I recently posted about how to have a week in Fiji for only $500 and a lil section of this, came down to having no baggage fees. This got me to thinking I should share my tips for how to pack hand luggage only for Fiji or other summer holiday. With plane fares often rising dramatically when you add baggage it is often much cheaper and easier to just pack hand luggage.
This post will share how I did this for my week in Fiji (and also for much longer holidays in the past.) Doing this is much easier when heading to a hot climate of course, but it can also be done for colder climates just chuck in a few more jumpers! (watch this space for cold climate/NZ specific packing tips)
Hand luggage usually means between 7 and 10 kg’s of weight and a size of about 50cm x 30cm and you can usually have a small handbag/laptop bag as well. Check your airline before to be sure and although they rarely measure/weigh it is good to try and fit into this allowance.
Here is how I pack for my overseas hols, filling hand luggage only:
Pack List for a Fiji/Tropical Holiday – Hand Luggage Only
1. The first Thing You NEED is a good quality backpack
First things first, to do this, you pretty much 100% need a good hand luggage size backpack. My fail safe, amazing backpack that I got a few years back is my trusty friend that I couldn’t live without.
I have the Osprey Talon 44 and I could rave about it all day. It is super light, so it adds basically nothing to my weigh, it is super comfy and fits perfectly into an plane overhead locker. It is made of thin nylon fabric that means I can pull all the straps in and make it much smaller or much bigger depending on my needs.
For hand luggage packing, I would recommend, not taking a wheel suitcase unless you are going on a business trip! These are clunky, useless and you can hardly get anything in them. They are also a pain to carry.
When buying a backpack you are going to be using for hand luggage as total luggage, go for a good quality one. This gets thrown around a lot and you want it to be strong and last. Don’t skimp here! My pack was about $250 but I know I will have it for a long time.
2. A Second Smaller Bag or A Cloth Bag
Alongside my backpack I always take a cloth bag to put things I need easy access to in. For example my wallet, passport, camera, book and things I want with me on the flight/bus. You could use any small bag for this purpose but I find a cloth bag is good because it doesn’t weigh anything and you can fold it up small to pack it if you need to. I got my from AS Colour:
3. Clothing to pack:
I have found that packing in hand luggage means you can only take the things you will actually need, you dont have the space to cart around your whole wardrobe. This may seem stressful to some, but if you are anything like me, you will end up wanting to wear pretty much the same thing all the time anyway. Plus, if you are away for a while you can just do laundry. Here is the clothing I took on my trip and it was more than enough:
Tshirt/Top of different varieties x5
Long-sleeved Item x1
Leggings/Long pants x1
Flip Flops/Sandals x1
Light Turkish Towel x1
Underwear x 7
Socks x 2
Sportsbras and bra x 2
Thin Rain Jacket
Swim costume x2
4. Your Wash Kit / First Aid Kit
Small Wash bag: Just get a small washbag for your things because as you are packing hand luggage its likely you will only be able to pack bottles of a maximum of 100ml. Alongside this you can take clear plastic bags to hold anything extra as then you can get these out easily when you take your luggage through security.\
100ml Shampoo and Conditioner
100ml Body Moisturizer/Oil
100ml Sunscreen x 2 – You could easily buy a large bottle of this on arrival but it is sometimes better and more reliable to just bring it from home.
100ml Hair oil x 1 – I always take this as it can be humid and make my hair go wild!
100ml Insect repellent x1 – Don’t forget this one.
Bite sooth x1
5. Extra Bits and Pieces
Chargers + Adapters
Note pad and pen
Bookings print outs – You may not need this if you have everything saved in your phone.
Travel insurance print outs – I reckon this is necessary as if something goes wrong, someone might need this to help you.
Ta Da! That is it
All of this will fit in your 45L back pack + smaller cloth bag. There will be no hassle waiting for baggage you can just glide in and out of airports. Just Magic
Thanks for reading and come back soon!
You can also check out more of my Travel blog posts HERE.