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(Last Updated On: 04/11/2022)

No matter the length of the trip — be it a weekend beach getaway or a three-week Himalayan trek — you will need to pack a bag of any size, and you will want to know how to organize, in this blog we will focus on your hand luggage. There is a lot to consider when determining what to bring: the type and length of your trip, your itinerary, the weather, the size of your luggage, and any weight limits imposed by your mode of transportation. And with so many factors at play, it is easy to overpack or under pack, especially if you have waited until the last minute. Avoid overpacking, digging through your bags, and other inconveniences when boarding your train with these 10 tips on how to organize your hand luggage.


How To Organize Your Hand Luggage Tip 1: Keep Your Travel Documents Separate

This is one of the most important things to consider when you are deciding how to organize your hand luggage.  Keep your travel documents separate. Not only is this a convenient thing to do but also a safe thing to do. Put them in a little bag that is easy to remove from your hand luggage. That way you do not have to dig whenever you need your passport, tickets, or money.

Brussels to Amsterdam Trains

London to Amsterdam Trains

Berlin to Amsterdam Trains

Paris to Amsterdam Trains

How To Organize Your Hand Luggage and Travel Documents


Organize Your Hand Luggage Tip 2: Make A Packing List

Passport? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Sunscreen? For peace of mind that you have got the essentials covered, make yourself a travel checklist a few days before the excitement of the trip sets in!

Amsterdam to Paris Trains

London to Paris Trains

Rotterdam to Paris Trains

Brussels to Paris Trains

List of How To Organize Your Hand Luggage


Organize Your Hand Luggage Tip 3: Avoid Stains

There is nothing more annoying than taking so much time to choose what clothes you are going to take only to find you cannot even use them! Never have this problem again. Firstly you should always make sure your light colored clothes are packed inside out, and secondly, hold on to hotel disposable shower caps and use them to cover the base of your shoes.

Cologne to Mainz Trains

Frankfurt to Mainz Trains

Berlin to Mainz Trains

Brussels to Mainz Trains

Avoid Clothing with Stains


Tip 4: Roll And Vacuum Pack

To save space and stop creasing, roll your clothes instead of folding them, then place them in vacuum compression bags. To use these bags, put your clothes in, seal the bag, then squeeze the air out. This will leave you with lots more space in your suitcase and will prevent creases.

Zurich to Chur Trains

Geneva to Chur Trains

Milan to Tirano Trains

Bergamo to Tirano Trains

Roll And Vacuum Pack


Tip 5: Luggage Safety

Lock your bags and keep them locked. Take them with you when you use the restroom. If this is not possible and you are traveling alone, bring all your valuable items with you. Never leave cameras, money, electronics or travel documents unguarded.

Keep your compartment locked while you sleep, if possible. Do not trust strangers. Even a well dressed stranger may turn out to be a thief. If you are sleeping in a compartment with travelers you do not know, be sure to sleep on top of your money belt so that you will notice if someone tries to take it from you.
Organize Your Hand Luggage in Safety

Tip 6: Use Packing Cubes

” There is not much that makes me feel like an organized human as much as dividing my belongings into color-coded cubes. It is so wonderful to know exactly where everything you brought is as soon as you unzip your suitcase. Plus, you can very easily move your packing cubes into the drawers of your hotel dresser and instantly be done unpacking and ready to go.” Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

Luxembourg to Brussels Trains

Antwerp to Brussels Trains

Amsterdam to Brussels Trains

Paris to Brussels Trains

Organize Your Hand Luggage in Packing Cubes

Tip 7: Size Restrictions For Hand Luggage

Similar to planes, many trains have restrictions on the amount and size of the bags that you are allowed to carry on. In general, you will be able to carry on all of your luggage, but your train carrier may require you to check your excess luggage in the event it exceeds carry on size or weight restrictions. For most trains, you can carry on two bags on board the train, as long as each bag does not exceed 50 lbs or is larger than 28 X 22 X 14 inches. Small and personal items such as medical devices and medication, pillows, blankets, coolers, and purses or bags less than 12 X 12 X 12 inches will not be counted toward the carry on baggage limit.


Tip 8: Gadgets In Hand Luggage

How do you usually organize all of your electronics, cables, and those fiddly bits that take you ages to dig out at security? Stuff them in like the rest of us? Well, if you want to organize your hand luggage then get yourself a stash of ziplock bags. Phone charger, camera charger, adaptors, headphones – take extra plastic bags (the same ones you would use for hand luggage liquids) and use them to store electrical items, things for the journey home (house keys, parking ticket, and car keys), medication and other loose accessories.

Venice to Bologna Trains

Florence to Bologna Trains

Rome to Bologna Trains

Milan to Bologna Trains

Gadgets In Hand Luggage


Tip 9: How To Pack Books. Do not!

Whether it is that steamy romance novel, thrilling sci-fi, or a dog eared travel guide, download it before your trip. Even if at home you are a paper til I die sort, save the space and weight for your hand luggage, and do not count on wifi to jump back into the story from your perfectly positioned beach chair, simply make sure it is on a water resistant covered device.

Berlin to Rostock Trains

Hamburg to Rostock Trains

Schwerin to Rostock Trains

Wismar to Rostock Trains



Tip 10: Lay It All Out

I am super messy. I admit it. And disorganized! But what helps me to get my head straight even when I pack at the very last minute, is I take time to lay everything out before any item goes into my bag. Grouping things together on my bed helps me see quickly what items do not pull their weight. A pair of pants that can only be worn with one top, or that requires shoes I was not already planning to pack? Back in the drawer, you go!  Seeing everything clearly before I start also helps me fit things into my bag in a logical way. For me, this means starting with my bulkiest items, then cherry picking lightweight items to tuck into gaps around them to form a sturdy base layer to build up from.

Dusseldorf to Munich Trains

Dresden to Munich Trains

Nuremberg to Munich Trains

Bonn to Munich Trains

jeans, shoes, watch and more


Have these tips helped you figure out how to organize your hand luggage? We would love to know! Book a train ticket through Save A Train and snap picks of your hand luggage after using these tips!



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