Holiday Hand Luggage Only Packing Guide

Off on holiday? Don’t want to pay those baggage fees? Taking hand luggage only but not got enough room in your holiday hand luggage? Nonsense!

Exactly what do you need for a sunshine break? Access to water and some washing powder or liquid, that’s what! And our simple holiday hand luggage only packing guide.

Holiday hand luggage only checklist

So, let’s go through our checklist, with some handy hints and tips for your holiday hand luggage only.

Beach cover up – an essential holiday item. Choose wisely and your cover-up can double as a dress in the evening, like this cute little orange number from J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams (£38).

holiday hand luggage only cover-up

Sunglasses are holiday essentials. Don’t forget these, at the very top of that holiday hand luggage packing!  We love this pair from JOY (£18)

holiday hand luggage only sunnies

Swimwear is a beach or pool holiday essential. Make sure you take enough, of whatever type you love. Bikinis and swimsuits are easy to pack and take up little space. Take half the amount for the time you are going to be there, we’d say. We love H&M’s tiny peacock feather print string bikini (top £12.99, bottoms £7.99), but we equally adore the retro-inspired striped bikini (top £26.50, bottoms £20) from Floozie by FrostFrench @ Debenhams. And we love this black pleated plunge swimsuit (£32), from Red Herring @ Debenhams.

holiday hand luggage swimwear

Shorts – a holiday hand luggage only essential. Make then denim – they work for the day and evening, and will go with whatever tops you have with you. We like this pair from H&M (£19.99)

holiday hand luggage only shorts

So, talking of tops – take a few. Wear one (obviously) to go, and then take just a few, plain and patterned, that work for day and night. A Bardot neck leopard print style (£14.99, New Look) is perfect. A plain white vest (or any colour you like), works brilliantly and you can roll these into nothing! This one’s just £3.99 from H&M. French Connection’s cute cami top is a sale bargain, down from £55 to £27.

holiday hand luggage only tops

How wonderful is this white lace sheer dress from New Look (£19.99). Perfectly packable for holiday hand luggage only packing, and great for day and night. Love it.

holiday hand luggage only dress

We love a playsuit. Perfect beach cover-up, perfect daytime outfit, and perfect evening outfit – just add heels. This one, from GAP is in the sale, just £12.99, and in comfortable jersey. Fabulous.

holiday hand luggage only playsuit

Undies are, of course, an essential. But don’t overload your luggage with them. Take just a few pairs of knickers, whatever style you love, these strings are £7.99 from H&M,  and don’t bother with an extra bra. Remember, you can wash it, and you most likely won’t be wearing one most days.

holiday hand luggage only undies

So, you might only have one bag for getting on the plane, but you will need a couple of bags when you get there. How cute is this beach bag/shopper from H&M (£12.99), and we love this Aztec inspired clutch from New Look (£22.99) for evenings.

holiday hand luggage only bags

Sandals are probably the only holiday footwear you need to take. Flat, like these gladiators from Schuh, £45, or wedge or heel, it’s your call. Buy flip-flops (along with a towel and a hat) when you’re there, and wear your walking shoes, or trainers to travel in. Most people take far too many shoes on holiday and there is no need!

holiday hand luggage only sandals

Holiday Wardrobe – His and Hers

Hands up who struggles with their holiday wardrobe? Oh, that will be all of you then. Male and female, I suspect. Who takes too much in their holiday wardrobe? I know I do. Six pairs of shoes, three dresses, loads of tops, tons of skirts, yeah, you get the idea – a holiday wardrobe to rival the one at home!

Let’s get this straight from the start – we really don’t need all those clothes. Your holiday wardrobe should be pared down, that perfect capsule – stop cramming in ‘just one more top’.

Luggage restrictions on our air travel these days mean we really can’t just throw anything in the case. Careful planning, of the right pieces means your holiday wardrobe will have everything you need – even if you only take hand luggage!

I’ve designed a holiday wardrobe for him and her of just 12 pieces  – and show you how to work it over four holiday occasions – travelling, the beach, a day trip and a dinner date.

First up, her 12-piece holiday wardrobe – comprising the absolute bare essentials. I’m not suggesting this is all you want to take on holiday, but it’s an idea of how little you need, if you pack carefully and mix and match – oh, and pack a little bottle of clothes washing liquid and rinse a few things out!

her holiday wardrobe mainClockwise, from top left: Blue sandals, £25, BHS, shorts, £17.99, H&M, Louche tropical top, £29, JOY, sunglasses, £9.50, BHS, tropical rucksack, £14.50 (was £19.99),pink jelly sandals, £7.49, New Look, both New Look, bikini, £46, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams, striped cross body bag, £55, Crew Clothing, white cardigan, £55, French Connection, beach shawl, £59.99, Superdry, neon pansy top, £11.24 (was £14.99), New Look

So, how do you combine these top 12 pieces? Let;s start in the airport, with your travelling outfit. It doesn’t have to be jeans, which are too hot when you arrive, or a horrible jogging suit.

holidaywardrobe her travelChoose your A line denim skirt, with a half sleeve bold bright top, a cross body bag you can pop into your hand luggage bag when you need, but keep with you on the flight, a simple pair of sandals, which you can wear on holiday, and the only cardigan you need to take with you!

Next, your beach outfit – a bikini, some shorts, a shawl or kaftan style cover-up, some sunnies, and a bag – choose an on-trend rucksack which will serve you well on a day trip too. Jelly sandals are great for wearing in the sea, if the beach is a bit rocky.

holiday wardrobe her beachwearOn the day trip it’s the same sorts, the same rucksack and those jelly sandals -if you’re on a boat add your bikini, and you can jump in sandals on if you want! You one and only cardigan will work as a cover up should there be a chill wherever you head.

holiday wardrobe her day tripFinally, time for dinner. Pair the skirt you travelled in with that vest top from your day trip, add your travelling sandals, and your cross-body bag – and that cardigan again. Perfect!

holiday wardrobe dinner date herNow, for him – here’s his 12 piece perfect holiday wardrobe. A couple of pairs of shorts, a few shirts, a T shirt or two, sandals and shoes, a hat and a backpack for travelling, the beach and those days trips.

his holiday wardrobe mainClockwise, from top left: Chino shorts, £45, White Stuff, Chunk Star Wars Class of 77 t-shirt, £30, JOY, pineapple print shirt, £25 (was £50), French Connection, sandals, £50, Birkenstock @ Schuh, rucksack, £8 (was £19.99), New Look, sunglasses, £69, French Connection, green chino shorts, £14.99, H&M, shoes, £60, Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant @ Debenhams, David Beckham swimshorts, £19.99, H&M, hat, £8.99, New Look, denim jacket, £29.99, H&M, check shirt, £44.99, Superdry

So, that’s your lot – here’s how to wear it over four different occasions on holiday, starting with his travelling outfit.

Wear shorts. You really don’t need your jeans, unless you are leaving Scotland in the winter. You will be glad of the when you arrive in the heat!

holiday wardrobe his travellingAt the beach – swimwear, a rucksack for essentials, sunglasses, sandals and  a hat, and why not add a tropical/Hawaiian print shirt for fun – and a cover up when it gets too hot, or when you hit the beach bar.

holiday wardrobe his beachwearFor the day trip, keep the sandals, wear a T-shirt, pop a shirt in your bag, make sure you have your hat, and it’s those shorts you travelled in.

holiday wardrobe his day tripFinally, your dinner date – that check shirt from your day trip, smart chino shorts that will look equally good day or night, and your travelling denim jacket, should you need it. Oh, and shoes.

holiday wardrobe his dinner dateSee, holiday wardrobe planning is simple! Keep your colour palette simple, with some bright additions, but complementary colours. Really think about what you need and what you don’t. Now all you have to do is relax and enjoy your trip!

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction