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How to Save Space When Packing with the Viral TikTok Travel Hack:

Updated: May 19, 2023

If you're a frequent traveler, you're likely familiar with the hassle of packing for a trip. In particular,viral-tiktok-travel-packing-hacks-to-avoid-extra-luggage-fees the issue of luggage space can be a constant source of stress, especially if you're trying to avoid extra baggage fees. I personally understand the challenges of packing and the stress that can come with luggage restrictions. So I decided to try travel packing hacks on how to save space when packing.


women packing a suitcase

Stumbling upon the viral travel pillow hack on TikTok that claimed to aid travelers in avoiding extra fees, piqued my curiosity. The idea of utilizing a travel pillow to create an "extra" carry-on bag by stuffing it with items was intriguing, and I just had to give it a go. This method could be beneficial to many, especially when flying with budget airlines that charge extra for carry-on bags or when striving to remain within the weight limit for checked bags. It’s certainly worth considering if you're looking for a new packing strategy for your travels.


To test the hack, I secured a travel pillow from Amazon that had a zip, so that I could easily remove the cushion and began packing it with some of my bulkier items. I started with sweaters and a few tops filling any gaps with small items such as socks. I was astonished at how much I was able to fit inside the pillow, and it didn't feel overly heavy or cumbersome to carry around. I then packed my regular under-seat bag as usual; I was traveling to three different countries within two months so with only my under-seat bag I would struggle to pack all my essentials, especially during a winter trip around Europe which requires more layers and bulkier clothing.




Most airlines do not count travel pillows as extra luggage, so I figured that there would be no harm in replacing the memory foam cushion with some soft lightweight clothing items. Plus, the pillow was still functional to use for its intended purpose.


After clearing security with no problems, I anticipated boarding anxious that they might check my pillow and have an issue with my travel pillow hack. Luckily there were no problems, and I boarded the plane with no extra fees and a comfy neck pillow to accompany me on my flight


Overall, the travel pillow hack was surprisingly effective. It helped me evade extra baggage fees. The pillow was lightweight, even with several items inside, and a fun and inventive way to pack for my trip.


However, there are some potential drawbacks to this hack to keep in mind. Firstly, not all airlines may permit a travel pillow to be used as a personal item. It's prudent to confirm with the airline beforehand to avoid any issues. Furthermore, if you're traveling with many bulky items, the travel pillow may not have enough room to accommodate all of your essentials. In such cases, it's necessary to consider other packing strategies or be ready to pay extra for your luggage.


Lastly, the travel pillow hack may draw unwanted attention from airline staff or security personnel. Although I didn't experience any issues during my trip, some airlines or airports may have more stringent regulations regarding what qualifies as a personal item. Therefore, it's advisable to stick to conventional packing methods to avert any potential issues.


woman looking at departure screen at airport

In conclusion, the viral travel pillow hack is a creative and fun way to avoid extra baggage fees and optimize your packing space. While it may not be ideal for everyone or every situation, it's worth considering as an alternative packing strategy for your travels. As the saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So why not take that step toward a more innovative and practical packing method and try some travel packing hacks.

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