Travel Light, Pack Smart: Essential Tips for Carry-On Luggage (10kg) 

Yay! Summer is finally here. This means it's traditionally time for me to talk about either A) packing tips or B) what to wear in the heat. I've chosen A, as a friend asked me this morning about travelling light. 
 
For the past 20 odd years I’ve been visiting my besties in Spain and as the budget airlines have changed their minds several times regarding luggage allowances, I have fine-tuned my packing to a 10kg carry on for the week. If you have any tips that I haven’t included in this article, I’d love to hear them. 
 
Last year we went on an All Inclusive package, sunshine holiday to Tenerife which included 22kg luggage in the hold. We still only took little suitcases, I'm so used to it now it seemed “extra” to pack more 🙈. I've been conditioned. 
 
It’s the time of year when many of us start to think about jetting off on holiday. These days airlines are giving us more and more options regarding how much luggage we want to take, where we want to sit on the plane and whether we want to pre order food for the flight etc. Everything has a price these days, but the nice thing is you can pick and choose what you pay for. 

Travel Outfit Hacks: Stay Comfortable & Stylish on Your Flight 

What do you wear for travelling to/from your holiday in the sun? You know when it's a bit chilly as you set off to the airport at the crack of dawn? Or when you have to be ready to fly home and it's scorchio on your jollies, but you just know it's at least 10 degrees cooler once you get home. Here’s my tried and tested style of outfit that suits the purpose. 
 
I always wear a comfy, lightweight, jersey maxi dress, they doesn’t crease and are cool in the heat. It can be colourful, patterned, plain whatever suits your style personality. I wear a pair of pumps or sandals that can be widened too - just in case my feet puff up - mine usually do when I fly. 
 
TIP : Have a big tote bag as your hand luggage (that doubles up as a beach bag), put a pair of leggings, a sarong that doubles up as a scarf (and a blanket if the air con is cold on the plane) and a lightweight, fine knit cardi in it. You can add and remove layers as the temperature changes. 
 
And once you’re comfy in your travelling outfit here are my other tips for hand luggage and general packing when you’re travelling light. 
 
A cross body bag or a backpack will keep your hands free so you can navigate the steps to the plane whilst holding your suitcase. Although a crossbody bag will actually be easier to access than a backpack whilst you are wearing it and you don’t need to take it off to sit down at the airport. 
 
Sanitiser apart from being our staple handbag item during COVID conscious times is always a good thing to have in your hand luggage when travelling. 
 
Lots of napkins/tissues for spills – they ALWAYS come in handy. 
 
If you can wear something with pockets in for travelling means you don’t have to fanny around in your bag for your passport and boarding pass – I didn’t last time I flew so ended up with it tucked in my bra! 
 
Refillable insulated water bottle – some airports have drinking water fountains available instead of buying it from the machine in a plastic bottle. I like my stainless steel one as it keeps drinks cool by the pool too. 
 
I find a hand fan essential to have in my handbag (at any time as a menopausal woman but especially when travelling) 

Travel Essentials for Your Hand Luggage: Stay Organised & PreparedSpace-Saving Packing Techniques: Maximize Your 10kg Carry-On 

Have your travel sized toiletries, less than 100ml, in the plastic bag in your hand luggage until you’re through security. Saves you messing about unzipping your suitcase and holding everyone up. Once you’re through security you can pop them in your carry on suitcase. (Although I hear the 100ml rule is being phased out soon.) 
 
I decant products that I don’t need much of into mini travel size bottles/pots that I’ve saved. Stuff like my Tropic day and night creams, my hair fudge etc. You can wrap the container in cling film if you’re worried about spills. 
 
Contact lens pots are great for decanting tiny amounts of products like eye cream and night cream etc that you don’t need much of. 
 
Buy bulky toiletries like shower gel/body lotion/sun creams once you arrive at your destination. 
 
Use digital books – If you don’t have an actual Kindle, you can download the app on your phone or tablet. If you like listening to books/podcasts download Audible and use earphones. 
 
Using a hard-shell suitcase means you are more likely to stick within your 10kg limit and if they do start checking bag sizes in the queue you’ll be confident that yours won’t be the one tagged and put in the hold because it’s not conforming to the shape/size required to fit in the special bag checker thingamabob. 
 
Sticking to a colour palette of 3-4 colours makes things easier to mix and match and gives you a lot more outfit options 
 
A nice pair of metallic coloured shoes/sandals will go with everything – silver, gold, bronze etc 
 
A floppy handbag won’t take up much room in your carry on. I have a crocheted one that is really lightweight, purple yarn with metallic thread – matches all my clothes. 
 
I have been known to buy cheap beach towels at my destination and leave them there with my friends. I wouldn’t waste space in my 10kg carry on. 

 

I usually have a carrier bag or a couple of large zip lock food bags in my suitcase – they come in handy for dirty laundry or damp swimwear if you are flying late and have been sunbathing before leaving for the airport. 
 
Packing cubes – I have never actually tried these yet, but I’m tempted to buy some. You can get all different kinds. There are compression type, space saving ones which mean you can squish more in – bearing in mind the weight will still be the same though. 
 
I you are taking fine necklaces sandwich them in cling film or thread through a straw to stop them getting tangled. 
 
To keep pierced earrings in pairs thread the posts through a loose button and pop the butterfly fastening on the back. 
 
Quick drying clothes like silk or a poly cotton mix are easy to wash and dry if you’re somewhere hot. If you book a self catering apartment or Airbnb with a washing machine, bringing clean clothes home is lovely. Negates the marathon washing and drying session when you get home. 
 
Fold, then roll smaller items like cami tops, t shirts etc takes up less space and also minimises creasing. 
 
Larger items fold and place on top of the rolled items or bundle pack. 
 
Bundle packing is when you fold things around each other – like creating a ‘pass the parcel’ but with clothes. I’ve tried this and it’s great for dresses/trousers – stops them creasing. You start with the largest things – say dresses, lay them one of top of the other, then trousers, then tops...the you literally fold them up into a suitcase sized bundle – sounds mad but it is brilliant at preventing creases! 
 
Packing the heavier stuff at wheel end of suitcase keeps it more stable and prevents it from toppling over. 
 
Stuff shoe cavities with socks/pants/small items to save space in your case. 
 
Dump the ‘just in case’ stuff. You KNOW you’ll not need it. Remember the last time you wore EVERYTHING you took away? No? Then you can get rid of half. My method is to get everything out on the bed that I think I might take then at least halve it! 
 
Turn light coloured clothes inside out before packing so they don’t get any marks from shoes or bags etc. If you save disposable shower caps from hotels these make great shoes covers, alternatively nappy sacks or food bags will do fine.. 
Top Packing Tips for Avoiding Lost Luggage & Travel Mishaps 
Spread your family’s clothes across all the suitcases so that if a case goes missing you all have something to wear. It’s no fun if you’re missing luggage for a few days. 
 
Apparently, a couple of tumble dryer sheets in between your clothes keeps things smelling fresh - don’t use them myself but if you have them already it’s worth noting. 
 
An empty pillowcase doesn’t take up much room and can feel nicer than the ones provided if you are used to Egyptian cotton at home and will come in handy if you are bringing laundry home. 
 
My favourite game changer thing EVER for travelling has been a circular drawstring toiletries/make up bag that a friend bought for me. 
 
If you are putting things in the hold customise your suitcases with stickers or a coloured scarf on the handle to make them instantly recognisable on the carousel – they mostly all look the same otherwise 
 
And finally... Make a list on your phone of what you take and keep for next time 
 
Travelling with just 10kg carry-on luggage tips - how did I do? 
 
I hope you've found that useful. If I've missed anything let me know. 
 
Lisa x 
FAB Business Club : female authentic ballsy 
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