Hello from a girl that needs her creature comforts around her at all times to feel fully comfortable and anxiety free. Until August this year I had never travelled with only hand luggage in my entire life. The only reason I travelled with only hand luggage on this particular occasion was because I had a new beautiful suitcase which is hand luggage appropriate and I was only going away for a couple of nights. I was also comforted by the fact my family were already on holiday where I was travelling to so if I forgot anything they would probably be able to rescue me. That being said I actually didn’t borrow anything…apart from a plug adapter which I forgot even though I have 10 of them at home from past forgetfulness! So, I am here to tell you how this rather high maintenance traveller managed to go abroad with only hand luggage only.
Excuse the gorgeous summer imagery. This post, of course is still applicable for chilly City breaks too…although make sure you travel in your winter boots because they take up far too much space in a hand luggage suitcase and are super heavy.


The main thing you need to do when travelling with only hand luggage is to plan and be prepared. Do your research as to how much liquid you can travel with in your country, how heavy your hand luggage can be and how big your mini suitcase can be. The suitcase I have from American Tourister is luckily cabin size approved so I didn’t have to worry. If you are going to go with only hand luggage and make the effort to downsize your belongings you are taking you need to make sure you aren’t going to get to the airport and be told you have to pay to check in your slightly oversized luggage. Read below for my outfit planning tips.

(Suitcase from American Tourister)


As a beauty blogger I am a big lover of my beauty products and make up but the ban on big quantities of liquid makes this addiction a little tricky. The only products that I went full size on were my face SPF, cleanser and foundation because I want these to be totally clean when I put them on my face rather than decanting into something else. I decanted eye make up remover and body wash into small plastic containers. I had a small shampoo and conditioner from a hotel which I took with me. At the airport I bought a bottle of SPF for my body and left that in France as it was too big to take home, this upset me a bit though as it felt so wasteful. I did the same with toothpaste, hairspray, razor (most pricy thing to buy and get rid of! If you aren’t a pain woss like me, you could opt for a wax?) and deodorant…again, this felt wasteful 🙁 With my make up I managed to go with a super pared down make up bag. I opted for two creamy eyeshadow sticks in different colours, an eyeliner, the foundation I mentioned earlier, a cream blusher, mascara.
Oh and I also gave my eyebrows a good tweezing the day before leaving. A tweezer is something I would be devastated to have confiscated because I really get attached to my tweezer, I find that they mould to my grip like a fountain pen.


A big planning tip would be to make a note of everything you are planning on doing during your trip away. I knew that I was going to be going out for two nights so needed two cute dresses and the same pair of shoes for each. I knew that I was going to go for a run one morning, so I took the smallest running clothes possible and my lightest pair of trainers. I was planning on spending most of the time on the beach so I took two bikinis, one pair of flip flops and two beach dresses that could double up as cute enough to wear to breakfast or strolling around the streets and morning markets. Luckily I didn’t have any clothes that I needed to shoot for work so I didn’t have to take any specific clothing and could just go for the lightest small items as possible.


Even though you are saving money on not paying to check in a suitcase you are actually still going to have some spendy moments. Once you have gone through passport control you will probably have to go to Boots to buy yourself the beauty essentials. I suppose if you are only going away for a couple of nights you could get away without buying shampoo and conditioner. I have noticed that travel sized products are so much more expensive than their full sized equivalent. I would suggest investing in some nice travel sized containers that you can decant into rather than spending a fortune on travel sized goodies.

I have to admit the whole experience of travelling with only hand luggage was incredibly freeing. Not having to queue to check in and not having to wait for your luggage on the conveyor belts made me feel a big sense of smugness. If I am going away for a proper length holiday or trip of a week or more I will probably go for checking in a full sized 20kg suitcase but for a weekend away I may just try the hand luggage only thing again. Have you ever managed to travel with only hand luggage? Tell me your words of wisdom too please 🙂 x



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