On the Run – Holiday packing with a weight limit in mind.

Many years ago I took my Mum on holiday to Majorca. Being newly pregnant with our first at the time, I was conscious about what I was lifting.  The suitcase my Mum arrived with was packed to the brim with a kettle, tea bags, a new dress for every day and a spare for the evening, I recall.  I also recall the holiday rep moving the suitcase, as neither of us could, with the words “blimey, what have you got in here – the Crown Jewels?”

Some years previously I had travelled the world with a 9kg rucksack, which with hindsight was pretty impressive, unlike the contents, which were not.

As I said yesterday, I have been asked to talk about packing for a summer holiday in line with the strict luggage requirements imposed by airlines such as Easyjet (56cm x 45cm x 25cm) or Flybe (50cm x 35cm x 23cm and no more than10 kg).

My tips are going to fall into two main cateogories – weight tips and styling tips.  As one who no longer travels as much anymore, I am sure that there are many of you who will have other tips to add, so please feel free to do so.

Weight tips

  • People aren’t weighed – only luggage, so in the first instance, take the lightest bag that you can which will permit a greater allowance for clothes;  
  • Secondly and following on from that, travel in your heaviest items of clothing.  Wear any jacket you are taking, together with any knit and your heaviest shoes, your jeans or heaviest trousers and any accessories;
  • Carry a plastic bag in your trouser/jacket pocket and once on the aeroplane whip it out and take off those additional accessories you are wearing, putting them into your luggage.  Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as secreting items of clothing/accessories about my person as per a drugs smuggler, I would use a few sneaky tricks to get those extra all important pieces to my destination with me;
  • Buy toiletries when there. I am happy to travel with a toothbrush and toothpaste, a small packet of baby wipes and a bottle of water.  If needs be take a couple of sachets of shampoo or moisturiser which come free with magazines (provided they meet the airline’s requirements). Sun tan cream, shampoo etc can be bought on arrival; 
  • If you can’t live without a hairdryer/straighteners on holiday, split them between you and your friends (or pinch some of your husband’s allowance).

Style tips

  • Pack items in threes so when it comes to tops for example, you can be wearing one, one  will be waiting to be washed and one will be drying;
  • An example of three different pairs of shoes would be 1 flip flop, one pair for sight seeing and one pair for evenings; 3 bags would be your piece of luggage, light weight beach bag and evening bag if necessary, 3 trousers would be one linen, one soft jersey, and one cropped. It may be that everything needs to be reduced to x2, or x2 for bottoms and x3 for tops, but you get the idea;
  • Lay all of your outfits out on your bed before you go and photograph them, taking only what is absolutely necessary;
  • An item which you consider relatively smart at the start of the week could be worn out to dinner, then later in the week on a sight seeing trip and then finally on the beach;
  • Look for versatility in your clothes. The advice is often to pack separates but dresses can be versatile, with something layered underneath, or with a knit over the top, worn over trousers or with a top over it to make it look like a skirt. Some long skirts can be pulled up to make a strapless knee length dress;
  • Gold or silver shoes will go with everything and there are plenty on the high street at a good price.  The same goes for a gold or silver bolero (Monsoon) or knit for the evening;
  • Keeping the colours tonal will ensure that everything works well together and use statement jewellery to dress items up for the evening;
  • Abandon heavier weight knits in favour of a large multi purpose scarf which may be worn as a sarong, used as a pillow or a blanket on the ‘plane or as a cover up in the evening.  I currently like this butterfly print scarf from zara which opens out to a good size.  

                     BUTTERFLY PRINT SCARF
I really hope that you find this useful and as I say, please do feel free to add tips of your own.

I think that the winning entry for the Stella & Dot competition plus details of my new competition demand their own post – so more about those tomorrow.



  1. Krawl
    May 28, 2012 / 7:05 pm

    The only thing I'd add i(learned from experience!) is to split your outfits between your and your travelling companions' cases. That way if one case goes AWOL, you won't only be left with the clothes you are standing up in until it is (hopefully) found.

  2. Ekaterina
    May 28, 2012 / 7:19 pm

    Hi, thanks for that! We were travelling recently quite a lot with Rynair and Easyjet and i HAD to learn a few tips as what to pack as we had only 30 kilos between three of us (baby with all his things and us). So, one of my tips is to get a big beach bag which will serve you to put everything you might need on the plane, before or after (like a book, nappies, water, etc). They allow only one bag into the plane and that's why a big beach bag comes useful, because once it comes to the ticket desk, the trick is just to put your shoulder bag into the beach bag (so, 2 bags in one!). Also, another tip: you need only two pairs of shoes! But confortable. One for the day (beach slippers) and one for the evening, and depending on the colour (take neatral, white or black) you can then choose your clothes. The trick is to have very comfortable shoes indeed!

  3. Sammy
    May 28, 2012 / 8:17 pm

    Hi. Thanks for some great tips. I am just about to start sorting out my clothes for a holiday to Portugal and in my wisdom decided I didn't need to book any luggage on as there are 6 of us travelling and am hoping that my 8 year old son really won't need his full 10kg though I'm not so sure about the three teenage girls!!

  4. Looking Fab in your forties
    May 28, 2012 / 8:53 pm

    A subject close to my heart! As you may have seen on the blog, Other Half has refused to pay for baggage, so its hand luggage only for our week in marbs in August but I know I can do it!

  5. Michelle
    May 29, 2012 / 10:12 am

    Very useful as we're about to go away and are only taking hand luggage (refuse to pay for a suitcase and it's only a long weekend away). The hardest thing for me will be the toiletries. My washbag usually needs its own suitcase so complying with getting everything into one of those tiny plastic bags will be tough. A sarong can also be used as a beach towel. Michelle

  6. StyleGuile
    June 2, 2012 / 5:30 pm

    Hello and thank you to you all for your great tips and suggestions. Good luck to LFINYF – if you can do it, anyone can!!!

  7. Anonymous
    June 11, 2012 / 6:34 pm

    Bribing my 5 year old daughter with a trip to Build-a-bear, I purchased the lovely Zara butterfly scarf today…thanks for the recommendation! Laura

  8. Anonymous
    July 28, 2012 / 8:55 am

    My partner and I always only take hand luggage on 7-10 day holidays, and to be honest, I often return with items unworn. We go to hot places so pack very thin clothing. Each year we buy 3 or 4 new crisp white and back vests/t's and they go with shorts on the beach and with skirts (or chinos) at night. Then its just a few choice coloured dressed/skirts and we are good to go!

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