As flights get cheaper, we all love the thought of being able to travel to some far away place for under £20, which is completely doable. However, we always forget about that little extra charge of baggage which can sometimes triple your flight if you're not careful. Now I only ever travel with hand luggage to save on any rising costs.
Unless it is over a week long, you can easily cram everything into a holdall that fits even the Ryanair small baggage limit, and it’s how I survived a glam 5 day holiday in Dubai, and a chilly week away in Copenhagen. And not having to wait hours at baggage claim is just another bonus! So some top tips of how I manage it.
Store those free samples from magazines + reuse old bottles
You know when you get those free sachets of shampoo and conditioner in magazines? A couple of those and you’ll be sorted without having huge bottles that you'll ever get through. For trips slightly longer than a weekend, I always ask for a lovely set of Ren or Kiehls products to take; they are great quality and you can then reuse the bottles afterwards to refill. And btw; you can take a razer with you in hand luggage!
Streamline your make up + prep before you go
If it’s a hot holiday, it will mostly slide off your face so I end up just taking concealer, BB cream with at least SPF15 in it, eyeliner and lipstick for any evening events. I've also found that getting your eyebrows and eyelashes tinted before you go away makes a huge difference in time and confidence when sitting by the pool. I also use it as an excuse to get a shellac manicure; both hiding your dirty fingers and also not chipping when lugging your bag to the hotel.
Have some failsafe shoes
No matter the holiday, I always swear by three pairs; some simple heels, some basic comfy pumps or sandals and some trainers. You may not wear them all but you’re covered for an impromptu night out, a simple café jaunt or a trek up some steep hills. Too many times I've been caught out in a nice restaurant with nothing to wear, or blisters from too much walking in silly sandals.
Wear the heavy clothes on the plane
This is a no brainer and whilst it can get a bit sweaty, it frees up so much space. So those jeans, trainers, heavy jumper and coat? Take with you and tie around your waist if you have to. They also make great pillows and blankets when on the flight and mean you haven't got to worry about it taking up too much space in your hand luggage. If you can, even put socks in your coat pocket!
Sometimes you're stuck somewhere without cash or supermarkets near you. So I always have some small bits of food in my luggage just in case. Something I've discovered is Itsu's miso soup; all you need is hot water and it's so rich and thick that it's great for dinner when you've had a long and cold day. This is especially handy if you've just landed and all you want to do is relax in your Airbnb, without trawling the streets for expensive and last-minute food.
Play to the weather
Hot holiday? That means lots of light t-shirts and bikinis which take up no room. Cold holiday? That means layering up so can get away with wearing the same thing for a few days because it’s just going to be under a coat anyway. So no excuse as to wherever you’re going! I found with Copenhagen I wore the same polo neck and jeans for days because I had so many jumpers on that they never saw the light of day. And similarly with Corfu, I sat by the pool most days so all I wore was the same sweaty t-shirt for a cover-up (which regularly got a wash after a few pool jumps).
It can be hard to not take your best gear, and of course when I knew I’d be going to some swanky bars, wanted to take a few statement dresses. But choose wisely, and then the rest can be universal basics. Some leggings, maxi skirts with some strappy tops and loose t-shirts can be mixed and matched for simple day wear which you can jazz up with jewellery (taking up much less room). I may not have abided to this in glamourous Dubai but found that by sticking to blues and whites, didn't have that struggle of half my clothes going unworn because they didn't match.
Forgo the luxuries
Do you really need those straighteners and hair dryers? If you decide on a hotel then they will always have them (as well as some toiletries saving you time) and even most hostels lend towels if you can’t quite fit a microfiber one in. Again with both weather conditions; too hot and you'll end up tying it up as it dries and too cold and you'll whack a hat on. I tend to sleep in plaits when travelling, keeping it both cleaner and loose curls easily.
It may be hard, but you learn to streamline your case and with some classic pieces, means you won’t have the holiday stress again. Having managed every kind of length and climate, if I can do it then you definitely can.