How to travel with hand luggage only

Travelling light with only hand luggage does require some forward planning, and confidence, especially if you’re one of those people who, at the last minute, finds themselves packing things ‘just in case’ they’re needed.

Before even considering what to pack, make sure you check your airline’s allowances – the maximum size and weight of the bag you’re allowed to carry into the cabin, and don’t forget, that any external wheels count as part of the dimensions.

Here are our tips for travelling with hand luggage only:

  • Think about the activities you are going to be doing on holiday and pack clothes accordingly
  • Pack colour-coordinated clothes. Packing with colours in mind allows more flexibility in outfits
  • Pack lightweight clothes that, if necessary, can be washed and dried overnight
  • Footwear can take up lots of room, so a pair of lightweight shoes for travel and a pair for the evening or the beach maybe all that are necessary
  • Many of us pack far more clothes than we need, just in case an occasion may arise, don’t overestimate how much clothing you will need
  • Check the weather for your destination to determine what you need to pack – one cardigan or sweater should be sufficient if the evenings are cool
  • Stick to lightweight clothing; forget jeans as they are too thick for warm weather, take too long to dry and take up far too much room
  • If you need to take a heavy jacket, wear it rather than pack it to save room in your case
  • Don’t forget to be aware of the liquids in hand-luggage rules and other items not permitted in your hand luggage – always monitor restrictions in the lead up to your holiday as restrictions can and do change quickly.

Always do a trial pack about a week before you travel to ensure everything fits. If all your items don’t fit in your case, or it’s too heavy, you’ll have time to rethink what you are taking without having a last-minute panic.

Travelling light for the first time can be a worry, but be brave, once you’ve successfully travelled with hand luggage only, they’ll be no going back.

Travelling with just hand luggage not only saves you plenty of time waiting at the baggage carousel, it also means you won't have the hassles of lost luggage and saves you paying checked-in baggage fees.