10 Top Tips for Packing Hand Luggage Like A Pro

On short haul flights, its a lot more pocket friendly to travel with just a carry on bag rather than a larger checked in bag and because of this, its important to be savvy with your space. To help you on your way, here are 10 top tips for packing hand luggage like a pro!


1. List It!

Its all about preparation when travelling so get out some paper and a pen and make a list of the essentials. These are your first priority when packing your luggage and making a list is the best way to keep organised.

2. Plan out your outfits 

If you’re going away for a few days, chances are you’re going to need two or so outfits a day so plan what you need to bring and see if there is a way you can re-use some clothes on your trip. Eg, you can bring one pair of jeans and dress them differently on different days!

3. Roll Up!

Once you’ve decided on your clothing, roll each item up and place in your luggage. Rolling gives you more space than folding does so by packing this way, you will have more room for other essentials.

4. Stuff ‘Em!

If you’re bringing shoes in your carry on, make use of them by stuffing your undies and socks into each shoe! This is a great little trick and one that everyone should do, honestly! Socks and undies add up when it comes to space!

5. Downsize the Toiletries

I mentioned this in my previous post 10 Travel Tips to Make your Life Easier and its an important one when only travelling with hand luggage! Penneys / Primark do small travel size containers for shampoo etc for just €1.50! So before you travel, be sure to downsize your shampoos and other toiletries. Of course you can avoid carrying them at all and just buy locally or why not use the shampoo provided in your hotel!

6. Wear your Heavy Clothes on the Flight

If I’m travelling, I always make sure to wear my jeans, cardigans and other heavier items on the flight! This gives me space to add in a spare top or two, you know, just in case! 😉

7. Chargers to the Top!

If you prefer to put your chargers in your carry on bag, keep them in an easy access pocket or at the top of your luggage. That way then, if you need an emergency charge, you have your charger at hand! Phew! Low battery crisis averted!

8. Use your Pockets

Most suitcases nowadays come with pockets so make sure to use these! They’re great for storing that extra scarf or maybe a pair of socks in case you get cold on the flight! Internal pockets are also great for popping shoes in.

9. Coordinate with your Holiday Buddy

If you’re travelling with another girlfriend, why don’t you share essentials like GHD’s and curlers! You agree to bring one and get her to bring the other! This will save you both bringing both and therefore, you will free up space for each other. Its a win win!

10. Always be Prepared

Going back to the pockets mentioned above, I always carry a plastic bag in one of my outside pockets for cases of extreme emergencies where my bag may be overweight. Heck, this is a great tip for a checked in bag too! I was coming home from New York years ago with so much new stuff and I was overweight by a few KG so they got me to empty my items into my handy carrier bag and carry a pile of new clothes onto the flight with me as hand luggage. If I didn’t have that plastic bag, I would have been charged for overweight luggage! Always be prepared!

What are your top hand luggage packing tips? Share them in the comments below!

Always Wandering,





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  1. Ah love these, it’s so nice when you don’t have to check a bag! I flew to Florida for the first time in 2000 and my bag NEVER arrived! It was stolen so carry on is my life xx Siobhan

  2. Great tips! I’m loving these travel tip posts!

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