Five Essential Tips To Help You Become A Hand-Luggage Only Traveller

Over the last few years — save for those when travel was nothing but a fantasy — the way we holiday has shifted. Though this trend was establishing itself long before 2020, the “grounded years” have only exacerbated and cemented the vogue for peppering the year with minibreaks, rather than a one-off, albeit lengthier, time away in the throngs of summer.


Now, every moment of the holiday becomes all the more precious as we aim to maximise each second of those long weekends spent on foreign soil. One of the most prevalent ways to do this is by simply opting to not check luggage and fly away with just hand luggage instead. Simple, right?


Well, that depends what sort of packer you are. Travelling light is certainly a skill that is easier for some than others, which means it might require some extra thought and consideration. When the size of your suitcase is smaller, editing becomes a key word as every item has to earn its space with no room for overspill.


If you’ve opted to save those precious pounds and time by forgoing the checked luggage option, here are some key words of advice and factors to consider before you head to the departure gate.

1. Choose The Suitcase

Perhaps the most important consideration to make when moving to just hand luggage is the vessel you’re going to take along with you. Different airlines have different classifications for what they constitute as “hand luggage”, so make sure you do the research. This will stop you from being handed any costly surprises when your wheel-on doesn’t meet the dimensions required at check-in.


Remember, not all suitcases are created equal. Most luggage companies have adapted to suit our new holiday needs and so these seemingly small suitcases are filled with clever storage solutions, like compression chambers and hidden pockets. Shop the market for a wealth of styles, but our favourite is the Away Carry On, which is packed full of design ingenuity to make packing light a breeze.

2. Plan Your Outfits

Even if you’re heading out for a few days lounging by a pool and intend to stick to a uniform of bikinis and kaftans, clothing and shoes are still likely to be the things that take up the most space in your luggage. To avoid overflowing for no reason, plan your outfits in advance and only take pieces — including accessories and jewellery — that you need. Sure, this takes out a little bit of the fun of going with the flow and seeing how you might feel on holiday, but it will make for more time spent in the sunshine and no surprise fees. Make a list and get excited with a try-on session that will instantly ensue those holiday feels.

3. Chat To Your Group

Hand-luggage only flights are made all the more manageable when you’re travelling en masse. Chat amongst your holiday pals to see how you can divvy up things you’ll all be using, like hair straighteners and chargers. Together, you can make sure that you’re not unnecessarily doubling up on anything and can make more room for all the more important stuff — like an extra party dress.

4. Beauty Obsessives Be Warned!

These smaller allocations are perhaps most taxing for the make-up and skincare obsessives amongst us. As a rule, no liquid item is permitted onboard an aeroplane unless it measures 100ml or under, which means most of our daily staples need to stay at home. Don’t think you need to throw your strict skincare routine out of the window though. Instead, make wise adjustments that work to your smaller allocation, whether that’s decanting or shopping miniatures instead.

5. Watch What You Really Need

Though your holiday routine is going to be vastly different to the humdrum of your usual everyday, you can still watch how you interact with the things you actually use to decide what does and doesn’t make it to the runway. Open up your suitcase about a week before you head away and then everytime you pick something up to use, put it back in the suitcase instead. If, after seven days, there are things that you had considered to take but don’t actually use then you can leave them waiting on the bedside table. Of course, there are holiday-specific items that will disprove this natty packing trick. ENDS.