Monday, 22 July 2013

Yes, you can pack for a WEEK in just your hand luggage (even though airlines have shrunk the size limit)

An article from the Daily Mail Online:

You've grappled with the fake tan, finally located your passport among a pile of old bills and fought your way through the sales to find that elusive bikini in your size.

But just when you think everything is sorted for your summer break, a new baggage restriction throws a spanner in the works.

This month, easyJet announced it was reducing cabin baggage size by a third, so only cases measuring a teeny-tiny 50cm x 40cm x 20cm could be guaranteed on board.

Anything above that may have to be checked in on busier flights, leading to long waits by the baggage carousel at the other end.

So is it really possible to pack for a week’s short-haul sunshine trip inside those tight parameters?

Yes, if you choose every item carefully and use some nifty packing tricks. Luckily, we have done the hard work for you and here is our no-nonsense guide to travelling light.


There is no better way to switch from beach to restaurant than an elegant kaftan (£12,

Pick a material that dries quickly and won’t crease too much so it can be folded small and slotted into your case. You can easily throw this on over a bikini, but it also doubles up for evening when teamed with trousers and a necklace.

The only other top you need is a silk shirt — the one luxury piece to give any outfit a glamorous edge.

Choose a bright shade like this pink to give a real pop of colour (£220, Equipment at You can button it up, tuck it in, wear it over your swimwear, knot it over a maxi dress — the possibilities are endless.

This is the toughest item to pack, so fold gently and put in your case last to avoid creasing.


A lingerie pouch or drawstring bag is a brilliant idea for space and practicality. You can pack all your underwear flat inside it, which keeps it together in one place.

This is especially handy if your bag gets searched at the airport, as it avoids your undies being on display to security and nosy passers-by.

A see-through plastic toiletries case will make your life, and your packing, so much easier. These cases aren’t as bulky as some, plus they can be whipped out to go through airport scanners without having to dig around in your case and disrupt your neatly-packed clothes.

As for the toiletries themselves, either pick travel-size items or decant your favourite creams and cleansers into mini containers.


You need just one pair of trousers and one pair of shorts to complete your wardrobe — and ideally you should choose neutral tones to allow you to play with colour on the top half and avoid clashes.

We’ve opted for this simple pair of smart white trousers (£29,, which are easy to dress up or down and can be neatly folded and slotted on top of the dresses.

These lightweight nautical shorts (£39, are a great staple as they can be teamed with swimwear or a shirt and they fold up into a tiny square to be stacked into the case.


Forget skirts and tops — three multi-tasking dresses are far more space-efficient. Choose a casual day dress, a comfortable but stylish maxi and a glamorous evening dress for that special dinner out.

Pick your materials wisely: chiffon and jersey are great, as they fold away to very little and tend not to crease.

We’ve opted for: a white and navy-striped Breton jersey dress (£35, perfect for day-trips and sightseeing; an aubergine jersey maxi dress (£220,, which can be worn casually or dressed up with a necklace and wedges; and a wow-factor red chiffon dress (£145,

Roll the jersey dresses into tubes to slot into spaces in your bag and lay the chiffon dress along the bottom of the case — the floaty fabric takes up little depth.


If you are tight for space, make do with two pairs of shoes for your trip — flat sandals and wedges. Flats like these thong sandals (£85, are easy to pack by lying them sole to sole and slotting them down the side of your  case. Choose a slightly dressier style, rather than flip-flops, to take you from beach to bar.

Although they will be your bulkiest item, a pair of raffia wedges (£60, is more versatile than standard high heels. Use up the space inside by stuffing them with your swimwear.


Two bikinis and a one-piece swimming costume is plenty for a week away. If you choose a sleek bandeau swimsuit, like this white one (£199, Melissa Odabash at Fenwick), it can double up as a top to go under your shirt.

Ideally, choose notably different styles of bikini. We went for a purple triangle (top, £100, bottoms, £85, and a navy nautical style (top, £19.50, bottoms, £16,, which will look more varied and interesting on the beach.

Try to be creative with the way you pack your swimwear. A triangle bikini, for example, can be folded in half and then tied in a tiny package with the strings, to then be pushed inside your wedges.


To keep to your limit, you only really need two accessories: sunglasses and a statement necklace. Sunglasses (£9.99, are a style staple and essential to protect your eyes — but they can be easily breakable so put them in the middle of your case to protect them.

A statement necklace (£31, really updates your outfit for the evening, if you throw it on with your maxi dress or your kaftan. If it’s delicate or  valuable, pop it into your underwear pouch to keep it safe.

And finally: To broaden your choices even more, choose a travelling outfit to mix and match with the rest of your capsule wardrobe and wear your bulkiest items to go in.

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