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Did a TikTok Video Reveal the World’s Best Travel Hack?

A TikTok user has gone viral for a possibly ingenious travel hack: Packing a pillowcase with clothes.
It’s no secret that airlines have gotten more controlling with travel requirements. If you book a basic economy ticket, you will have to give up your carry-on bag as overhead bin space is limited to main cabin ticketholders.


However, one flyer may have discovered a little known hack to carry more items aboard. In a TikTok video seen over 17 million times, user Anya Iakovlieva shows the way she brings her wardrobe aboard a packed flight: in a pillowcase.

“Pillowcase Hack” Goes Viral Among Flyers

Many flyers will choose to bring a pillow along for the ride, especially on longer flights. With many airlines, this is often considered a comfort item and does not count against the passenger’s carry-on limit – similar to shopping bags of items purchased at the airport. However, instead of putting a traditional pillow in the pillowcase, Iakovlieva elects to put her clothes inside.


@nolimitua #travelhack #travelhacks #pillowtransformation #lifehack #travellight #noonesgonnaknow #traveltips #travellife #traveltip ♬ how would they know bad girls club – Chris Gleason

The subsequent video shows her going through the airport with the pillow in tow, and ultimately on the aircraft holding it at her seat. In a comment on the video, Iakovlieva says she was able to pack enough clothes for a month-long trip in the pillowcase.


Comments on the video have sparked a small debate about just how effective the travel hack is in today’s fee-controlled aviation climate. One TikTok user replied: “Come on, they don’t even allow a handbag/purse on some flights, there’s no way a pillow is gonna fly.” Iakovlieva responded: “6 times tested and worked so far.”


Others wonder just how effective that might be, claiming the weight of the clothes would create a major problem getting around the airport. Several commenters claiming to be pilots say this is a perfectly acceptable way to get around the rules, while another flyer wrote: “I’ve been doing this for 20 years; it’s never failed me once.”

TikTok Popularity Grows Among Travel Influencers

Despite being one of the youngest social networks in the space, TikTok is growing in popularity among frequent flyers as a space to share travel tips and ideas. American Airlines recently announced a partnership with the platform, allowing flyers to access it aboard flights for a limited amount of time without paying for internet access.


Feature image courtesy: Solen Feyissa via Unsplash

mvoight October 15, 2021

What does she wear all month if she can put a month's worth of clothing into a pillow case.  What in the suitcase, 6 months of clothing?

Gizzabreak October 10, 2021

"... worlds greatest travel hack ... viewed over 17 million times ..." And would 16,999,999 of those viewers have wasted their time viewing this "worlds greatest travel hack" (or wasted their time reading Flyer Talk's reprint of it) if it had been detailed "travel hack, put clothes in carry on pillow's pillow case" ... oh, that perennial old hack ... move on.

Jcmontecarlo October 8, 2021

Influencers that can't afford a decent ticket. What's in the suitcase? Husband,kids and some borschtsch? Pathetic.....

Iam Jetlagged October 6, 2021

Ad space anyone?  Is TikTok and Botox running low on public exposure?

Global Adventurer October 6, 2021

I'm unable to watch the video, but this isn't a hack it's what mostly ALL campers/hikers do when they need to have a pillow.  They just stuff all their clothes in there and go to sleep at night.  No need in bringing a pillow to take up extra space on the trail.  So, nothing new here.  I wear a scottevest to bring all my extra stuff on a airline flight, which will hold tablets, computers, clothes, and all kinds of stuff and don't need to carry anything including  a pillow.