How to:… travel light


Goal: to travel with hand luggage only. No waiting around baggage carousels, no heavy bags to man-handle, no trolleys, no waiting for labelling at the check in desk, no excess charges. Wouldn’t that be a blissful way to travel?

With a little planning, forethought and some fresh ideas this goal could be a liberating reality.We bring you 12 of our best.

How to achieve hand-luggage-only:

  1. Don't be caught out. Make sure you know your airline's rules on dimensions of on-board luggage, and check against those of intended bag.

  2. Leave towels and hairdryer at home. You know you don’t need to take them.

  3. Wear heavy or bulky items when you travel: coat, hat, trainers or hiking boots.

  4. Pick a jacket with large deep pockets to use them for extra storage. Fold inside out, roll and store under your seat on the flight.

  5. When packing: fold and roll. Helps to prevent creasing. Minimises air, and therefore space taken up. Works really well for trousers.

  6. Wear one pair of shoes and pack one other pair. Pack shoes toe to heel.

  7. Roll socks into balls. Pile a pair, roll from toe to top. Use the top of the sock to secure the ball. Stuff into shoes. Push well down to store lots of pairs.

  8. Leave your handbag at home. Take a cloth, string or parachute silk bag tightly rolled up instead. It will work for many uses – beach, shopping, nights out.

  9. Pack a sarong. Use it on the beach, as a scarf, shawl, or to cover your neck and shoulders if visiting religious sites or to protect you from sunburn.

  10. Button up or zip dresses and shirts. Place half flat at the bottom of the bag, with half overhanging. Then fold over the top half once the rest of the packing is done.

  11. Buy mini bottles for all beauty/cleansing products and be strict with what you take. Most hotels provide shower gel, moisturiser and shampoo. Find out what you could share with your travel companion.

  12. There's a good chance you'll have your carry on bag looked through at airport security. Stuff your most intimate undergarments into socks or side pockets to spare embarrassment.

Here's a video on how to pack for a week's trip in a small carry on. (skip ad, less than 3 mins, with sound).

Businessman in black suit holding a suitcase's handle. High angle view,unrecognizable person. Horizontal composition. Image developed from Raw.

Another in our 'How to make a difference' series. Courtesy of Consider it Done.