Holiday Packing Essentials- Hand Luggage Only

Posted in Travel
hand luggage items

I don’t know about you guys but unless I’m going on a big holiday I tend to opt for hand luggage only when it comes to travelling because A) it saves you money on your flight price and B) it’s much easier to travel with less stuff. For this reason so many of my long weekends tend to only involve a small cabin sized suitcase and I’m going to admit I am pretty good at packing lightly (even though I manage to cram such a lot in).

I have generic packing lists which are items which come with me every single time I travel and I thought I’d share them with you to make sure you don’t miss anything when you head away.

The first few things are kinda obvious but complete must haves if you even want to get anywhere. Of course, you are going to need your passport and a printout of your boarding passes to make it through the airport. I also print out hotel confirmations (especially as they include the hotel address) alongside print-outs for anything I’ve booked like tours and shows.

Again other obvious things is currency for the country you’re going to as the airport is not the place to purchase it, you will lose out on money. I always make sure I have a credit card with me as a just in case for anything which I might need to buy or for times when you can’t use cash (like at train stations).

Hand Luggage Only

Sunglasses are must have even if you don’t think it is going to be warm. I find things can get sunny outside when you’re walking around and exploring even if it isn’t warm so sunglasses are essentials. I always pop a chiffon scarf in my handbag as it can be used for so many things from getting a bit cold on the aeroplane to wrapping around yourself at the beach.

A book for me is a massive essential (usually 2 unless it’s only an overnight trip) because I love to read while at the airport, on the flight, before bed and anywhere else. Holidays are the times when I massively catch up with my reading and it’s a nice place to relax.

Other essential items you should think about taking are:

  • Hand sanitizer to make sure your hands are clean before eating
  • A comfortable pair of jeans (which I tend to travel in)
  • Plenty of underwear cause no one wants to go commando
  • Travel sized toiletries/ cosmetics. You knew there was a reason you didn’t use all those samples from your beauty box subscriptions
  • Camera, charger and spare battery because of course you will want to take photos
  • A small map of the city. I tend to always buy the Compass Pop Up Maps as they’re so small, really detailed and almost always have a map for the trains/ transportation.
  • A travel towel. Now most hotels have these but sometimes they only provide one and I use one for my hair and one for my body, and hostels can be hit and miss about whether they provide them.
What are your essentials to take away when you go?
May 20, 2016
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  • This is such a great post – I utterly suck at packing for any holiday so every little bit helps 😉 x

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Great idea although for me unfortunately it wouldn’t work, my kids bulk up our luggage with books, toys and nappies.

  • This is such a good post especially as I am going away soon, I do however have a big suitcase to take away with me too as I’m going away for quite a while! I am always stumped as to what to put in my hand luggage though x

  • Victoria Jenkins

    It’s always great to see a list like this to refer back to. I’m the type that packs and then convince myself I must of forgotten something. I love the map idea, my first thought was the map on my phone but data roaming prices would be ridiculous! You can tell I holiday in he UK as of late now that I’m a mum can’t you!

  • kitty kaos

    I am all about hand sanitizer in my hand luggage my partner is a bit of a germ a phobe so it’s essential x

  • beautykinguk

    Painkillers would be in mine and some tissues! Other than that it is left to the wife!

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    I am a bit bad when it comes to packing and I always take a bit suitcase, even for a short city break. I just like to take all my clothes with me haha.

  • Things Sarah Loves

    Underwear is always something I put in my carry on bag! I always have this fear of my actual checked in case being delayed and if that ever happens, I at least want to have some clean underwear!

  • I am the same, most of my travels are weekend getaways so I have certain things I always pack

  • I’m a really bad packer and even for a weekend away I end up with a medium sized suitcase. My Kindle is definitely always one of my essentials, you can’t not have anything to read!

  • Don’t Forget The Passports

    I always choose to travel hand luggage only, I find it saves to much time at the airports too x

  • Mary Charie Ylagan

    Good point here! before I start travelling fulltime I tend to pack way too much. Now I’m slowly learning :-)

  • Leanne Dolan

    I wish I could master packing light. We often fly up to Glasgow which we always do hand luggage only. However I’ve never tried it for somewhere else outside of the UK!

  • Cassandra Mayers

    Camera is number 1,
    A body spray, if its hot then a mini sun tan spray,… hand cream as i hate dry hands… and what you said also… :)

  • Makeup, perfume, and all the other gadgets. Great post.

  • Great essentials in particular the currency of the country your visiting. For me I will always add a book and notepad as well as a selection of pens.

  • Great essentials, I find it impossible to travel with only hand luggage!

  • I always travel with just hand luggage too, I hate having to pay to check a larger bag these days! My travel essential (especially for flying) is lip balm, otherwise every time I fly I leave the plane with chapped lips – it must be the recycled air. x

  • I’ve not been away in ages, but I so wish I could travel with just hand luggage.

  • I’m putting together a post like this at the moment so this was really helpful!

  • I love the idea of getting one of those pop up maps. I need to start doing that myself!

  • Every time I go away I try to only take hang luggage but then the night before leaving I always end up adding more xD Extra underwear is always a good idea – better safe than sorry!

  • The chiffon scarf is a great idea – doesn’t take up much space, but I bet it comes in handy! I often travel with just hand luggage, they’re so generous with the allowance these days.

  • Rosana McPhee

    wow it’s all about holiday at the moment. I always have hand sanitizer in my luggage. R

  • My travel essentials apart from my passport, is my phone, phone charger, and my camera!

  • Will be bookmarking this for my holidays, thank you! :) I’m taking a spare battery for my camera in my hand luggage too!

  • Mandi

    How lovely just to be able to take hand luggage, with the seven kiddies, I am lucky if I only take three large suitcases and hand luggage each! I will bookmark it for 20 years time when its just me and my husband!

  • Great timing as we’ve just booked a hand luggage only trip to Paris! :)

  • I am horrible at packing light. I usually travel with three suitcases and my hand luggage when I go abroad for more than a week. I can never decide what to pack and I need to have the choice when I am on holiday. However, recently I started travelling more often at the weekends and I only take hand luggage now. I pack a few basic things and I say to myself when I am there and I need something else, I will hit the shops.

  • globetrotterjen

    Ah you’ve got the same paper chase notebook as me! I always get so many compliments on

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