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Hand luggage hacks for your holiday – Packing light

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As once said by the world-famous fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, “I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase.” Chances are if you are reading this you are likely to have been one of the millions of us who have over packed our suitcase full of ‘essentials’.

Hand luggage hacks for your holiday – Packing light

With budget airlines placing more and more restrictions on hand luggage, and charging more and more for checked in luggage it’s no wonder the question of how to pack light has become one of the hottest travel topics.


When you’re only packing hand luggage for your holiday the best idea is to first check the weather. You don’t want to be taken by surprise by a chilly evening or a day of rain and, particularly in Europe in Spring and Autumn, the weather can be quick changeable. Next lay everything you want to take out on the bed. Then look at your clothes and eliminate a third of them. We all have our favourites and then we all have those items that we think we’ll wear one day, but chances are if you never wear them at home you won’t wear them on holiday.

If you are still struggling to limit your clothes choices, create three ‘day outfits’ and one ‘evening outfit’ including shoes and accessories. Try to pack items that you can mix and match with each other and shoes that are both comfortable and practical. Wear anything heavy or bulky on the plane as this means you can still take it but without it taking up too much of your precious space.

Roll or Weave

Packing tips from the professionals always state that you should roll your clothes to maximise space and minimise creasing. Stuff rolled up socks and underwear in your shoes. Pack your shoes heel to toe around the edge of your case, along with belts. Then fill all the gaps with your rolled up clothes.

Bulkier items or items you want to avoid creasing, use the interweaving method of placing the legs of trousers, dresses and the arms of jumpers outside of the case, then when you have finished packing them, fold the legs or arms over the top of the clothes.


With current security restrictions you can’t take any liquids or creams over 100ml through security. This is good for packing light. Just decant your favourite products into travel sized bottles. To avoid leaks put a little cling film over the lid of the mini bottles. Double up a ziplock bag to use as a toiletries bag as this can be easy taken out at security and again will help avoid any leakages on your clothes.

If you often travel with only hand luggage then it might be worth investing in some of the innovative ways to save space and keep your bag light. If you love to read, a tablet is a great way to carry your books around with you at a fraction of the weight. You can also download magazines and newspapers, watch downloaded television programmes and films, and listen to your music. Packing cubes are also a great idea too as they mean you can easily find everything in your bag.


Andy Chapman

Andy Chapman

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