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:
- Save up to £40 (add on costs for taking baggage) on budget flights
- Avoid lengthy check in queues
- Easy to move around from place to place if doing a multi destination holiday
- So much less washing when you return home!
My top tips are quite simple to make sure you take just what you need.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
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!