following are all allowed:

  • Honey (within the EU)

  • Yogurt (within the EU)

  • Jam

  • Nutella

  • Pesto

  • Pickled tuna - for whatever reason!

  • Pate

  • For travel outside Europe, such as the US, stricter import regulations apply. Unfortunately you have to do without fish, meat, cheese, honey and yogurt in your hand luggage, which will be a minor problem for most of you.

Hand Luggage Regulations for Different Airlines

What is the Ryanair Hand Luggage Allowance?

Ryanair is arguably one of the strictest airlines to when it comes to cabin baggage, but it’s not difficult to stay within their regulations if you pay close attention.

  • One small personal bag: maximum 10 kg, 40cm x 20cm x 25cm

  • If you bring a second bag or your bag is too big, you will be charged an extra fee at the gate

  • If you're traveling with children between 8 days and 35 months (2 ¾), you can also bring along a “baby bag” of up to 5 kg.

What is the EasyJet Hand Luggage Allowance?

From February 10th, EasyJet has changed their luggage allowance. All customers are allowed

  • One small personal bag: 45cm x 36cm x 20cm 

  • Second piece of hand luggage: You can only bring a second bag (max. 56 x 45 x 25 cm)with you on easyJet if you have booked the Up front or Extra legroom, a seat in the front area or a seat with more legroom.

  • Always allowed: an umbrella, crutches or a cane.

What is the Eurowings Hand Luggage Allowance?

If you have chosen a “Basic” or “Smart” ticket with Eurowings, then you are unfortunately limited to only one piece of hand luggage. If you booked a “BEST” fare, you can take another piece of luggage in the cabin. For the smokers among you: at Eurowings, e-cigarettes must be carried in your hand baggage and not in checked baggage.

  • First hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 55cm x 40cm x 23cm

  • Second hand luggage: maximum 40cm x 30cm x 10cm OR a bassinet, car seat or fully collapsible stroller (one per child)

What is the Transavia Hand Luggage Allowance?

At Transavia you can choose between two carry-on sizes, but the airline only guarantees a space in the cabin for the smaller size. Depending on how full the flight is, larger hand luggage might be moved into the hold - but there is no extra cost. However, if your luggage does not fall into either of the size or weight regulations, you have to pay 40 € extra. For the maximum fare, two pieces of hand luggage are allowed.

  • Small hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 45cm x 40cm x 25cm

  • Large hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 55cm x 40cm x 25cm

What is the Wizz Air Hand Luggage Allowance?

Wizz Air allows one small bag for free. Add Priority Boarding to your ticket and you can bring a second piece of cabin baggage on board. If not, you can buy up to 6 pieces of checked bags per passenger at the counter.

  • First hand luggage: max 10 kg, 40cm x 30cm x 20cm

  • Second hand luggage (Priority Boarding): max 10 kg, 55cm x 40cm x 23cm

What is the Vueling Hand Luggage Allowance?

  • First hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

  • Second carry-on: 40cm x 20cm x 30cm plus a small bag from Duty Free, which must be stowed under the seat as well.

What is the Iberia Express and LEVEL Hand Luggage Allowance?

As these two airlines belong to Iberia, their hand baggage regulations also apply. In addition to your normal carry-on, you are allowed to take along a personal item in the form of a lady's handbag, laptop bag or camera equipment. There is no limit to the weight, but here, too, everyone must be able to stow their own luggage.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 56cm x 45cm x 25cm

What is the Volotea Hand Luggage Allowance?

At Volotea, make sure the plastic bag with your liquids is no larger than 20cm x 20cm.

  • First hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

  • Second hand luggage: jacket, coat, umbrella, walker or bag from the Duty Free area

What is the SmartWings Hand Luggage Allowance?

At this Czech low-cost check airline you may carry one piece of luggage on board.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 56cm x 45cm x 25cm

What is the HOP! Hand Luggage Allowance?

On this airline, more than one carry-on is not allowed unless you pay an additional 15 €, in which case you can take a small personal item in the form of a handbag on board.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 12kg, 55cm x 35cm x 25cm

What is the Blue Panorama Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance?

Hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

What is the airBaltic Hand Luggage Allowance?

AirBaltic also has special dimensions for the transport of liquids: the plastic packaging must not exceed 18cm x 20cm. Otherwise, the hand luggage restrictions of this Latvian low-cost airline are quite lenient. In addition to two pieces of luggage, you are also allowed to take a collapsible wheelchair on board.

  • First hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 55cm x 40cm x 23cm

  • Second hand luggage: maximum 10cm x 30cm x 40cm

What is the Condor Hand Luggage Allowance?

In addition to a normal piece of carry-on luggage you may bring a small handbag or a laptop, as well as an umbrella.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 6kg, 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

What is the Lufthansa Hand Luggage Allowance?

The most popular German airline Lufthansa has relatively loose provisions as far as its carry-on luggage is concerned. Two pieces of carry-on luggage are allowed on board if you are traveling with a child (can be in the form of a car seat or stroller). If you require one, you may also bring on a wheelchair or a walker.

  • First hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 55cm x 40cm x 23cm

  • Garment bag: maximum 57cm x 54cm x 15cm

What is the Tuifly Hand Luggage Allowance?

  • First hand luggage: maximum 5kg, 45cm x 35cm x 20m

  • Second carry-on: laptop bag

What is the Blue Air Hand Luggage Allowance?

On this Romanian low cost you may only carry one piece of hand luggage on board. Even jackets or scarves need to be stowed away if you're not wearing them on board.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 6kg, 40cm x 30cm x 20cm

What is the Pegasus Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance?

  • Hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 20cm x 40cm x 55cm

What is the FlyBE Hand Luggage Allowance?

  • Hand luggage: maximum 10kg, 55cm x 35cm x 20xm

  • Second carry-on: laptop bag

What is the Edelweiss Hand Luggage Allowance?

Even with the Swiss airline only one piece of luggage is allowed in the cabin.

  • Hand luggage: maximum 8kg, 55cm x 40cm x 23cm

And that's it, our ultimate hand luggage check list. Nothing can go wrong anymore—you are now a total travel professional. Also, with this knowledge, you can also make sure your friends stay well-informed. So, pack your bags and start looking for the best flight deals around the globe.

Until then, straighten up and fly right!