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Luggage types and sizes

Suitcases mainly come in two types: soft-sided and hard-sided. But there are other options to consider too. Explore large or expandable suitcases for family travels and when you need that extra space, or smaller bags and holdalls for shorter, lighter trips.

Soft-sided cases.

Soft-sided cases

Lightweight, strong and versatile, soft sided cases offer the most packing convenience and they are also easier to fit into tight spaces.

Made from polyester, nylon or a combination of both.

  • Soft sided cases may provide less protection for fragile items.
Hard-sided cases.

Hard-sided cases

Durable, sturdy and surprisingly light, hard sided luggage is best for protecting your belongings when you travel.

These come in a range of materials - Polypropylene (extremely strong), ABS (lightweight & durable), polycarbonate (durable, but can be heavier) or aluminium.

  • Hard sided cases are less flexible than soft sided and offer less exterior pockets and extra space.
 Featherstone 8 wheel soft cabin-size suitcase in grey.

Expandable suitcases

Highly versatile, expandable cases are great for giving you that extra bit of packing space when you need it. They also compact down your belongings so that they don't move around in transit.

Made from a range of materials, they are available as both hard and soft-sided suitcases.

  • Expandable cases can sometimes be slightly heavier due to their build and structure.
American Tourister Hypercube hard large suitcase in navy blue.

XL and large suitcases

A great travel partner for your family trips. XL and large cases are perfect for families so that you can pack everything in one place.

These too come in a range of materials with both hard and soft cases.

  • XL suitcases can get heavy, so you may need help while lifting and loading.
A split image of a black backpack on one side and a cream holdall on the other.

Holdalls & backpacks

Versatility is key when you're travelling. Smaller bags like holdalls and backpacks are ideal for festivals, short trips and  weekend breaks. Keep everything you need close and easy to access.

Made from durable fabric, they're soft, easy to carry and great for squeezing into tight places.

  • Holdalls and backpacks aren't good for carrying bulky or heavy items.
Trunki Terrance 4 Wheel Hard Ride On Suitcase.

Kids’ luggage

Travelling with children can be stressful, but you can take away some of the hassle by choosing luggage that they'll love.

Designed specifically for younger travellers, kids' luggage comes with built in fun so they can ride, scoot and play.

  • You may end up carrying their bags at some point so keep your kids' luggage light.

Suitcase features & luggage security

Make your packing and travelling experience even easier and worry-free. From deciding if you want to push or pull your case, to tracking and weighing it. Here are some key features and luggage accessories to help you.

A picutre with people walking on an airport with 8 and 4 wheel suitcase.

Features to look for in your suitcase...

  • Wheels: The more wheels a suitcase has, the more stable it is and the easier it is to move around.  With 2 wheels you have to tilt and pull; with 4 or 8 wheels you can push and pull. 360° wheels give you added spin.
  • Retractable handles: Most suitcases have a retractable handle, which means you can slot it away once you've finished pushing or pulling.
  • Suitcase straps:  Straps inside keep your belongings secure and in place for the duration of your journey.
  • Pockets and compartments: Great for keeping different items separated and easy to find, and important documents safe.
A set of Luggage Bluetooth trackers.

Luggage Bluetooth trackers

Lost baggage? Not anymore. Track and find your luggage through your phone with these Bluetooth luggage trackers.

Master Lock TSA 3 Digit Combi travel padlocks in red.

Luggage security and accessories

Enjoy a relaxed vacation knowing your luggage is secured. These luggage accessories are must-haves for a safe and seamless journey.

Featherstone Luggage digital scale in black.

Luggage scales

Weighing your luggage has never been easier. With digital luggage scales, you can stay on top of luggage allowance limits and escape any last-minute hassles.

Suitcase security

A TSA (Travel Sentry Approved) lock keeps your luggage secure, but also lets security staff inspect your case, if required, without damage.

Expandable suitcases

Expandable luggage gives you more space when you need it. Perfect if you're coming home with more than you left with.

Cabin and hold luggage

Travel light with a small suitcase and carry it with you into the cabin, or choose a larger case for storing in the hold.

Hand luggage.

Hand luggage

  • Hand luggage, also known as cabin luggage, can be taken with you onto the flight as long as it meets the guidelines of the airline you are flying with.
  • Because hand luggage stays with you in the cabin, you won't have to wait for it at the baggage carousel when you land.
  • Ideal for shorter trips and travelling light. However, there are restrictions on what you can take in your cabin luggage so check before packing.
  • Not sure what size you need? Visit our hand luggage size guide to find airline allowance guidelines.
Hold luggage.

Hold luggage

  • Hold luggage is typically larger and more bulky suitcases that need to be checked in.
  • Your luggage travels to your destination in the aircraft's hold, and you collect it from the baggage carousel when you arrive.
  • This means that you have less weight to haul around the airport, freeing you up to relax before you fly.
  • Ideal for longer trips or for when you need to take more belongings. Some airlines do charge extra for hold baggage so do check before you travel.

What is a good size for kids' luggage?

If you're unsure about what hand luggage you can take for children on your flight, take a look at the allowances for some of the top UK airlines below.

British Airways

  • Infants under 2 - if travelling on a lap, adults are permitted to carry 1 extra piece of hand luggage for in-flight essentials. If in their own seat, they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

Virgin Atlantic

  • Infants under 2 - adults are permitted to carry 1 extra piece of hand luggage up to 6kg.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

easyJet

  • Infants under 2 - if travelling on a lap, infants are permitted a changing bag only. If in their own seat, they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults plus a changing bag.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

TUI

  • Infants under 2 - 10kg hold luggage only.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will not fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

Jet2

  • Infants under 2 - no baggage allowance.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

Ryanair

  • Infants under 2 - adults are permitted to carry 1 extra piece of hand luggage up to 5kg.
  • Children aged 2-11 - in their own seat they have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.
  • A standard 18 litre Trunki measuring 46 x 21 x 31cm will not fit in the airline's hand luggage restrictions.

Need more help with luggage?

Got more queries? These frequently asked questions might help:

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