Upon traveling to Amsterdam, I took discount flyer – WOW Airlines. WOW is based out of Iceland and offers budget fares to Europe. Pro tip: I have found flying out of Boston to be some of the cheapest flights to Europe.

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Lining up in Amsterdam to board WOW to Reyjavik.

There’s one very important point to check, the baggage requirements. No matter how frequent of a flyer you are, never make assumptions. This is particularly important if you’re flying internationally. The last thing you want is to get stuck in a line trying to board a plane when your bag is too big. You’ll get pulled out of line and be forced to pay the charge of checking a bag. That can run $60 or more one way.

If you’re like me, you want to travel with as little baggage as possible. If you’re also like me, you went out of your way to get the cheapest flights, which likely means you’ve signed up for layovers. If you are once again like me, you might be taking multiple airlines in order to have gotten the cheapest travel and therefore, a layover can be a massive problem if you’ve checked a bag.

Bag Size Comparison

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The back on the left is my typical carry on, the bag on the right was for WOW. Tag still present.

So, the bag on the left is the typical size acceptable as a carry on at many major airlines. I have flown many times with this bag as it’s honestly the perfect bag. Plenty of compartments inside and out for storage and easy access while running across the airport after getting through security. It fits snug in the overhead compartment. In fact, it was the only suitcase I had. I’m ever so grateful I took the time to read policy about what is considered acceptable size before surcharges.

The bag on the right is considerably smaller than the bag on the left. WOW’s carry on size limit is 22x18x10in. Now, you can bring bigger carry ons but that will cost you. The size requirements would have cost me $50 each way had I kept my tan suitcase as my main mode of preparation. Honestly, I had no idea how tall my regular bag was and couldn’t tell if it would work. I was nervous and not only did I call, I tweeted and left messages on WOW’s Facebook page. All to no avail. I had to do some in person research and went to several different stores looking for WOW’s specifications.

Purchased this smaller case for around $30 at Walmart. This was incredibly weight lifting after I had searched high and low for something to take. I did not want a duffel bag, I needed something with wheels. I needed a mini version of what I already had. Not only was the black bag exactly what I was looking for, but it was leaps and bounds cheaper than places such as Kohl’s or even discount retailers like Ross.

Packing Suggestions

  • If compacting this much feels like an issue, get an air compressor. It will allow you to squeeze as much as you can in clothing wise.
  • Check the hotel you’ll be staying at to see what kind of extras they provide. I found out the hard way my hotel in Amsterdam only had soap in the room.
  • Don’t waste your precious luggage space with shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. Airports are a lot more accessible abroad than they are in America and will likely be able to accommodate many of your needs.
  • Bring just 1 or 2 bottoms and several shirts. You’ll keep looking fresh without all the extra pant space.
  • To be safe, bring 1 nice outfit and 1 item of opposite clothing temperature in case it ends up opposite of what’s to be expected.
  • Minimize jewelry brought on the trip. It’s much easier to get lost or stolen, leave the nicest stuff where it’s sure to be safe. Even if you’re super careful, you have to take it off during security scans and it’s so easy to then get lost in the chaos. I actually lost a ring I loved and I still have no idea where. If you ever find a silver crown ring between Reykjavik and Atlanta, let me know!

If you have any other travel questions, I’ll do my best to answer or find the answer so don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have one.

Until next time!

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