Short haul, mini break
If you are only going for a short trip, travelling with just hand luggage can help you travel light. But can you fit all your essentials into that small carry-on?
Cabin luggage allowance
The first thing you need to understand is how big your cabin luggage allowance is for your airline.
Aren’t all airlines the same?
Some allow cabin bags of 56x45x25cm, but some only accept bags of 50x40x25cm.
And Ryanair only allow a cabin bag of 40x20x25cm. Small, huh!
So save yourself a whole lot of baggage stress by checking dimensions and weight restrictions before you travel. You can check with your airline or look at the Skyscanner Guide.
So now you know what size you need, you can buy the perfect cabin bag. You may find that a lightweight rucksack is the best option, or you may prefer a bag with wheels to take the weight off your shoulders.
What to pack
Pack things that can be used more than one way. A Pashmina or a sarong can double as a scarf if it’s cold or a shawl for an evening out. It can also be used as a blanket on the plane.
Got old underwear and socks? Take them, wear them, then throw them away. No need to bring them home. Your luggage will be lighter, and you will have space for souvenirs.
Hotels often provide toiletries, so you won’t need to pack everything. Yes, you’ll need to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, but probably won’t need to pack soap, shower gel and shampoo. Some even provide conditioner, but don’t rely on it.
Synthetic materials are light, easy to pack and if you want to wash them, they will dry quickly. Thinking of doing a fair bit of laundry? Pack detergent sheets rather than liquid.
Night flight? Pack ear plugs and a sleep mask. Handy on the plane, they can also be used if you need them at your hotel.
No room for books? Invest in a Kindle. Or try audio books and podcasts to keep you amused during the journey.
How to pack
Try to wear your bulkier items of clothing on the plane, and use your pockets as additional storage space.
Leave no space in your luggage unused. Stuff socks, underwear, and accessories inside of shoes.
Roll your clothes, instead of folding them. It stops creases and takes up less space.
Pack your light coloured clothes inside out to avoid them picking up stains within the case and pack your shoes inside plastic bags.
Any toiletries taken from home must be carried in 100ml bottles in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm.
Travelling as a couple? Split your clothes between two suitcases on the off chance one of them gets lost during the flight. yes, you may plan to have just hand luggage, but the airline may ask you to put your luggage in the hold after all……and you don’t want to be stranded without all your belongings.
Snacks and other tips
Save a bit of money by taking your own snacks to the airport. They will also be useful to stave off hunger if your flight is delayed.
If you’re travelling out of the country, make two photocopies of your passport.
Take a photo on your phone of your car in the airport’s car park, and your luggage and its contents in case it gets lost.