How To Pack Hand Luggage For Four Days

Malaga Beach Hand luggage. Two words that scare my soul. How on earth do people do it? Pack ONLY hand luggage for a trip away? Recently I took a trip to Malaga for four days and found myself left in this predicament. Never one to shy away from a challenge, my thinking cap was on.


  • Primark stock some little containers, spray bottles and round plastic pots for your goodies. Bear in mind though that you still do need to fit them all into ONE clear plastic bag to take on board with you. I had put mine into a small clear freezer bag but the airport standard bags are even smaller so just remember this if you want to take a lot. Going abroad for 4 days meant that I would only really require miniatures that had one or two applications in them. Shampoo / conditioners are perfect in this size.
  • I also transferred my sun oil into a miniature container too (pictured below) although you could always buy some when you are abroad.

Hand Luggage Essentials

  • Vacuum packed bags. Amazon stock a set of £6 different sized ones for about £5. The largest size is great for all outfits, and a medium-sized one would fit swimwear / beach cover ups in. Another medium-sized bag for your towel saves on vital space too. Now, I will not travel without them – you can just fit so much more in. Plus, when you come to unpack at the other end, everything is neatly organised for you too. The ones I used are linked here from Amazon (not a sponsored link!)

Makeup Essentials

Lay it all out…

Whenever I pack for a trip, I like to lay everything out on top of my bed so that I can see what I need / don’t need. Here is what I thought I would need:

  • 2X bikinis (each worn twice during the four days away)
  • 1X bedtime clothes
  • 2X beach cover ups
  • 1X flip-flops
  • 2X day outfits
  • 1X night-time heels
  • 4X night-time outfits
  • 1X travel outfit

This is what I actually packed:

  • 4X bikinis (I had the space so why not!)
  • 2X beach cover ups
  • 1X flip-flops (I bought cheap throw away ones £1 from Primark simply for the pool only)
  • 2X Sun Jellies shoes (a clear pair to travel in and the purple pair to go with night-time outfits)
  • 1X night-time heels (a gold and rainbow block heel peep toe shoe from Iron Fist that went with everything)
  • 3X day time outfits (but I only used two in the end)
  • 1X travel outfit (trousers – with an additional t-shirt to come home in)
  • 4X night-time outfits (again, only used three of them)
  • 1X nighttime purse (unnecessary really as I didn’t use it apart from once)
  • Makeup & Toiletries
  • Hair Accessories (flowers, wraps etc)
  • Hair Curlers
  • Spare Battery / Phone Charger
  • Pro Camera
  • 1X bedtime clothes

Upon hindsight I didn’t even do that bad. I was over the limit weight wise but this balanced out between the other people I was traveling with.

Holiday Shoes Hand Luggage

Minimise to Maximise!

When you are trying to pack a lot into your hand luggage, the best thing you can do is minimise what you actually need. From the above list, I didn’t even need a few of the items that I took in. Before I went, I had things booked in on specific days so I could plan what outfits I needed for when. Of course, sometimes you don’t always know where you are going to be or what you are going to do. The outfits that I took were:

  • Jumpsuit X1 ( The Becky jumpsuit from Voodoo Vixen pictured below )
  • Dress X1 (The Dolores shell wiggle dress from Collectif pictured below)
  • Pencil Skirt & Crop Top x1 (I didn’t end up wearing this outfit either)
  • High Waisted Shorts & 2X Tops (Blue dotty ones from Lindy Bop – see below photo also)
  • 3X cardigans (one was to travel in tho!)

Even though the jumpsuit and dress were “wear alone” type outfits, the rest could be mixed and matched. Keeping to the same or similar colours also helps you mix and match depending on how you are feeling (or how tanned/burnt you are even!) Minimising what you need helps maximise space and outfit combinations too. Here are some snaps of my outfits. I also had a spare outfit (pencil skirt and crop) that I didn’t end up wearing so I packed more than plenty.

What I wore In Malaga

Hand Luggage Makeup?

As a closet makeup fan, my dressing table is full of clear plastic containers and compartments with all sorts of products in them. Now I will openly admit that I am not a pro with makeup, but I like to experiment for sure. When you have to really think about what is an essential item for your hand luggage, it can sometimes be tough. Stripping back was easy for me however because I knew once I had seen some sun, I would need less products. If you are struggling on deciding, I recommend the following:

  • Mascara – waterproof preferably.
  • Lip balm or a colour lipstick that goes well with the outfits you are taking
  • Eyelashes & Eyelure Glue – most people prefer to have lash extensions previous to their hols but for me, I like them fresh on each day so I snapped up the #lashaddict (pictured above) carry case that holds five pairs from Primark.
  • Concealer or a foundation stick – I only took this to try tame any redness caused by sun.
  • Travel brushes – a sweet little set from Primark that I picked up (pictured below)
  • Temple Spa truffle moisturiser & Double Cream Temple Spa moisturiser (in the Primark containers pictured below)
  • A shimmer eye palette (I took one from Makeup Revolution)
  • Benefit’s “High Beam” highlighter (this is my go to when I don’t use foundation!)

Essentials for Handluggage

How many bikinis can you fit into your hand luggage?

Four? Okay so I also may have sneaked two pairs of extra bottoms in there also, mainly because I had vacuum packed so I had the space. Three of the bikinis had high waist bottoms so I wanted to take two pairs of sting tie side low-rise bottoms just in case (for tan marks!) After shying away for YEARS from high-waisted bottoms, I now love them and will probably only ever wear them now in the future.

  • Pink polka dots top and pink string tie bottoms (top from Matalan, bottoms I have had years)
  • Red floral coordinating two piece (both sold separately from Peacocks)
  • Frilly red bottoms with spotty high-waisted bottoms (both from Amazon)
  • Black and white (from Bettylicious) read about a previous Bettylicious swimsuit here.

Photos are below, furthermore there is a full review of the black and white two piece coming soon. If you have any other tips for packing light, I would love to hear them!



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