The Hand Luggage Essentials

With airlines upping their prices on hold luggage, packing light has always been a favourite of mine when I'm pottering around Europe.

Getting Organised!

1. I like to take my carry on suitcase and a sizable handbag. I don't want to be opening my suitcase and rummaging around in the middle of security trying to find my laptop or hair straighteners. So before I leave for the airport, I put my electronics in the handbag so they can easily be taken out and put in the security boxes. I don't usually have space in the suitcase for the electricals and they're only light so it's not too much drama. I also put my phone charger in there too as well, along with a book, tablet and headphones if I need to drown out any unwanted plane noise.

2. You need an up-to-date suitcase. You might have a carry on already, but if you're going to be packing light regularly, then sometimes it's best to get rid of the old one and upgrade. I had a situation once where I was in the airport and the zip broke as I was re-packing,(security thought my roll on deodorant was dodgy) I was absolutely mortified but luckily they had a spare one from somewhere for me to have. Long story short, it's traumatised me and i'll buy a new one every six months. Plus with the constant size regulations changing, your luggage might already be on it's last legs anyway!


Hand Luggage Restrictions

You're allowed to take 100 mls of liquids per item through security but you can't put these into your suitcase until after it’s been cleared by them. You'll have to put them in a clear bag and they need to go separately in the trays. I was once told that you can only take one full clear bag through but that's not always the case, i've taken 2-3 before and it's never been a problem. What goes in the clear bags are things like:

  • Perfumes and aerosols

  • gels, creams and toothpaste

  • cosmetics such as mascara and lipgloss

  • Shower gels and shampoo

  • contact lens solution

  • All drinks

What I do is carry my perfume and mascara in my handbag along with the straighteners and laptop/tablet etc so they're easy to reach and you can just throw in a bag. Or if you're super organised, buy some clear bags and be prepared before you leave for the airport.

*Tip Time* I buy all my shower gels, shampoos, deodorants and toothpaste on the other side. You can get these items quite cheap so you won't mind binning them or leaving them behind when it's time to go. More often than not, hotels tend to have shampoo and conditioner in the bathrooms anyway so if you're only there for a few days, you can just use the freebies! I'll also get sun cream and after-sun, sometimes it is a bit more expensive but if you go to a big supermarket instead of the little beach shops, you can find these products for a lot less money.

For any more information on hand luggage restrictions at UK airports, please see here


What to pack in your suitcase

Well, this varies depending on where you're going. I tend to take a lot more outfits than needed. For instance, I went to Corfu for one week last year and I took probably about 15 outfits. As I was mainly by the pool and beach every day, I wore about 4 of the outfits so i'm going to try and be sensible when advising what to take. It's also so hard to leave the "just in case" items at home and plan what you're going to be wearing. So one day, I might try and pack an hour before I leave so i've got less time to think! Probably not though, even typing that gave me shivers.

*Tip time* My Step Mum taught me a trick once and it was rolling your clothes so you fit more into the case. It's probably the handiest tip i've ever had when it comes to packing and it does work.

So, if you're looking to only take a carry on suitcase, My trips vary from 3 days to a week and here's what I pack in mine:

  • Makeup wipes, cotton wool pads, toothbrush, hairbrush

  • Basic makeup

  • Pair of pyjamas - shorts usually because they take up less room

  • Beach towel

  • Footwear - I wear sliders or sandals to the airport, then I pack a pair of heels or wedges if I'm going to go anywhere that they're needed and one pair of comfortable shoes to walk around in (handy if you're on a city break) I also take a pair of flip flops

  • 2 bikinis and a cover up

  • pair of shorts and a skirt

  • 3 summer dresses

  • a cardigan

  • 4 or 5 tops (vest tops etc)

  • casual playsuit (dress it up with wedges or heels)

  • jewellery

  • Obviously underwear

  • Don't forget your travel plug

*Tip Time* Before I set off on my jollies, I nip to Primark to get the beach towel and flip - flops because you can get a beach towel for £5 and flip-flops for £1. Then, I bin them or leave them behind to make room in the suitcase for the clothes or souvenirs i've bought.

As always if you've got any questions, just drop me a line using the contact form!

Samantha x