We’ve all been there…that cute boutique hotel you’ve had your eye on for months has had a flash sale, you’ve got enough work holiday left to book a cheeky getaway and the flights are reasonably priced. You can’t believe your luck! Then, just as you got to click confirm on the booking, you’re hit with a fifty pound luggage fee which sends you over budget and in to despair.
No Scriptoeris girl’s plans should be foiled by a checked in baggage charge she can’t afford! The solution? Go hand luggage only! Before you shudder at the thought or question my sanity, trust me (the girl who did it for a 10 day break and still had clothes left over) – it’s do-able without compromising on style. Besides, think about it, no queues at check in to drop your bags, no wait at the luggage carousel – after mastering the art of carry on only, a life of stress free airporting is at your fingertips! With a bit of creativity, a willingness to be ruthless and our tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Learn that your non-negotiables will become negotiable. Right now you might think that you can’t live without your poker straight locks but when it comes down to hair straighteners or underwear, you’ll soon realise where your loyalties lie (or at least I hope you will!).
Minimise. I know it sounds obvious – you’re trying to fit your life in a carry on, of course you’ll have to minimise! But you won’t believe the amount of rooky mistakes people make without even thinking about it! Let’s put this in to perspective: a laptop, a phone, a guide book, a novel and a magazine for the plane can be condensed in to one item. A tablet. Lonely planet can be downloaded in pdf, you can install an e-reader app for your magazines and books and Skype with an added subscription is perfect for essential calls. Moving on nicely to my next point…
If it’s not multiuse, it’s out. This doesn’t just go for technology but clothing too! When selecting the final carry on cut, look at the colours and patterns of the things you’ve chosen. Do they all complement each other? Can you make numerous combinations and layer it up to change your look? Chances are those ‘statement’ rainbow wedges will be replaced with their more neutral tan cousins. Things that you can take from day to night with minimal tools will be your new best friends. Also, remember you can often get laundry done locally for a minimal fee when abroad or you could always take advantage of the benefits of a tube of travel wash.
Toiletries, who needs ‘em? The answer is not you! Not only do airport regulations often prohibit liquids of over 100ml (which automatically means bye bye full size!), they take up unnecessary room. The likelihood is that you’re not travelling to the third world – surprising as it may seem, shampoo and shower gel do exist outside of your home country. So ditch the travel size and do a supermarket run when you arrive. As for make-up, bare essentials only ladies! By the time you’ve got a bit of colour on your cheeks from the sunshine, you’ll barely need anything anyway – a touch of mascara, a slick of lipstick and your natural sun kissed glow will do you just fine!
It’s not only what you pack but the way you pack. Forget folds, rolling and compressing is your new go to. If you’re likely to need access to something quickly, put it in last to ensure you don’t have to share your neatly rolled underwear with the world in order to get to your boarding pass. Wear the bulkiest items on board and preferably layer up – the more clothes you wear, then less you’ll have to squeeze in to the bag!
Play it cool. With all that you’ve crammed in there, your carry on may well be the weight of a small child. As much as the ‘my arm is about to snap in half’ grimace seems necessary as you half drag your bag to the gate, whip out your poker face. If the crew at the gate deem your hand luggage oversized or too heavy, they may tell you it needs to go in the hold (at your expense of course), which undermines all the effort and money saving prowess you’ve shown thus far. Yes it’s heavy and yes you can’t wait to put it down but play it cool – at least til you get to your seat!