More and more of us are travelling with hand luggage since airlines are charging crazy money for a checked bag. For my last trip it was £80 return for a 20kg bag, it’s just madness and I won’t pay it unless I really need to. This year I have been mastering the art of packing for 7-10 days with only hand luggage. I love the challenge of trying to get as much squeezed in as possible but I crave the space of a checked bag all the same.

Once you get the hang of it, it isn’t so bad but until then it can be tricky enough so I thought I would share with you what I packed for a week in my hand luggage and still had almost everything I wanted with me.

First off check the forecast for your destination, you don’t want to pack the wrong clothes from the get go. Leave everything out that you would want to take even if it is more than what will fit into hand hand luggage, you can whittle is down later This post is based around my summer holiday but it will give you an idea.

Get ready to wear things twice 😉

What I packed:

Day (beach):

  • 2 bikinis
  • 1 denim shorts
  • 3 loose tops
  • 1 beach dress
  • 1 pair of flip flops

I could have packed another bikini but there was really no need & I prefer to leave room for evening wear. If something gets dirty I wash it out in the sink with fairy liquid that I bring with me in a 100ml bottle. Works a treat!

This gave me enough outfits for the whole time I was there without feeling like I hadn’t enough clothes


  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 white top
  • 5 dresses
  • 3 sandals
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 cross body bag/pouch

I choose to pack dresses because you don’t have to pack extra pieces for separates and you can complement the colours of the dresses against each other so you don’t need to pack as many shoes. On my last trip most of my outfits where earthy/neutral colours which allowed me to pack less shoes and accessories. If I was running out of space I could have easily worn some of the dresses twice.


The thing I find hardest to pack is a cross body bag for night time. I generally only bring one with me when I have hand luggage and I always make the choice when picking my outfits. So… I pick a bag out that I would like to bring then I base my outfits around it – this then makes outfit choosing easier and means I don’t need 2/3 bags with me. If I have 1/2 outfits that won’t go with the bag then I use a lightweight pouch instead. I don’t put the bag into my suitcase I use it for the airport etc along side my handbag.


  • Denim jacket – I use it as my jacket for travelling and then at night if it is cool
  • Handbag – I double this up as my beach bag, I use my beige Longchamp Le Pliage size large which is the most perfect size and because of the colour it goes with everything I pack.
  • Toiletries
  • Sunglasses
  • PJ’s

So there we have it, 25 items which easily gives you 7 days and nights worth of outfits. I had some room left in my suit case last time but instead of adding more I left room for purchases when I was away 🙂


My top tips for packing light: 

  • If you don’t think you’ll wear it – leave it at home
  • When bringing toiletries why not try and split what you are bring with they person you are travelling with. E.g. You bring toothpaste they bring shampoo etc. That way you will both avoid bring extra stuff you really don’t need.
  • Be willing to wash clothes out. It will save you lots of room
  • Try doubling clothes up – if you wear it at night, could you wear it the next day?
  • Beige or denim jackets are best to wear going, they will go with everything
  • Pack a large neutral scarf instead of cardigans, you can wrap it round you if the nights are cool and still stay stylish (see below)
  • Buy suncreams/toiletries when you pass through security – they will usually be the same price.
  • Don’t over think packing and when you have finished, zip it up and don’t touch it again as it is likely that will you think you’ve forgotten something and keep adding to it.
  • Write down what you have packed, this will help you figure out if you have forgotten something.
  • Embrace wearing things twice, no one notices but you.



I hope this post has been of use to you, if not this year but in the future. I find it easier to pack for a winter break as you don’t need to worry about beach clothes etc but summer clothes aren’t as bulky and easier to pack so you get a few extra outfits in 😉

Thank you as always for reading and I hope you enjoyed! Check back next Monday for a new post at 7pm






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