There is not much else that beats the thrill of snagging a cheap flight or last-minute deal on an air ticket and making a quick getaway out of town for a few days at a lovely beach or resort. But what happens when it is the time to pack and you realize that your great airfare deal comes with conditions. Specifically, you have a ‘hand luggage only’ ticket? If you are a chronic overpacker, – someone who carries suitcases full of clothes for short trips – there is still no need to panic. Our easy guide to packing light aims to show you how to pack just right for a short trip, weaning you off the bulky non-essentials that you really can do without during a weekend to weeklong break. Yup, load everything you need for under 7 days in one 7 kg bag. Here is how to do it.
1. Take Only Essential Cosmetics
Choose carefully when you are deciding on which cosmetics to carry, and remember: you are going to the beach, not the Oscars. Pack only what you essentially need and not your whole makeup kit. – definitely leave the eyelash curlers and bottles of nail polish back home. Some essentials include moisturizer, sunblock, foundation, eyeliner, and lipstick. What about hair products? Limit yourself to shampoo and conditioner minis – and only if your accommodation option does not provide them. Also, it’s time to embrace your natural hair and leave the bulky flat iron and blow dryer at home.
2. Double Duty
Carefully select your holiday wardrobe to include pieces that are versatile enough to wear during the day while you are cruising around, and at night, when you are ready to hit the town and party. Your outfit selection need not be extremely limited but should be perfectly thought through so that you are not left wanting on your trip. For example, cute playsuit can be worn out for dinner in the evenings but can also double up as a beach cover up during the day. A loose kaftan lends a whimsical and feminine vibe when worn at any time. Pack a linen shirt that’s fresh and breezy with denim cutoffs when shopping during the day and smart and sexy when paired with statement jewellery and smoky eye make-up after the sun sets.
3. Wear What’s Heaviest
Make the most of your baggage allowance by wearing the clothing items and accessories that would take up a lot of space in your bag. For example, if you plan on running on your hols, wear your running shoes along with your favourite jeans (that can be dressed up with a cute top for dinners), a cotton tee for comfort and a lightweight jacket that will serve you well in case the weather is less than perfect on your holiday.
4. Skip The High Heels
Besides taking up a lot of space, heels on holiday, especially on a beach holiday, are impractical at best. Do not compromise on comfort during your days off. Keep the heels at home and instead carry a more compact pair of Roman sandals or neat little pumps for when you need a more dressy look on an evening out. And don’t forget the flip-flops for the beach!
5. Don’t Skimp On Lingerie
Here’ is the only one area where you shouldn’t aim to underpack: your lingerie. Don’t go overboard but ensure you have enough and don’t forget the sports bra, vest and shorts if you plan on sneaking some exercise in during your few days of rest and relaxation. Pack two swimming options: a swimsuit and bikini. It takes up hardly any space and you can decide what to wear according to your mood (and lunch) when there.
6. Go Wild With Accessories
While you may not be able to carry a plethora of clothing on hand luggage only flight, one area where you can splurge on your option is lightweight jewelry. Load up on all the trendy earrings, fashion bracelets, and necklaces that scream holiday. Take the opportunity to try out new trends you’ have been too shy to wear back home. The quirkier and more out there the better when it comes to holiday fashion.
7. Pack A Foldable Bag
This is especially useful if you have a small purse that doesn’t fit much else besides your phone and wallet. A foldable cloth bag can be tucked anywhere into your suitcase or purse and can double up as your beach bag when you reach your holiday destination. You can even use it to store a few extra items (and keep your whole purse in the bag, too) onto the flight as you are usually allowed a handbag and a piece of luggage by the airline.
8. Make A To-Pack List
You don’t want to hit the beach only to realize you’ve forgotten your sunglasses. In the rush of packing with limited space, it’s easy to forget essentials in the last minute. Write down a list of all you need to pack for your trip and tick them off as you load up. In addition to clothes, shoes, and cosmetics, useful add-ons include a hat, a light towel (if your accommodation doesn’t provide one) and a versatile scarf to keep your hair in place in unruly weather or to stylishly accessorize an outfit. Carry an inexpensive watch in case you can’t do without and keep your valuable and sentimental jewelry and accessories at home so you don’t risk losing them on your trip.
The ideal holiday bag doesn’t have to be drably practical nor should it be overflowing with ‘what-if’ options that you are most likely to bring home unworn. Think of your 7-kilo limit as a challenge and a blessing as you will not have to wait in long queues once you reach your destination to get your luggage or lug it around with you all the way to your hotel.
I’m Surbhi, a writer based in Hyderabad, India, with interests and writing experience spanning across industries. Over the past decade, I have written for established publications on a variety of subjects like fashion jewellery, health, digital marketing, business etc. Diversity across various categories helps broadens my vision and make me learn more about my writing.