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How To Travel With Just A Carry On - Travel Tips & Tricks *

13 September 2017

Now here's a post I've been meaning to write for the longest time. A few months ago when I went to Spain for 17 days and brought just a carry-on suitcase I had countless messages from you all asking how in the name of god I managed to fit everything I needed in! Now I'm not saying I'm a master in travelling, but I have picked up a few tips over the years and I know we'll all do pretty much anything to avoid those sneaky baggage charges. I mean there's no point in getting cheap flights and then paying just as much for your bags is there?!


1. Miniatures are your best friend.

There's just something about miniature versions of products that I just love. Not only are they super cute, but they're also really handy to help you cut down on the amount of beauty products you need to bring. If you're travelling with just a carry-on you need to take into account that the biggest size bottle you can bring is 100ml. If you're only going away for a few days, you're definitely not going to use up 100ml of most products, so miniatures are brilliant because most of them are half that! 

I picked up all of these miniatures in Penneys and they were all under €5. I was especially impressed with the mini size of my favourite suncream, Hawaiian Tropic because I've never seen it before! Even if I'm going on a longer trip for a few weeks, I'll still pack mini products that I can use until I can get to a shop and buy whatever extra products I need. 


set of 5 travel pots €1, mixed travel set €1.50 from Penneys/Primark

2. Stock up on travel accessories.

Just like miniature products, travel accessories like the travel set above, and the set of clear travel pouches below are essential to help you cut down on how much of your beauty products you're bringing.

I love using these travel sets for the products I really love and can't get in a miniature version. The little pots are great for moisturiser and I'll also put my foundation in them too which is super handy as most of the time I mix two foundations so that's really easy to do in these pots. The best part about these travel sets from Penneys is that they are super cheap too. The set of 5 pots on the left are only €1 and the mixed set is just €1.50.

The same goes for the set of 3 clear travel pouches pictured a few photos down. They make going through security in the airport 100 times easier because all of your liquids and make-up are already in a clear bag, so there's no faffing around with those little plastic bags they give you! The best part is this set of 3 pouches is only €5 and I like to use them in my handbags too to keep everything nice and tidy.

passport holder €2.50, luggage tag €2 from Penneys/Primark

3. Plan your outfits and be ruthless.

If you want to travel with just a carry-on suitcase then you're going to have to be ruthless when it comes to how many clothes you pack. My best packing tip for clothes is to plan your outfits in advance, right down to the shoes, bags and accessories you'll wear with an outfit. This makes it much easier to decide on what to bring and you won't end up packing random items that you never end up wearing. 

4. Vacuum bags are your best friend.

This is a tip I only discovered this summer but it's one that will help you pack as much as you can into your carry-on. So we all know those vacuum bags that you can get to pack away old clothes? They have a valve that allows you to suck out all of the air and make the clothes a lot more compact. Well they now have travel sized vacuum bags and they are a godsend. 

Now you might be thinking 'But what if you don't have a hoover handy on your trip?', well they also have bags that you can roll the air out of which is what I used when I went to Spain in May. I often found that even though my suitcase was full, it was way under the weight limit, but with these vacuum bags it really helps to fit as much in as possible.

set of 3 clear travel pouches €5

5. Be tactical.

Wear your heaviest items, like coats/jackets and shoes onto the plane. This might be common sense to some people but it can also be an easy tip to forget so I said I'd include it. When travelling with just a carry-on, every single kilogram of weight and inch of space is precious so by wearing your big heavy denim jacket and your heavier shoes onto the plane, it makes a huge difference. 

6. Pack electronics into your hand luggage.

Another way to save on space and weight in your carry-on is to pack your electronics like your laptop/camera/hair straightener into your hand luggage. I always travel with my Vans backpack because it has a handy laptop compartment built into it so I pack my laptop, camera, make-up and beauty products into it. 

This tip will come in very handy now that Ryanair have introduced their new policy which means most of the cabin bags will now be checked into the baggage hold at the gate anyway. I don't know about you but I always want to make sure that my electronics and make-up is safe and sound with me!

It Luggage carry-on €35, memory foam travel pillow €6 from Penneys/Primark

7. Get Yourself A Good Carry-On

My final tip for travelling with just a carry-on is to find a good one! I used to have a very pretty suitcase that had a map design on it with a quote, but it was quite heavy and not the best to travel with, whereas this one from Penneys which is only €35 is literally the dream carry-on! It's super light and surprisingly roomy, most of the time I actually don't even fill it up if I'm just going away for a few days. It also has those very cool wheels that mean you can wheel it whichever way you want and I love that.

So there we have it, some of my top travel tips and tricks that help me to travel with just a carry on! Do you have any travel tips? I'd love to hear them.

Thanks so much for reading and I hope this post helps you with packing for your next trip and if you love all things travel, make sure you check out the travel section of the blog HERE for lots of hotel reviews and guides to cities like Amsterdam. 

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* This post is in collaboration with my favourite shop Penneys, which is my go-to for all my travel essentials. As always all opinions and thoughts are honest and my own.