Hand Luggage Only!

There are some obvious advantages to travelling with only carry-on luggage… On some airlines you have to pay extra for checked in luggage, so travelling without saves you money. It also saves time as you are quicker checking in and, more importantly, you don’t have to queue for ages at the carousel to retrieve your luggage after your flight (and that’s one of the worst things about flying, right?). And, if you don’t check any luggage in, there is no possibility of arriving at your destination to find that your luggage has not arrived as well!

But how easy is it really to travel without checking in any luggage?  Here are my top tips for ditching the big suitcases…

It’s not easy to pack light for skiing!
  • Check your hand luggage allowance and make sure you take the largest size carry-on that you can… but don’t forget there is a weight restriction too so make sure your bag/case is lightweight – you don’t want to have almost reached the weight limit before you’ve even put anything in your bag/case!
  • Due to increased security, you can only travel with bottles of liquids smaller than 100 ml nowadays anyway, meaning you only need to take a small wash-kit, saving you space in your bag. Either buy travel-sized products or make use of the small toiletries you get in most hotel rooms.
My beauty advent calendar contained lots of handy, travel-sized products…
  • Travel in your bulkiest clothing/footwear – it will save space in your carry-on luggage.
  • Think about what you will be doing at your destination and pack accordingly – don’t pack items/clothing you are unlikely to wear. If it’s a beach holiday, are you really likely to need woolly jumpers and lots of pairs of trousers??
Shorts and swimwear is all you need for a beach holiday…
  • Take a capsule wardrobe – items of clothing that can be mixed and matched and dressed up or down depending on what you are doing/the time of day. Don’t forget, accessorising well can instantly alter an outfit – so makes sure you take a few statement pieces of jewellery or pretty scarves.
  • Roll your clothes (rather than folding them) and put small items inside larger items (ie put socks inside your shoes).
  • Minimise the amount of electrical items you take. Do you really need a hairdryer (there’ll probably be one in your hotel room), straighteners, electric toothbrush, etc or can you manage without? If you’re travelling with other people, decide in advance who will take what and share.
  • And remember… you can always buy bits and pieces when you are away if you’ve forgotten something you can’t live without!

So, do you think you could do it? And do you think it’s worth it?

I guess for me it depends on where I am going and how long I am going for… I can manage with just carry-on luggage for a week in the sun where most days will just involve a bikini, shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops but if I am going for longer or to somewhere that I know will involve lots of activities I find it pretty much impossible not to take checked in luggage!

Happy Packing!

Kate

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22 thoughts on “Hand Luggage Only!

  1. I try to travel with only carry-on as much as I possibly can. On a recent trip to Italy, the airline lost a few of our checked pieces and I made the mistake of putting my son’s medication in one of those bags. It was such a nightmare!

    1. Oh no, how awful – another reason to travel carry-on only! My husband once arrived in India for work and his case didn’t… it was a few days before they were reunited and in the meantime he’d had to go out and buy new clothes, toiletries, etc!
      Kate x

  2. I’ve traveled many times with just a backpack, or a backpack and rolling suitcase. When it’s just me, I can easily do it. When it’s all four of us it becomes trickier. Also, another trick I’ve learned is to bring a reusable water bottle, empty, through security then there are usually water fountains in the terminal that you can fill your water, especially if you fly airlines that don’t provide free drinks on the planes (we fly Spirit all the time).

    1. It’s definitely easier when you’re on your own… with the family, it’s much trickier!
      That’s a good idea about the water bottle – I’ll definitely do that in future!
      Kate x

  3. Yes! I only like to bring SMALL pieces of luggage when I travel. I don’t want my luggage lost – EVER! – It has been once before… So I dont trust airlines!

    1. I try to if I can – it is just easier and, like you say, there’s no risk of your luggage going missing!

    1. Same here – so much easier to pack light when it’s just you! Family trips – not a chance!
      Kate x

  4. Last time I went on a little trip, my sister and I both packed in only carry ons. It was amazingly simple and I was impressed at how little I actually needed.

    1. It’s amazing how little you need really – certainly for a short trip! I think we’re all guilty of over-packing at times…
      Kate x

  5. You need to be so strategic when packing hand luggage only…miniatures are great for make up and usually the hotels we stay in are stocked to the max with toiletries like shampoo etc so that saves on space x

    1. Definitely – you have to be ruthless and only take the essentials! Hotel toiletries are great if you’re travelling light!
      Kate x

    1. I’m naturally an over-packer but have gradually improved (although it’s taken a while)! Hope my tips are useful…
      Kate x

    1. It’s definitely harder to travel light when you’re on a family trip, that’s for sure – I’m much better at packing light if I’m travelling alone!
      Kate x

    1. Thank you – hope helps! It’s definitely a battle – I tend to get too much out at first, then be ruthless and put most of it back in the cupboard!
      Kate x

    1. Thank you! I think packing light takes practice – I have to make the effort or I always overpack…
      Kate x

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