If you’re travelling to an exciting new destination on a tight budget, you may have opted for a cheap flight with hand luggage only. It’s an excellent option, with a price tag far lower than a ‘normal’ flight. There’s only one problem – you have to be careful with how you pack.
We all want to look incredible on our vacations. And of course, we don’t want to give up on any of our daily necessities. Fortunately, if you pack carefully, you don’t have to.
So, find the best hand luggage for short trips, and check out our list of the top tips to packing light.
1. Roll Your Clothes Rather Than Folding Them
You’d be amazed by how much more space you have in your bag when you roll your clothes. The best way to pack is to roll together all your shirts, all your pants, and all your dresses. This way, you have easy access to each type of clothing. And, more importantly, it’s the most efficient use of space.
You also don’t need to have multiple versions of one thing. Bring your favourites, and leave the rest behind for your return. For all-weather destinations, you should pack:
- 1x pair of pants
- 1x pair of shorts
- 3x shirts
- 1x jersey
- 1x lightweight jacket
- 4x pairs of underwear
- 4x pairs of socks
- 2x dresses (for women)
- 1x dress shirt (for men)
- 1x pair of slip slops and 1 pair other shoes
If you roll your clothing and stick to this general amount, you should have space for extras, like that skirt you love so much, or a wide-brimmed hat.
2. Decant Shampoo And Liquids Into Smaller Bottles
Most airlines allow only a certain amount of liquids in hand luggage – so, beyond saving space, this may be your only way to get shampoo on the plane. Make a rough measure of how much shampoo you need for your length of stay, and pack just that.
Your bottles need to be under 100ml. But, if you really want to pack for the full trip rather than buying at your destination, you can always pack multiple bottles.
3. Put Socks And Small Things In Your Shoes
The perfect container for socks is, appropriately, shoes. You can squeeze multiple pairs in without taking up any more space than the shoes alone would. And then you know just where to find them, without pulling out everything in your bag.
4. Wear Your Bulkiest Clothing
If you’re heading to a winter destination and you need at least one giant padded jacket, wear it. They can take up over half your packing space, forcing you to leave valuable things behind.
You may be leaving behind a place far warmer, in which case you’ll be uncomfortably hot. But you can always string it over your arm, and wrap it around your waist while you walk through the airport checks.
It’s not quite as comfortable as having it in your bag. But then, neither is freezing without a sturdy jacket or leaving behind everything else.
5. Leave Cheap Replaceable Goods Behind
Almost every destination has things like deodorant and hats. If you don’t have enough space and have to leave a few things behind, leave the things you know you’ll find as soon as you hit land on the other side. These include:
Of course, you don’t want to buy a whole list of random things whenever you go somewhere new. So this is best only if you’re heading somewhere for a long period of time, and you know you’ll get good use out of the items. And only if the previous suggestions are really just not cutting it as you pack this time.
6. Pack A Lightweight Travel Towel
Your destination may not have towels available for free use – most hotels do, but hostels don’t. However, towels are large and bulky and would take up way too much space in your luggage. Travel towels, however, are extremely light and small.
They may not be as pleasant to use as a big wraparound towel, but they’ll get you dry. And as a bonus, they dry much faster than normal towels too.
7. Empty Your Wallet Before You Go
Most of us have loads of coins and loyalty cards in our wallets. None of this will come in handy where you’re going (unless, of course, it’s a regional flight). So, take it all out, put it somewhere you’ll find it again when you get back, and leave with a nice light, near-empty wallet.
This will leave you with more space in your handbag, and a slightly lighter load.
8. Bring The Right Luggage
Bringing the right luggage is imperative to fitting everything you can on your trip. Some hand luggage is very heavy, despite matching the size requirements. They have stiff metal frames and heavy shells.
It’s best to bring a backpack or lightweight-shell carryon. If you’ll be moving about a lot with your pack, it’s best to have it on your back. This way, you won’t be limited by rougher terrain. It’s also safer, as you’ll have the bag strapped to you.
If, however, your luggage will be relaxing with you after leaving the airport behind, you may prefer a wheelable hard-shell case. Just make sure it doesn’t take up too much of your weight requirement. You want to set off with a good few extra kilos available in the bag so that you can bring back mementoes.
9. Put Small Heavy Things In Your Handbag
Your reading material and other handy-to-have-in-reach items are best to have in your handbag. Handbags are allowed in addition to a carry-on bag. And the best thing about them is, they aren’t weighed. Only your larger bag is weighed, while your handbag is simply run through the scanner.
This means that if you have something tipping the scales in your luggage, you can easily squeeze it into your handbag. Just check the requirements of the airline you choose, and ensure you don’t exceed size limits.
Last Thoughts On How To Pack Light
Whether you’re heading to some luxury destination, or on a backpacking trip into the unknown, packing light is very important. Especially when it’s a requirement for your budget flight.
Thankfully, packing light is not as hard as it may seem. With these actionable tips, you can fit everything you need into your bag, and then some.
So don’t let your size and weight limits limit the adventure. Roll your clothing up, empty your wallet, and wrap that jacket around your waist.