No Carry On, No Problem: A Travel Hack for Budget Airlines

July 13, 2017

Even though you know 3 Ways to Travel like a Pro, sometimes ending up on a budget airline is inevitable.  With such cost-effective fare, you lose the luxuries other airlines provide unless you’re willing to pay a hefty fee.

I recently flew Spirit and the cost to take a carry-on roundtrip was damn near close to another flight! To make matters worse, they had just reduced the size of their free personal item to “18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm)” including handles and wheels.  I really wondered how I was going to make such a small bag work, especially for a 4-day international trip.  Fortunately, after some research and a few attempts of packing, it worked out! So here’s how to avoid those hefty bag fees and pack your personal item with ease.

Find the perfect bag

After hours of looking for a bag that matched the dimensions, I came across this inexpensive foldable duffle on Amazon (here).  At only $8.99 my expectations of this bag were pretty low but it turned out to be a good deal.

Pros: This bag measures closest to the max at “18 x 13.6 x 8 in.” , is spacious inside and conveniently folds up into itself.  What’s even better is you can take it on other trips in addition to your carry-on when needing space for souvenirs, etc.

Cons: There are no wheels or shoulder strap.


There’s no right or wrong way to do this.  When leaving for the trip everything was folded and fit perfectly.  However, on the return, I ended up having to roll everything to make the souvenirs fit. In both cases, I lined the bag with my shoes to create a stronger base and wore my heaviest items on the flight to help with the weight of the bag.

What travel hacks do you have or would like to see? Let me know in the comments.

xo Sincerely Shanti


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  • Reply Randie July 13, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Oooh. Spirit is the worst. Yet, sometimes we still find ourselves on a flight even after swearing them off. This is so helpful. Thank you!

    • Reply sincerely shanti July 13, 2017 at 10:25 am

      The absolute worst but I’ll be flying them again in a few weeks haha! Glad you found this helpful

  • Reply Richelle July 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    This is why I avoid these airlines, I will be looking into this bag for my nect major adventure! Thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply Shawn July 14, 2017 at 7:28 am

    That bag is a great cool bag. Wonder will it be good enough for men clothes cause you know are clothes are naturally bigger. How many days max of travel would you recommended that carrier-on amazon bag is for?

    2) oh maybe you can do a blog on what countries you need just a passport and countries you need a visa for

    Thank you.

    P.s. Spirit is the worst #TeamJetblue

    • Reply sincerely shanti July 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

      I think it could accommodate men clothes also it would just come down to how it’s packed. Since there’s more fabric to account for maybe the rolling method may work better. I’m also #TeamJetBlue but sometimes flying with Spirit or Silver is unavoidable.
      Also, thanks for the suggestion that’s a great idea!

  • Reply Reginald July 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Really enjoyed your post!

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