31st August 2018

Hand Luggage Only For A 10 Day Holiday

Hand Luggage Only For A 10 Day Holiday in Sicily – “No bloody way” I shouted when my boyfriend suggested not booking on any cases when we recently confirmed our easyJet flights to Sicily. A weekend away yes, totally fine with hand luggage only, but 10 days? I mean, is that even possible?

Our August holiday, the last two weeks of every year, are the two most important weeks of the year for us. It’s our family holiday time and something we’re always excited for.

We’re usually booked up months in advance but this year we booked a week before! The most last minute booking I’ve ever made.

We umm’ed and aah’ed over location and flights for days. Checked and re-checked Skyscanner, signed up to different alerts. I even had the lovely Sophie at Clickstay helping find our perfect villa, but nothing was standing out. It was becoming very close to us not going at all.

In the end, we decided that we loved Sicily so much last year and whilst we managed to see and do so much whilst there, there was also lots we didn’t see. Sicily is the type of holiday that needs more than one visit.

The Most Chilled Hotel in Syracuse, Sicily

Our favourite villa wasn’t available at the right price, so we went against all our usual preferences and booked in at a couple of hotels, hired a car and planned to drive around the North of Sicily, working our round the East then South of the island finishing at Catania before flying home.

The car is the main reason I didn’t check in a large case. Space wise it just wouldn’t work. We had room for hand luggage cases only.

I’ve been using my trusty Tripp case for the last few years but it’s starting to look a little bashed now so I’m going to treat myself to a new one soon. Here are a few of my favourites.

[shopr_shopthepost collection=”suitcases” size=”large” title=”Click To Shop”]

So…The challenge was on!

I’m writing this whilst sat in the pool cafe with an ice cold coffee surrounded by Italians all chattering away fast, passionately and with such drama. A few of them are wearing some pretty tight swimming trunks and I’m currently trying to figure out how they even walk in them! Ahem… anyway…

The women are laughing, shouting at the kids and they’re all so happy! They’re here in huge family groups, don’t veer far away from each other, laugh loudly one minute then scream and shout the next… all quickly erased with some double cheek kissing and some wild hand gestures.

People watching at its best.

Thanks, Twitter folk

A few days before flying I tweeted for tips on packing light and how to squeeze as much in my case as possible. I’d also learned that with easyJet the weight of your hand luggage is unlimited, it just needs to fit within their measurements. This helped!

Tips I received on Twitter included:

Usually, I take my own hairdryer as my GHD one is the only one that tames my frizzy thick mop so I’d already resigned to the fact I was going to have lots of ‘Monica’ moments and the hairdryer needed to stay at home.

I really felt like packing with hand luggage only was actually going to be fine, I could so do this. No problemo!


We’d be staying casual so no heels or wedges needed. This then led me to think “stuff it”, I’m not taking make-up either. I ended up just packing some tinted moisturiser, blusher, and a pink lip balm! That’s it. Quite liberating really.

It also meant that after having a shower, sticking my hair in a plait, I was literally the first one to be ready every night. Simple things…

Granted, a couple of times I did miss a few things I’d usually bring, and I bought all my toiletries from a local supermarket when we arrived…which is always interesting! They keep all the shampoo in one space… then the conditioner in another! Took me forever to figure this out and I was stood with my step-daughter wondering if Italians even use conditioner!! Ha!

I wore a pair of converse on the plane as these are the chunkiest shoes I’d be taking and they’d take up the most room.

Anyway, here’s what I ended up packing and squeezing in my tiny case:

Hand Luggage Only For A 10 Day Holiday

Day clothes

3 beach dresses, 1 shorts jumpsuit, a pair of cropped leggings and 3 casual loose fitting t-shirts and 1 pair of shorts

Evening clothes

4 light dresses, my suede tassel cross-shoulder bag, one pair of culottes and one nice silk strappy vest.


One pair of tan coloured sandals, because tan goes with everything right? Some white leather slides and a pair of Havaianas flip flops.

I love these sandals, you can get them here still and they’re a steal at £18.

Hand Luggage Only For A 10 Day Holiday

The Rest

I packed Jewellery and hair bits in a little box, one hairbrush, one bikini, one swimming costume and one pair of sunglasses. No beach towel. Which worried me and I’m not sure why as I picked one up for €8 on the first day we were here and it’s a fab bright rainbow one. I’m determined that’s coming home…somehow or other!

Which reminds me of the time I went to Madeira with hand luggage only and the bought the biggest blanket you’ve ever seen…I had to sit on my case to close it and prayed that they didn’t make me leave it behind at the airport or charge some crazy excess fee. They didn’t.. win for me!

Underwear wise I did pack 11 pairs of underwear, 1 black bra, 1 white and a strapless nude one.

Utilise All the Space

I squeezed small bits in my shoes using up as much free hidden space as I could and filled the last gaps with one pair of pyjamas and a nightie, and two pairs of trainer socks.

Lastly, electronics. Always going be a small issue as I have cables for my phone, MacBook, and Canon, (something I can’t ever leave behind). I decided to ditch the MacBook and packed my iPad instead. I never go anywhere without my Mac, it’s my pride and joy, but do you know what, it was totally fine! And if anything, a good way to learn to switch off more.

I also was allowed to take a ‘small bag’ as well as my case so I had my mini backpack and in that I had my purse, two books, passports, eye-mask, Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream because this is literally the best multi-functional moisturiser come lip-balm come bite cream I’ve ever used, and if you’ve not tried it yet, you’re missing a trick. And a water bottle.

How Tough Was It?

Overall did I struggle? Not in the slightest. Did I miss anything? Occasionally but not too much. Was wearing the same thing more than once an issue? Absolutely not, I mean who even cares or notices?

A few things I found helpful was to wash a few bits that just needed a freshen up in the sink or shower. Use some soap and just give them a little scrub and a rinse with hot water. The Italian sunshine dried everything out in no time.

How To Squeeze it all in

Fitting everything in the case was the least fun part. I folded small, considered ordering some packing cubes, but in the end rolling everything was the best space saving technique.

Hand Luggage Only For A 10 Day Holiday

I chose items that I could mix and match… found an absolute bargain of a black cotton dress from ASOS… this one here, and I wore it about 4 times in the end. It was far better quality than I thought it would be.

Another good tip is to find out what toiletries your hotel provides. Quite often they’ll have all the basics there anyway.

I appreciate this was a pretty easy going holiday and I could get away with staying casual the whole time, I’d also like to think I’m pretty low maintenance too. Taking hand luggage only for anything longer than a weekend may be a struggle for some, but what do you think?

Could you do hand luggage only for an 10 night holiday? If not, why not? If so, share any tips you have in the comments box below. I suspect now I’ve done it once, I’ll most likely do it again.

Go on... let me know what you think below...

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