Hand luggage packing hacks*
We’re visiting Spain in September with Interhome and we’ve decided that we’re just going to take hand luggage. For a week’s holiday. Yes, it will be a struggle, but made less so by the carry-on luggage size guide I’ve found to see which size luggage I should be taking. I’m actually pretty good at packing light and in some ways, I actually prefer taking hand luggage – you don’t have to check in early, you don’t have to cart a huge case around and you don’t have to wait for ages at the luggage carousel. Plus, there’s a lot less risk of getting lost luggage. I’ve already been on one holiday this year with just hand luggage, when I visited Portugal on a hen do, so here are my top hand luggage packing hacks…
Trade your liquids where you can
One of the worst bits about taking hand luggage only is the restriction on liquids – you can only take liquids which are 100ml each and they must all be stored in one clear bag – so it’s good to cut down where you can. Last time I travelled with just hand luggage, I traded my shampoo, conditioner and shower gel for bars, making more room in my clear bag for make up! You could also replace your liquid foundation with a mineral powder. In fact – compact your make-up right down, you won’t need much if you’re jetting off into the sunshine! I also tend to get my nails, eyebrows and lashes done before I go on holiday which means that I don’t need to take mascara, eyebrow pencil or nail varnish with me.
Also have a think about what you can buy at the airport, or when you get there. Most airports have either a Boots or a Superdrug and they usually have lots of miniatures and sun cream will usually be available at your destination. Sometimes your hotel will have toiletries too so, if you’re not too precious about what products you use, save yourself the space and use those. If you’re travelling with friends or family, can you share toiletries between you? This also works well with hair appliances – one of you could take the hairdryer and one of you could bring the straighteners.
Don’t forget to pack any medication you may need. I always get really bad hay fever when I visit Portugal in April, so don’t forget to pack something for your hay fever if you suffer.
Take only outfits you’re going to wear
Everyone loves options but if you’re saving space, you’re going to have to be ruthless. Can you re-wear just one or a couple of pairs of shorts for day time? Bring one outfit for each thing you’ve got planned and carefully consider which clothes you’re taking – do you really need a bikini for each day?
Layer up for travelling
Ok, I’m not talking about getting all of your clothes on for the plane journey but you could wear jeans or leggings to travel in, as well as trainers (your bulkier footwear!) and a jumper and sweatshirt. It’s usually cold on the plane, so you’re being practical as well as pragmatic.
Roll instead of fold
This classic packing tip not only applies to hand luggage but can come in handy when packing larger cases and backpacks too. Soft items like vests and t-shirts are easily rolled to save plenty of space in your case. You can also stuff socks and underwear into shoes or any small gaps that are left in between other items. I bought a soft hand luggage case which is really pliable and means that you can fit plenty into it. You should also weigh a hand luggage case before you buy it as most airlines have a maximum hand luggage weight of 10kg and you don’t want that to be taken up with the weight of the case itself.
What are your hand luggage packing hacks? Let me know in the comments below!
[post in collaboration with The Independent Pharmacy]