Are you, like me, often in despair over all the stuff you carry with you on your travels? I have tried to minimize the amount of stuff and fit it all into my hand luggage. Here is a list of the 5 essentials that will make traveling easier and fit into your hand luggage. Pack wisely and carry less!

Keep in mind that most airlines allow you to bring two items: a bag and a small personal item.

Item #1 to put into your hand luggage: E-reader

It’s nice to see that so many people enjoy reading. However, books take a lot of space. Even if it’s just a paperback. The solution is simple: bring your e-reader. You can carry plenty of books with you and they even fit into your handbag. Win-win!

Item #2: Beauty Stuff

At least in Europe we have restrictions on liquids in the hand luggage. This is actually a good thing in terms of packing efficiently. Leave all those shampoos and other bottles at home. Travel size bottles are the perfect solution. They take little space and there is less to carry. Remember to pack non-liquids separately – that way you will win some space.

In case you’re into beauty shopping, the duty free shop is equal to Mecca. I also think it’s fun to shop local products wherever it is that I am going.

Item #3: Clothing

Bring dresses! Believe it or not, but this isn’t about being fashionable. It’s all about being practical. Dresses (and tights) take little space in your hand luggage. Wear your sweater, jacket, or cardigan when boarding the plane. In case you travel in winter, opt for a thicker dress and warm tights and a lot of socks.

Men can naturally wear dresses too, if that’s what they want. In case they are into more traditional clothing, favor light materials that don’t take up much space.

Item #4: Gadgets

Not traveling without my gadgets. I was quite horrified the last time I went on a trip: I was carrying on a laptop, an iPad, my e-reader and my phone. As well as a few notebooks and pens for taking notes. That’s just crazy!

My piece of advice: be sensible. What is it that you really need all these gadgets for? If they are necessary, then by all means carry them with you. But not before you have asked yourself: do I really need this?

Note to self: one notebook is enough. The pens don’t have to come in all available colors. Actually one can take notes on those gadgets, but they don’t really feel as authentic as a beautiful notebook – or do they?

Item #5: Emergency Kit

We have noticed that an emergency kit is a good idea. This could contain adhesive bandage, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medicine. Additionally, include any tablets that might be needed at the destination. I also love to bring face mist and eye cream.

And what about shoes?

A life without shoes would be very boring. But carrying around on shoes is a pain. So, one pair of stylish AND comfortable shoes will be sufficient for most occasions.

What are your must-haves when traveling?

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