I'm going to admit this up front. I'm not good at packing light. But expensive flights and budget airlines have been a good lesson in what REALLY needs to come with you, especially if you're heading away with hand luggage only. Those pesky clear bags for liquids and a 100ml limit can be testing for even the lightest packers, so here are a few top tips on making the most of that precious space.
Save your sample sachets and trial sizes – I keep a separate drawer of sachets and minis that all get saved for weekends away and hand luggage bags. You can squash plenty of these in to your hand luggage allowance and still have space to spare for that extra concealer. Look out for travel kits and sample sets that can also be bought for a few pounds - Weleda do some great ones that have all the essentials and will last for about a week.
Buy smaller plastic travel bottles and decant – we’ve all got a few must-have products that we can’t bear to leave behind, but large bottles, glass containers and big sizes can make them a nightmare to pack in your hand luggage. Superdrug do some handy travel bottles that are great for decanting just enough product for your trip and can be reused over and over again. Empty contact lens cases are also great to put small amounts of eye cream or serum in for a few days – just make sure you do them up tightly to avoid leakage.
Think powders – powder products don’t have to go into your liquids bag, so wherever possible, take powder blushers, highlighters, eye shadows etc to save space for your skincare regime and shower gel. The same goes for things like brushes, blotting papers and mirrors. I tend to take two bags in my hand luggage – one clear one that needs to be security checked and then a second for all the stuff not affected by the customs regulations.
Buy it when you get there – sometimes it makes sense to leave a few things at home and purchase them at your destination or even at Boots/World Duty Free in the airport. After you go through customs, the liquid allowance no longer matters, so buy cheaper things like shower gel, toothpaste etc airside and save yourself some extra space in your travel bag. Just remember it will all have to fit in on the way home, so buy small sizes or cheaper products you don’t mind leaving behind.
What are your top tips for travelling light?