Two weeks away with JUST hand luggage?

‘I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase’ – Diane von Furstenberg

I’ve learnt through being with the same man for over 12 years that there are many differences between men and women. The toilet seat argument (which I’m pretty much dates back to biblical times when Joseph wouldn’t close the lid on his chamber pot – it drove Mary mental) being the obvious one, along with the peeing standing up issue, a recent trip to Sherwood Forest put paid to how handy that would have been. But i also thing that the approach to packing for a holiday brings up some interesting differences between men and women.

I, probably like most women am a chronic over packer and the reason is simple. I like choice. All Dave has to worry about is which combination of shorts and t-shirt he’s going to wear. I have to think about whether it’s a dress or a skirt and top, or jeans, or shorts occasion, have I shaved my legs? How fat am I feeling? What underwear do I have with me? I feel I need to be prepared for any mood I may be in, which often means for a 2 week holiday bringing wit me approximately 1 billion outfits.

Last year when we went to Greece for 2 weeks I discovered the holy grail of holiday hair in salt spray, and made the brave decision to go away for 2 weeks without any heat products. The results were better than I could have hoped for and whats more, it saved me a shit-tonne of space. So when our next holiday to my Uncle’s Villa in Portugal rolled around, I wondered whether it would be in fact possible to pack even lighter, so light in fact that I didn’t have to take hold luggage at all. I mean, thanks to Sleazyjet and their £40 charge for 1 piece of hold luggage and the fact that we only paid a little more than that for the actual flight, seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the theory out.

So what did i pack?

Well, you could argue that I was cheating ever so slightly being that we’re staying at a private residence nestled away in the hills of the Algarve therefore my need for anything too sophis for the night time was almost zero, so it was 2 pairs of joggers and 7 t-shirts to be worn on rotation (and washed if necessary – another bonus of a private villa). During the day i’m pretty much just in my bikini, with last nights t-shirt to throw on just in case the pool cleaner happens to turn up the second I decide to sunbathe topless for the first time ever (that happened in 2014).

W did have a few days out planned, there’s a quad biking adventure thingymabob nearby as well as a Vineyard which does tours and tastings (now you’re talking) so something a little more respectable was needed. I had some cropped linen trousers i got from Primark eons ago (back when Primark actually made clothes that last) and some floaty strappy tops to go with (that covered the ‘am i feeling fat’ worries of above) which all rolled up into practically nothing.  I also love the idea of a playsuit, 1 whole outfit in one garment but I couldn’t really find one that suited me all that well. The closest i got was this from TK Maxx which has split opinion between friends and family as to it’s flatterability.


So that was my clothes pretty much sorted; joggers, t-shirts, bikinis, couple of suitable wine drinking, sorry quad biking outfits, couple of bras and enough knicks to last the 2 weeks. Job boxed.

What I struggled a little more with was make up and toiletries. Sticking to the 100ml limit imposed on hand luggage is a real bind when you’re picky about what you use on your hair and face. My hair is very blonde and I need toner on it at least once a week or it will go yellow, especially in the sun so that had to come. I’m also very fair and very freckly so factor 30 had to come.  I’m ALSO very vain so on the days we were going to be venturing out of the villa and there was a chance my picture may be taken (god I sound like I think I’m Beyonce) so I need my make up. Luckily, as mentioned a few weeks ago, I had a great little trail size bottle of Lancome foundation (with spf 15 in) so that was a handy hand luggage friendly little nugget, as was some travel size Benefit make up I gt from Patricia for my birthday last year. All in all  reckon I styled it out fine but I would have loved to have brought more if I could.


Of course there’s also all the other little things you take on holiday that aren’t clothes or toiletries. Things like your kindle, your handbag (damn those cheap airlines and their 1 item of hand baggage rule!) your laptop, various chargers and your Davina McCall 5 Week Fit DVD – ok perhaps that’s just me but when you’re married to someone who runs ultramarathons and gets excited about running on holiday, you need to do something, just for self satisfaction if nothing else!

So, I learnt that it is possible to pack for a 2 week holiday with only just hand luggage, i think if you’re smart about it you’d be surprised how much you can actually fit into a cabin bag. Of course it helps when you don’t have to dress up every evening and take loads of night time clothes, and we have had to stock up on some toiletries at the supermarket we weren’t able to bring over, but not to the tune of £40. So in the battle of Newmans vs Easyjet pricing? Newmans win this round!





  1. mandycharltonphotography
    July 10, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Genius! I also subscribe to this, I’m used to travelling light with a backpack for just a couple of days or small suitcase for longer!

  2. July 10, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    wow…good idea…still not sure i could manage though lol x

  3. July 11, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    I am an advocate for packing light! My husband and I moved to China for a YEAR and only took one cabin bag and carry on luggage. I cried before we left that I couldn’t do it, but actually found it very freeing to not have so much stuff! Now, we always just take hand luggage when going abroad for a week or less! X

Leave a Reply