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5 Best tips to travel with only Hand Luggage

With more and more budget airlines offering cheap flights to our main destinations of Cambodia, Vietnam and India, it has become quite easy to save money on airfare. Unfortunately these tickets usually include only hand luggage and paying for check-in luggage can sometimes even double the total price. To beat that it’s time to enhance your packing skills and learn to travel with less stuff.

You may think this is only realistic for short weekend trips, if you’re a man who doesn’t need lots of beauty products or if you’re happy to just wear not-so-elegant zip-off trousers during your whole trip? Let us show you it’s also possible for fashionable women on trips that last several weeks. Trust us, we’ve tested it ourselves! Here are our best tips.

1.You’re probably allowed to take more than you’d think

Most budget airlines allow sharp items like nail scissors and razors in your carry-on luggage, so make sure to check this and you might be surprised! Usually they also allow one smaller piece of luggage like a handbag or laptop bag on top of your suitcase. Use this extra space well, eg. for personal items such as documents, sunglasses, phones, … and also make sure to wear your heaviest clothes and shoes on the plane to save weight in your luggage.

2. Limiting liquids and gels: slow down on the toiletries

Toiletries are heavy, take up a lot of space and big bottles of liquids and gels are simply not allowed in carry-on luggage. But this shouldn’t be a reason to pay heaps for checked-in luggage! You won’t have any problem buying soap, shampoo, toothpaste or even bug spray in pretty much any country in the world, and it’s often much cheaper, too!

Use small plastic containers (max. 100 mL but smaller if possible) to have enough for the first couple of days, and then just go shopping for the rest. An empty tote bag is light to pack – it could even be your handbag one the plane – and can be handy to keep all your beauty and hygiene products together once you’re there and carry them around easily.

3. You don’t need that many clothes and shoes

In most countries with a hot climate 2 pairs of shorts and some t-shirts or tank tops are basically all you’ll need. Add a sarong in case you need to cover up, a sweater or jumper (wear it on the plane), some underwear and beachwear and one or two nice dresses or other ‘evening outfits’ and you’re good to go. You probably won’t even need those jeans, but if you do want to pack trousers, a pair of light summery trousers will be much more comfortable and won’t add so much weight to your suitcase.

When it comes to shoes, we recommend one comfortable pair that you wear on the plane, a pair of nice sandals for the evening and a pair of flip-flops. And that’s it!

You don’t need to pack enough clothes for every single day of your whole trip, just wash things eg. once a week. Either simply in the sink or shower, or most of our hotels also do your whole laundry for only a few dollars. If you take quick-drying non-wrinkling clothes, they’ll be dry by the next morning and nobody will even notice you didn’t iron them!

4. Try an exotic new hairstyle

AKA leave your hairdryer at home! You probably won’t be using it when it’s 38°C in your room, and in hot and humid countries your work will be ruined in less than 10 minutes anyway. Your hair doesn’t fall as perfectly if you don’t use a hairdryer? Don’t worry, just call it exotic!

5. You don’t need stuff ‘just in case’

Again, pretty much everything can be bought abroad! You don’t need a full pharmacy, just pack small amounts of medicine to cure basic things like a headache, diarrhea or a small wound. Chances are if you need more, you’ll have to go see a doctor anyway. The same goes for spare parts, things you might need in case something breaks, etc. Just buy them if you need them but don’t carry them around all the time!

Do you have any tips to save space in your luggage? We would love to hear them in the comments below…