This Clever Bag Trick Helped Me Save So Much Legroom in Coach, and I'm Never Looking Back

I can keep all of my essentials close while still unapologetically sprawling out.

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Fanny Pack Hack Save Leg Room Tout
Photo:

Travel + Leisure / Pamela Jew

I admit it, I’m an overpacker. Between my emergency toiletries, extra clothes, electronics (and their corresponding wires), in-flight entertainment, and any other item I’ve convinced myself I’ll need, I always fly with a mountain of essentials in my personal item bag. And as you can imagine, there’s not much room left under the seat in front of me for my actual legs. 

This never bothered me enough to make a change. Well, not until a recent flight from Los Angeles to New York when I flew coach, and we were delayed almost two hours at the terminal prior to takeoff and confined to our seats. Needless to say, I really needed to stretch out my legs, but I couldn’t put my bulky purse in the overhead bin. So, I just sat there, legs uncomfortably crumpled around the bag for five-plus hours. This would not happen on my return flight home. 

Looking for a way to downsize my personal bag, I came across the Abercrombie and Fitch YPB Crossbody Fanny Pack, and my new packing hack was born. Instead of ditching my go-to travel tote completely, I decided to use the fanny pack as a removable, mini version of it, stocking it with everything I need for a comfy flight like an organizer inside my personal bag. Then, I took it out when I got to my seat, tucked away my actual purse in the overhead bin, and unapologetically sprawled out. 

YPB Cross-Body Bag

Abercrombie

To buy: abercrombie.com, $28 (originally $35) 

The surprisingly spacious fanny pack, which just went on sale for $28, has a mesh pocket on the front and zippered pockets throughout its interior, making it perfect for my smartphone, headphones, portable charger, USB cable, gum, granola bar, chapstick, extra KN95 face mask, deodorant, hand sanitizer, wallet, and keys. And, since it has a petite frame, I easily stuck the Abercrombie and Fitch YPB Crossbody Fanny Pack in the seatback pocket in front of me.

And, since it has a petite frame, I easily stuck the Abercrombie and Fitch YPB Crossbody Fanny Pack in the seatback pocket in front of me. Its adjustable crossbody strap also allowed it to be worn on my person, which came in handy when going through the airport. For future trips, I can use the belt bag in place of a purse; it's packable enough that it doesn't take up space in my bag. 

Now that I'm home in Los Angeles, I'm still using it when I go out for errands, hikes, and any occasion that requires a small bag. I also love it for keeping my keys and smartphone safe in my cubby at Pilates, or using it to organize my valuables in my beach bag (its nylon exterior makes it durable and easy to clean). Not to mention, it'll come in clutch for concerts; the possibilities are endless. 

YPB Cross-Body Bag

Abercrombie

To buy: abercrombie.com, $28 (originally $35) 

The Abercrombie and Fitch YPB Crossbody Fanny Pack has been a game-changer and is already at the top of my packing list for my next trip. Eager to hop on the fanny pack trend? Keep scrolling to shop other popular belt bags that will help you travel hassle-free. 

Zorfin Crossbody Fanny Pack

Zorfin Belt Bag
amazon.com

To buy: amazon.com, $20 (originally $25)

Maxtop 4-Zipper Fanny Pack

MAXTOP Large Crossbody Fanny Pack

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $16 (originally $23)

Ododos Mini Belt Bag

ODODOS Unisex Mini Belt Bag

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $19 (originally $24)

Waterfly Fanny Pack

WATERFLY Fanny Pack

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $12 (originally $20)

Osoce Anti-Theft Waterproof Sling

OSOCE Anti-Theft Waterproof Shoulder Backpack

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, from $17

Calpak Luka Belt Bag

Calpak Luka Belt Bag

Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com, $58 

Lo & Sons Bond Crossbody Belt and Sling Bag

Bond Fanny Pack

Lo & Sons

To buy: loandsons.com, from $98

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