Travelling with only hand luggage – what to pack?

travelling light with hand luggage

what makeup I use travelling

On our next trip, we’re travelling with just hand luggage. Just ten kilos, each. Travelling light is something new to us and it’s definitely a challenge. Especially since we’re travelling for two weeks and we are hitting two very different destinations: the tropical Martinique island on the Caribbean and the lovely city of Paris

The ridiculousness of packing a bunch of stuff for trips hit me on our last holiday. We were travelling to Amsterdam and I was carrying my bags. I was stressed and worried. Are my bags too heavy? Did I remember to pack everything? 

And then it hit me – I’m allowed to bring 30 kilos of stuff with me and I’m still worried it’s not enough. That is crazy! Think about it: you are taking 30 kilos of stuff with you. Do you really need all that?

I like to believe I don’t. Which is why I’m excited that we’re travelling light and smart – with nothing more than hand luggage.

Travelling with only hand luggage

One of the most important things when travelling light, is to have a good hand-sized luggage. It helps, that it’s very lightweight yet sturdy. My luggage is from Delsey and it’s very handy and lightweight.

It’s also important to choose a hotel or an apartment, where you can wash your clothes. That was one of the criteria for our airbnb as well: it needed to have a washer. That way you can use the same clothes all over again – because let’s face it – that is one of the key things in managing a light luggage.

CLOTHES & SHOES

Pack clothes that can be paired together. Clothes that you can mix and match, so that you’re not stuck with the same outfit every day. It’s also important to pack clothes that you love and like to wear. I packed a lot of black clothes, mainly because it’s convenient, but also because I wear a lot of black anyway. I did however choose a few ‘statement pieces’ so that I can play a bit with my outfits.

Think about the weather, what activities you are planning to do and pack accordingly. For example: I plan on exercising, hiking, swimming and going out on a dinner. So I packed sportswear, bikinis & something fancier for dinners. Since I’m going to a beach holiday and to Paris, I packed some casual light clothes, but mainly citywear, since I’m spending most of the time in Paris.

Try not to think of packing less clothes as an issue, but rather as an opportunity!  You don’t have to spend lots of time thinking about what you’ll be wearing and you can focus on your trip and exploring the new country or city instead.

travelling with just hand luggage

BOTTOMS

  • black jeans
  • fake leather pants
    – instead of jeans, statement piece
  • casual black pants
    – they’re comfortable for travelling, but also stylish for every day wear
  • black pencil skirt
    – fine for hot weather, also suits city life, can be paired with stockings if it’s colder
  • brown skirt
    – statement piece, for city style
  • shorts
    – very light, doesn’t take up much space, for hot weather

TOPS

  • black t-shirt
    – my favorite t-shirt ever, goes with everything
  • black tank top
  • 2 x colorful tops
    – very light and they basically take up zero space, good for both hot and cool weather
  • 2 x long sleeved shirts
    – striped shirt + navy blue shirt
  • 2 x knits
    – light white knit + a warmer black knit
  • dress
    – for hot weather

SPORTSWEAR

  • sports bra
  • sports top
  • sports shorts
  • sports leggings

SHOES

  • black ballerinas
  • black comfortable sneakers
  • five fingers for hiking or exercising

OTHER

  • leather jacket
  • scarf
  • underwear for a week
  • socks for a week
  • stockings
  • bikinis

The amount of clothes I packed might seem like a lot, but most of the clothes are very light and they don’t take up much space. And I checked that it all fits in my suitcase & it doesn’t even weigh the full 10 kilos! However, I could pack even less. You could do with just two pants and one skirt. And less shirts.

COSMETICS 

Pack your cosmetics in small tubes and jars. You don’t necessarily have to buy travel sized cans – you can also make use of old products’ packaging. Try to pack multi-use products and keep your routine simple, but effective. You need to take care of your skin even abroad. If you need something extra, samples and sheet masks are awesome.

hand luggage travelling skincare

SKINCARE

  • Evolve Beauty Shampoo travel size
  • Evolve Beauty Conditioner travel size
  • A face towel
    – removes makeup & also gently exfoliates my skin
  • Lavera Cleansing Balm
  • Mossa  Youth Defence Radiant Toner
    – in a yellow Kora Organics packaging
  • The body Shop Drops of Youth Serum
    – couldn’t travel without this magic potion! It’s the best skincare product ever, especially since I know my skin can act up during travelling. Read my post on it here
  • Loccitane Aqua Reotier Gel moisturizer
    – I’ll take this in a small jar. Post about the product here
  • Argan oil for face
    – In a similar small jar
  • Filorga Time-Filler Eye cream
    – new product, but since it’s a sample size it’s perfect for travelling
  • Evolve Beauty Fresh Cotton Deodorant Cream
    – Obviously I’ll need my deodorant, I’ll take some of it in a small jar. I wrote about this awesome deodorant here
  • Rituals The Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist
    – I love this scent
  • Eucerin mattifying fluid SPF 30
    – I couldn’t travel without my own sunscreen for face. This sunscreen is ligthweight, easily absorbed and just the best really. More great sunscreens for oily skin here

the body shop drops of youth travel size

  • Garnier after sun face sheet mask
    – sheet masks and small samples are perfect for travelling
  • TonyMoly Eye patch
  • Optiat Men’s Exfoliating Face Mask
    – if I get desperate I can make myself a mask by mixing this powder with water
  • Toothbrush
    – I know a manual toothbrush would be lighter and would take less space
  • Dental floss thingy
  • Toothpaste
    – or we’ll buy a travel size from the airport

Gifted: sheet masks

MAKEUP

travel makeup

  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Light
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Mac Mineralize Skinfinish, Soft & Gentle
    – not the smartest packaging for travel, but I did so good with packaging my sister said I could take my favorite highlighter with me
  • Z-palette with IsaDora bronzer, blush & Benefit’s Hoola bronzer
    – depotting & Z-palettes come in handy when travelling, check out my post about depotting here
  • Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder Blush, Flawless
    – the perfect everyday nude blush in a very light packaging
  • mad4eyebrow Natural Eyebrow Filler, Blond
    – my go-to brow product,  read my post on it here
  • KICKS Marble Collection Eyeshadow Palette
    – this is basically the perfect palette to travel with, since it’s so light
  • Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyes Mascara travel size
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, Rose
    – my go-to lip product possibly
  • IsaDora Perfect Matt Lipstick, Red Carpet
    – the best red lipstick there is
  • Alima Pure black eye pencil
  • KICKS Eye Pencil, Rose Gold
    – pencils are light and handy to take with you when travelling
  • Zuii Organic Lip Pencil, Spice
  • Hurraw! lip balm
    – been using Hurraw’s lip balms for years now
  • Powdered paper
    – this will be my powder for now, but I actually need to buy a powder from Sephora
  • False lashes + small Eylure lash glue

Gifted: Foundation, KICKS products, Bobbi Brown mascara

MAKEUP BRUSHES

  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
    – my go-to makeup sponge, read my post here
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer Brush
  • KICKS Highlighting Brush
  • Ecotools Brow Brush
  • Rose gold blush brush & eyeshadow brush (unbranded)
  • Zoeva Eyeshadow Brushes 231, 225 & 221
    -my go to brushes, post here
  • Coastal Scents small eyeshadow brush & spooly
  • Sigma E47, E56 & E65 travel sized brushes

OTHER

  • a handbag
    – I’ll probably wear it on me, but it fits in the suitcase if necessary
  • medicine
  • Kindle E-reader*
    – I always read with kindle, it’s honestly the best, my review on it here
  • Cocoon Eye Shades Deluxe*
    – sleeping mask is a must! These are so soft and they block light perfectly
  • phone & a charger
  • other personal stuff you might need
travelling light with hand luggage
It all fits!

And there’s that – let’s hope I didn’t forget anything. I’ll probably be even more thorough once it’s the real deal, but this trial run did help me massively. Paris and Martinique – I’m ready for you!

What do you think about travelling and packing? Could you manage with just hand luggage?

A great idea: Kindle

kindle review

kindle recommendation

travel lifestyle blog

I love my kindle. It’s a lifesaver. I took it with me to my trip in Rhodes and it was one of the best things there (don’t get me wrong here though!). I read more than I ever have on my holiday. I read 4 books.

Don’t tell him, but sometimes my significant other gets amazing ideas. The ones that I just ignore and maybe say “whatever” from the other room. Then later I thank him for that awesome idea he got that I didn’t understand at all at first. One of these ideas was ordering Kindles from amazon.

Kindle is kind of like a tablet that you can read e-books with. It doesn’t have a lighted screen like tablets or computers do though so you need a light if you’re reading in the dark (my man got us small reading lamps too of course ’cause you know, he’s him and he’s awesome). It doesn’t cause headache the same way that computer does after a long time. The best thing in that small and thin device is that you can have all the books you want in just that tiny space. You go to Kindle store, you buy books and then you read them. On my holiday in Rhodes I read four or five books and after one ended I could just buy the next book (I was reading a series) and continue reading. Kindle store has also free books. Book shelfs are limited at home so I think this is amazing.

Edit: I learned that there are different kinds of kindles and some of them have built-in lights as well. You can find all the options and info from the link below.

Not convinced yet? Other good things about it is that..

.. it’s easy to travel with. You can take it anywhere with you ’cause it’s small and very portable. Just think about if you had Harry Potter book five – it’s huge!
.. you can hold kindle with one hand and you don’t have to hold onto the pages you have read already. (Just imagine the HP book here too!) In kindle you turn page with your finger.

.. you can read it in the sun without any problems. It doesn’t reflect light like tablets or phones do. Actually comparing the device to a tablet is funny ’cause it differs a lot from it.

.. you can change the font and the font size however you like. For example I change the font to an enormous size if I’m not wearing my reading glasses. In other words: I don’t always need to wear my glasses when reading!

.. it has a built-in-dictionary so if you’re reading in English (like I do) you can paint the word you don’t understand and you get the translations and explanations from a few different sites. Hallelujah!

You can also download the kindle app to your phone and try it that way first. Of course then it’s a phone and works a bit different but anyway it gives you an idea of the app and the device.

Kindle E-reader*
affiliatelink to amazon.com

Any kindle fans out there? Or do you prefer regular books? I swear I though I would hate it ’cause I like the feel of a real book, but now that I have this, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

travel packing tips

Pairing your kindle with Gin&Tonic is recommended. Photos from year ago from our trip in Rhodes. 

Rhodes highlights