How to pack hand luggage like a BOSS


It’s hubby’s birthday soon and I’m trying to figure out where to take him! OK – that sounds weird without context. Let me elaborate.



Ever since I can’t remember when hubby and I have been taking each other out-of-town for our respective birthdays. Because it’s something special we can both enjoy. I’ll be honest, hubby isn’t as bothered about this tradition as I am, he’d be happy with fashionable socks (I still don’t know what that means) so I suspect he just indulges my itchy feet and the travel bug. But, he goes along with it anyway and it makes me happy so everyone’s a winner, right? Right.



Anyway. After a traumatic trip to Finland where the airline lost our hold luggage for the duration of our stay we said never again and have ever since (and this goes back to about 2012 or something that ancient) traveled light, with only hand luggage.



Madness”, I hear you say, “you can never fit all your stuff in one tiny little bag!” Ea contraire, mon ami (I’m studying French right now) you in fact can, and should, start travelling with only hand luggage. Not only do you save tons of money by not paying extra for hold luggage, you never have to fear it gets lost on the way and you never have to wait for an eternity for it to appear after your flight.



Here’s what you do to pack your hand luggage like a BOSS:


Make combination outfits: Obviously you’re not going to fit 10 different looks in your hand luggage. So what you need to do is be clever with your holiday looks. Can you wear that specific top with multiple bottoms? Do your shoes go with everything? Take some core items with you, you know the ones that go with everything and mix and match to your heart’s content. Also bonus up-side: less laundry post-holiday.


Get folding: Fold and roll baby, fold and roll… your clothes that is, because this way they take less room than if you just fold them. Basically, just fold them twice lengthways and then roll them into a snug little parcel.


Shoes: Repeat after me: one pair of fancy going-out heels, one pair of comfy walking-around shows and one pair on pumps. That’s all you need. Promise.


Buy toiletries there: You don’t really need to drag shampoo, conditioner and all the rest with you on holiday – the likelihood of you finding a store that sells some for a few bob are almost 100% no matter where you go. And remember, on your hand luggage you only get a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag for your lotions and potions. This leaves more room for stuff you really need…


Makeup, obvs: I tend to go with the same school of thought as with the combo-outfits; I probably won’t need all my six billion foundations, eyeliners, mascaras or concealers with me for a long weekend right? Well, I could but let’s be real: I won’t. I just pick my absolute fail-safes and off I go.


Hair Stuffs: Hey presto, with all that super smart packing you did you can actually fit a pair of straighteners or curlers in. 99% of hotels have a hairdryer either in the room or on request in reception and no, it probably won’t give you boosts of ionic and nonionic heat, have an AC motor or be as powerful as the one at home but it will get the job done and that’s what really matters.


Easy right? Now off you go to enjoy your stress free, lightweight travels with absolute certainty your luggage will follow you to your destination.


Get yourself some sassy hand luggage suitcase from




  • Jasmin N

    I’m the worst when it comes to packing anything for myself. I make lists and all, but somehow I manage to screw it all up at one point 😀

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  • Christine

    Wonderful tips and tricks for packing hand luggage!!! I’m not very good at it myself, but working on improving since it simplifies traveling and saves money!

  • I’m leaving for a trip tomorrow. This will be so darn handy!

  • Traveling with carry-on luggage makes the experience quick and smooth. No more waiting to pick up suitcases and such.
    FYI – hand luggage in the US is a handbag as opposed to carryon luggage which is a small suitcase that fits in the overhead bin.

  • Denice Joyce Diaz

    I usually over pack but having a toddler helped me cut back. I usually stick with core items and just two shoes – my trusty keds and sandals.

  • So sorry to hear about Finland but I am amazed how much you are able to fit into your hand luggage. I agree that creating combination outfits is such a good idea! x

  • runaway widow

    Great ideas. I recently flew to Rome and only brought carry on luggage. It was so much easier. I wore everything I packed. Just remember a ziplock bag for any fluids

  • These are great tips! My brother-in-law and his family travel this way. We haven’t attempted it – but it does make a lot of sense! We have had luggage lost before.

  • Cindy Nicoletti

    Nice tips on luggage packing. The last time I packed luggage for a cruise I could not find some of my important items !! I need a refresher course in packing.

  • Elizabeth Brico

    Hand luggage is the way to go! I’d like some fashionable socks myself! Though I’m not sure what that means for men..You two look really in love. You must be having a ball in this lifetime!

  • Cristina Leau

    Awesome tips. I love to fly but my husband doesn’t. So we travel by train. We have two backpacks and that’s all. I love traveling like this. Have a great trip and happy birthday to your husband

  • Ophelia Tang

    Great tips. I always overpack and your tips remind me to pack lightly and effectively. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  • Denay DeGuzman

    I travel often and I can personally affirm that these are awesome travel tips! Another tip is to pack a little laundry detergent so you can wash a few light-weight blouses, etc. and hang them to dry. 🙂

  • Violeta León

    Im with you girl!! i dont like to travel with more that I can take care of by myself. Great tips! I’ll for sure will be more efficient next time I travel, thanks to your advices.

  • Thank you so much for this! I am a HORRIBLE packer, I admit that. I stink at folding too.

  • Helene Bludman

    I wish I could be more economical with my belongings when it comes to packing! I always end up taking more than I need.

  • fashion-mommy

    I’ve tried, and tried again, but I just can’t do hand luggage only, even on a short trip.

  • deanna

    Love your title. This is great advice. We travel a lot so I am always looking for ways to be more efficient.

  • Great tips for light packing! I am slowly learning that I don’t need much on holiday, especially when I’ll be just lying on te beach ahh! so no need for heavy packing! xx corinne

  • Shannon Patterson

    These are great tips to packing light! It would be nice traveling without all of the extra luggage.

  • Jessica Taylor

    I am horrible at packing luggage! I seriously never know what to bring, so I end up packing way more than I need!