You don't want to pay 50 euros for a bag? Fair enough, me neither. But packing for a low cost airline hand luggage can be a nightmare if you don't know how to optimize your space.
Here you are some tips I use to get all my stuff for free, no extra fees:
Tip #1: Do you really need it?
This is the question, do you really need all that stuff? Keep your hand luggage to the minimum, you might not be using some of the things that you have planned to pack, so don't pack them! I still make the same mistake, but every time with less stuff. Sometimes it is impossible not to think, what if it rains? And then you get your wellies, umbrella, water proof jacket and all...And it might be enough with an umbrella.
So, think twice before you write down in your packing list and item. You might want to buy something in your destinaton, if so, take that into account when packing, so might be able to leave something as you will get a new pair of trousers that you can wear for example.
Tip #2: Pick the perfect bag
Check your airline luggage size allowed to avoid issues at the airpot. It depends on your needs, if you need a comfy hand luggage because you will be carrying it for a long time or a trolley might be the easiest option for short distances. But that's on you, the most important thing is that it has plenty of space, inside pockets, outside pockets, anything that can help you get the most of your hand luggage.
I am totally loyal to my big leather bag that I always use as a hand luggage, it is quite big, always fits in low cost airline size allowed and it is not very visible. By visible, I mean that no one will notice that I can fit loads of thing on it. You know how low cost airlines are these days, that you pay for everything, so a bag that does not attract attention always helps.
I choose this one for: not visible, inside pockets, can be used as an everyday bag to carry around, comfy to carry, fits in size allowed.
Tip #3 : Fit all the space in the suitcase/bag
It is important to organize the suitcase properly. If you are not very organised making a list will help you, but you can also have a mental list and go through it to double check that is all there.
I always place heavy items at the bottom, from heavier to lighter items, properly folded and on the sides the tiney objects (socks, underwear, cables, little gadgets etc..). There are different techniques about packing, I will show you the two I like the most:
Rolling the clothes: it is a very used technique and very useful, it consists in rolling the clothes tight one by one, better to do it from the heavier to the lighter piece of clothe.
Filling all spaces: fold all your clothes but fitting them in the right space, do not leave any empty spaces. This method is like playing tetrix, you need to fit all the pieces in the right space.
Tip #4: Wear all the heavy stuff and have a nice jacket with big pocketsEverybody has done that, get to the airport looking like a snow man with three shirts on, 2 jackets, scarf and hat, all in the same person. So, well this is the trick, all heavy stuff has to be with you: boots, jackets etc..
A nice trick is to have a jacket full of pockets or also a a vest full of pockets. If you have one, you know what to wear as it will help you to put all the stuff in case it does not fit in your bag or you have done last minute purchases.
That's all folks! That is all the tricks I use but if you have more please let us know, I am always eager to learn!