BARGAIN travellers have praised a duffel bag that lets you avoid paying any Ryanair luggage fees – and I decided to test it out.
Budget airlines like Ryanair and easyJet only allow passengers to carry one personal item on board for free.
In order to keep holiday costs down, holidaymakers, like myself, are putting their faith in small but spacious personal bags that meet strict hand luggage requirements.
On a recent five-day trip to Bratislava in Slovakia and Vienna in Austria, I decided to put the Narwey Duffel through its paces.
This bag has been described as a "life-saver" by some travellers in the Amazon reviews.
Not only does the bag meet Ryanair's strict personal item requirements, but it's also available from Amazon for £15.99.
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But when the bag arrived, my heart lurched.
It looked too small to fit enough clothes, toiletries and electrical items for a five-day holiday, and I wondered if I'd bitten off more than I could chew.
That being said, I knew I could make the bag work if I was strategic with my packing.
I lined the bottom of my bag with my microfibre travel towel.
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Then I paired down my clothes to the bare minimum including two dresses, two pairs of tights, three t-shirts, a pair of trousers, underwear, socks and a pair of pyjamas.
I folded them all into a compression packing cube, which helped to optimise space.
The rest of my packing was like a game of Tetris as I slotted the following items into free bits of space: a tightly-packed liquids bag, a shampoo bar, soap, a toothbrush, as well as two make-up palettes and make-up brushes.
But my packing wasn't finished there because I also slotted in a curling wand, a hair straighter, a kindle, a pair of sunglasses, a pair of reading glasses, a kindle, a power bank, a plug adapter, and several charging cables.
In the final bits of space, I squeezed in an A5 notebook, a flat handbag, my purse and my travel wallet.
As I closed the zipper, I felt impressed with just how much room the Narwey duffel bag actually boasted.
But when I headed to the airport, I realised I'd made a fatal error by purchasing the cheaper version of the bag with just a short handle.
The small handle, which didn't fit over my bulky coat, dug into my hand as I carried the bag through the security queue and around the departures lounge.
Luckily, I didn't have to walk too far, and my gloves acted as a barrier between my skin and the strap.
At the gate, I made a beeline for the Ryanair luggage size checker and I was both shocked and impressed when my bulging duffel bag slotted in with ease.
As I boarded the flight, I felt confident that I didn't need to be part of the stampede of holidaymakers fighting for overhead luggage space either.
On the plane, the bag slotted underneath my seat with ease and I was left with plenty of legroom too.
While I found the strap irritating,this was my only criticism of the bag.
And for an extra £3 holidaymakers can purchase a version of the bag with a shoulder strap for £18.99 on Amazon.
For other budget travellers who loathe paying more for hand luggage than the cost of their flight, I'd recommend the Narwey Duffel bag for a five-day trip.
The bag is waterproof, meaning it will keep all your items dry, and has a couple of zipped pockets too.
It also comes with a sleeve on the back, so it can slide over the handle of any wheelie suitcase.
I'm not the only person who was impressed with the bag either.
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Jas Dhaliwal showed how her bag easily fitted into the Ryanair luggage checker in a TikTok video that's had more than six million views.
Meanwhile another couple revealed how they avoided paying for luggage on flights by only travelling with the Narwey duffel bag.
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