Travelling light is the way to go if you want to save both time and money on your trip. A smaller case will give you the freedom to avoid charges for extra luggage on budget airlines and that priceless feeling when you skip baggage reclaim at your destination too!
So ditch those bulky cases and reduce your belongings right down to the essentials with our handy tips for travelling with hand luggage only.
It’s easier than you think and will mean that you’ll arrive at your destination relaxed and ready for your holiday.
Find the right case first!
If you’re travelling with just hand luggage, then the first thing you will need to do is find the right case to take with you.
It will need to match the permitted dimensions for hand luggage for your airline. Most airlines stipulate a uniform size (55cm x 45cm x 25cm) to make life easier, but be sure to double-check in their terms and conditions.
And you can make travelling super easy by choosing a case with wheels and a long handle to make transporting it a breeze.
Once packed, you should be able to lift your case easily into the overhead locker.
Reduce your clothing
We’ve all been guilty at some point of packing clothes and shoes that we’ve never worn on holiday, sticking to the same few comfy and practical outfits.
Now is the perfect time to get a capsule wardrobe together. This means choosing a small number of items that work well together to create a variety of outfits.
You might want to choose a few key pieces in neutral colours to make mixing and matching easy with some vibrant accessories to add a splash of colour.
How you pack is just as important as what you pack. Instead of folding clothes and placing them one on top of the other, try rolling clothes that don’t require too much ironing and squeezing them into the smallest of spaces.
You can also use packing cubes, which not only compress your clothes right down but organise them too.
Fill shoes and any gaps you can find with small items like socks and underwear.
Security rules mean you can only take one small clear bag for your liquid toiletries, which must be in quantities of no more than 100 ml.
Pack your clear bag in an exterior pocket on your carry-on case if you have one for easy access at security.
If you think your toiletries will exceed the limits, then consider taking solid shampoo and soap bars instead of liquids.
You can also use the toiletries provided by the hotel or buy them once you’re at your destination.
Keep the essentials to hand
Once you’ve stowed everything away in your carry-on case, grab a small cross-body bag to store your most essential items. These are things that you don’t want to be rummaging around for in a tightly packed case.
You should include:
- Passport and other travel documents
- Any medication you may need to take on the journey
- Purse or wallet
- Phone and charger
- Entertainment devices such as tablet and charger
What you don’t need to pack
Just as important as the things you need to take with you are the items you really don’t need to pack:
- Expensive jewellery. Reduce your jewellery to what you can wear on the journey to save space and have less to worry about.
- Extra toiletries. Unless you’re going to the most remote destinations, you should be able to replenish your toiletries easily when you get to your holiday spot.
- Uncomfortable shoes. Who wants to wear uncomfortable shoes when you’re sightseeing? Ditch the heels and pack some fancy flip-flops that take up less space instead.
- Guidebooks. Information about your destination should be readily available online, so don’t be tempted to take up valuable space in your suitcase with books.
- Hairdryer. Almost all hotels and self-catering accommodation will be equipped with hairdryers. Or you can just let your hair dry au naturel for the duration of your holiday.
- Travel insurance UK for a policy tailored to your needs
Finally, don’t forget your travel insurance! It’s just as essential as the items that you’re going to take with you, giving you the peace of mind to travel both light and worry-free.
Check out our travel insurance compare service to find a policy that's tailored to your travel needs.
You can find annual or single trip insurance, and even insurance for pre-existing medical conditions, making travelling light accessible to everyone.
If you’d prefer to speak to one of our advisors, contact us to chat over the phone about your travel insurance requirements. They can guide you to the perfect policy to make your trip not only light on the luggage but a hassle-free experience too!