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Travel For A Week With Just Hand Luggage? No problem

Lots of my friends are horrified when I tell them that they should take hand luggage only for a week away. I can show you that it’s not only possible but makes life so much easier.   Whether you are staying in hotels, going to a festival or moving around, you can easily pack for anything with just a carry on.  The benefits:

  1. Save up to £40 (add on costs for taking baggage) on budget flights
  2. Avoid lengthy check in queues
  3. Easy to move around from place to place if doing a multi destination holiday
  4. So much less washing when you return home!

My top tips are quite simple to make sure you take just what you need.

  1. Wear your heavy/bulky stuff to travel – You only need one jumper and one pair of jeans and one pair of walking shoes so wear these on the flight. Your jumper/coat can always double up as a pillow for a quick snooze.
  2. Take the biggest carry on allowed – Hand luggage sizes vary airline to airline but I have just bought this from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cabin-Max-Oxford-55x40x20cm-luggage/dp/B00M1MF3G6 It is worth the investment but before that I just bought a Karrimor rucksack www.karrimor.co.uk that was only £9.99 from ebay or amazon – not as durable but does the job.  Keep an eye on Groupon for some good similar deals.  I find that the rucksack/trolley combo is perfect for me.


    Karrimor carry on

  3. Buy cheap toiletries or use the hotels – Rather than spend a fortune on miniatures or panicking that you can’t squeeze everything into a tiny plastic bag, just go to a supermarket when you arrive and get a cheap shower gel and shampoo for the week. My friends and I always do this when we travel together; otherwise use what the hotel offers – it might not be the Redken that you’re used to but suck it up for a week.
  4. Let your standards slip – I am a clothes whore and wear a different outfit every day at home but on holiday I mix and match a capsule wardrobe, keeping to one main colour story that I can interchange. Layering is always key so think vests, jersey tops and leggings – stuff that doesn’t crease easily and can be washed easily if needed.

    capsule wardrobe

    Long weekend capsule wardrobe sorted

  5. Use one of your 100ml liquids for a travel wash – Being able to wash out underwear and bikinis in the sink is a must for me so invest in this. A little goes a long way. Also, sometimes getting laundry done is cheap and easy locally. I found that I paid 10p an item in Thailand to get things washed and folded.
  6. Limit your technology – You don’t need your phone, a kindle, ipod, ipad, mac, camera etc. Download as many things as you can on to one device and use that for everything.

    camera vintage

    Limit your technology to essentials

  7. Packing cubes/carrier bags – Lots of people swear by packing cubes to optimise the size of their case and keep dirty items separate to your clean ones. https://www.amazon.co.uk/HiDay-Set-Travel-Cube-System/dp/B01E9SWO4S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1465999183&sr=8-3&keywords=travel+packing+cubes You an absolutely invest in these or simply use thin bin bags, carrier bags to squish things down.
  8. Leave accessorising at home – heels, bags, earrings, necklaces, hair curlers etc all look lovely but you don’t need then when you’re away. Just keep natural and comfortable so you can adapt to any situation. I wear bright jersey maxi dresses and flats with minimal jewellery and wavy natural hair most evenings (and days actually as I hate my legs) and love the look
  9. Make a list and stick to it – I always write down how many days I’ll be at a place, what activities I’ll be doing and then what I will need each day and what to wear. This stops me packing unnecessary things.  I’ll share my list on here.
  10. Shrink down your make up – When you have a tan you don’t need much make up. Don’t panic, I’m not saying leave it all at home but just take a little.  I only ever take a tinted moisturiser, blush and a lip gloss with me as I hate wearing too much make up in the heat or invest in a mini travel palette. If you want to be really clever then get your eyelashes and brows dyed/lash extensions before going.  See, sorted!
    chanel travel make up

    Chanel travel palette

    I hope this helps you all.  I’ve felt a sense of freedom every time I’ve travelled without a suitcase and that smug feeling of getting off the plane and straight out into a country to start your adventure while others are staring at a dormant luggage carousel is pretty special.  Give it a go and remember, other countries have shops!  If you forget something major then you can always buy it – we’re not the only place that uses toothpaste and soap!


A thirty something, fifties inspired traveller with a love of home comforts and pretty things. Lives in Norwich, plays in London.

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