The 5-step guide to travelling hand-luggage only

Heading off on a Bank Holiday short break? Doug Dymont reveals the secrets to travelling light - real light.

4 mins

1. Develop and use a proper personal packing list

Not the sort of list found all over the internet, but a single, well-considered blueprint of core items you consider essential. Then make a pledge to never pack anything that’s not on your list.

2. Learn about luggage

Most bags on the market are designed to sell easily, not facilitate lightweight travel. Ideally you want a rectilinear design (like a box) made from high-denier industrial nylon fabrics – light yet durable.

3.  Avoid packing liquids

These are the bane of the light traveller. Liquids (and gels) are heavy, bulky, prone to leakage and suspicious to security. Most of them (shampoo, sunblock, tooth cleaner) come in lighter, smaller, non-liquid forms.

4. Coordinate your colours

Derive maximum use from a modest amount of clothing by ensuring every item goes with every other one. Stick to the same one or two colours: with a little forethought, you will be able to put together a much greater variety of outfits than would otherwise be possible.

5. Do some laundry

This needn’t be onerous and, with the right gear (traveller’s clothesline, powder detergent, universal sink stopper), it’s the simplest way to reduce the amount of clothing you need to haul around. Three pairs of socks and underwear will take you anywhere. 

Tips created with guidance from Doug Dyment, a travel speaker and author of

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