Hand Luggage Only

I’ve had a few requests for a packing post recently, and more specifically, what to pack for a city break. So, I dreamt up a weekend in Barcelona with Nick next weekend and put my packing cap on. (I actually loathe packing more than picking up my children’s socks, but strangely, packing for a pretend trip was a lot more enjoyable.) In reality next weekend will be spent ferrying children around to parties and various sporting/dance activities, but I am plotting a weekend getaway for just the two of us in the Summer, grandparents willing. *crosses fingers*

I would always try to fly without hold baggage for a weekend break. Restricting yourself to hand luggage minimises your airport time, leaving you more time to explore/unwind/ argue about the directions to the hotel. (If you are a couple that can navigate your way to an unknown location spat-free, please tell me your secret!)

It does mean that you have to be a little more organised when it comes to toiletries, and a little more thoughtful about your outfits. So hopefully this post will, at the very least, remind you of items you already own and serve as a checklist.

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  1. Sunglasses – Saint Laurent £270 – Sunglasses are my ‘cannot-leave-home-without’ item. Weirdly the one thing my husband usually forgets. These are a cat eye which is a shape that suits most faces.
  2. White T-Shirt – £35 Whistles – I like to keep it simple when I travel and blue jeans and a white tee is one of my favourite combinations.
  3. Khaki Sandro Jacket – The Outnet Was £280 now £168 – The Khaki Utility jacket is one of my hero pieces in the summer. It works over just about everything. I tried this one on in Bicester Village this week and it’s a good’un!
  4. Samsonite Spinner Suitcase – Was £159 now £124 from Amazon – I have this little suitcase and it’s so light and easy to navigate.
  5. H&M Girlfriend Jeans – £34.99 – I usually travel in a comfortable pair of jeans if it’s a short flight. I have a pair of these girlfriend style jeans from H&M and they are really comfy. If you aren’t a fan of rips, then they also have a wholesome version for £24.99 Yes, I agree, ten pounds for a slash across the knee seems ludicrous! That’s fashion maths for you.
  6. Veja Canvas Trainers – £80 – Trainers are a must for a city break as you are likely to be doing a lot of walking. I really love these organic cotton canvas trainers. The rubber on the soles is sourced from the Amazon rainforest.
  7. Cotton Striped Beach bag – £51 from Maisons Du Monde – I usually take something like a basket bag as my handbag when travelling with hand luggage as it allows you to carry more. This one seemed a little more city appropriate and you can’t beat a neutral stripe.
  8. Leopard Hair Scrunchie with Tie – £3.99 from H&M – With an outfit of basics I usually try to add an ‘item of interest’. This could be a belt, a pair of earrings, sunglasses or in this case, a hair tie.


  1. Floral Dress Mango – £69.99 – A dress is an easy option for day to night. Easy to pack and works well with trainers during the day and smartening up with sandals for the evening.
  2. Gold hoop earrings – £12.99 – I love a pair of gold hoops. They add just the right amount of glam to an outfit.
  3. Sunglasses (as above)
  4. Veja Trainers (as above)
  5. Leather Jacket – £119.99 Mango – A leather biker is perfect for wearing over your dress both day and night, if it gets chilly.
  6. Suede sandals – Mango £29.99 – I REALLY LOVE THESE SANDALS. Sorry, I had to shout that because they are SUCH a good price and would be SUCH a good buy. I can’t justify them as I already have a pair of black Loupe slides from Dune – so please will someone buy them and enjoy them for me?!
  7. Round Cleo Bag – Aurora London £100 – I am a huge fan of the simplicity of Aurora London Bags. The quality is excellent and they are such a brilliant brand for those who want the designer look at an affordable price.
  8. Cotton canvas bag – as above.


  1. Black T-Shirt – Ninety Percent at Net-a-Porter £35 – The humble black t-shirt, another of my wardrobe must-haves.
  2. Mango Leopard Flowy Trousers – Were £29.99 now £19.99 – I thought these would be perfect for a day of sight seeing then heading to the airport. Comfy chic at it’s best.
  3. Leather Biker (As above)
  4. Black Slides (as above)
  5. Black circle bag (as above)
  6. Sunglassses (as above)
  7. Veja trainers (as above)
Mango Flowy Trousers – Now £19.99

Just in case…

I usually throw in a few items last minute. Shorts and a swimsuit (we are heading to Barcelona after all! ) and a hat to protect my face. Oh and I never travel without my GHD soft curl tongs.

  1. Denim Shorts – Hush £45 – I have it on good authority (thanks Ali!) that these shorts are very good.
  2. Boden Swimsuit – £60 – You would struggle to find a more flattering, well priced swimsuit. My best friend wore the Santorini in Greece last year and I promised myself I would buy it before our summer holiday.
  3. GHD Soft Curl Tong – £119.99 – I like to give the front of my hair a once over before we go out in the evening.
  4. Panama Hat – £24.99 Joules at John Lewis – I don’t like to put my face in the sun, so I always try to take a hat with me.


I hope that has been helpful. I feel like I have neglected toiletries which is often the hardest part when travelling with hand luggage, but perhaps it’s best to save that for a post on it’s own. Essentially, I try to pack sample sizes of anything I have or sometimes I decant into little pots. If you have your favourite brand, you could even ask for samples at your nearest Space NK.

Thanks for reading.

*Feature image via Pinterest*

6 comments so far.

6 responses to “Hand Luggage Only”

  1. Sudha says:

    Chloe, love love love the above information♥️Very helpful, thank you so much🙏🏼

    • chloelovestoshop@yahoo.co.uk says:

      Aah my pleasure. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Means a lot! X

  2. Kit says:

    Great post, as always. Could I ask how you found the fit and length of the H&M jeans please?

  3. Jackie says:

    Great post Chloe 😊 As a professional traveller the best place I’ve found for bottles and pots is Muji, they have a great selection of sizes and different bottle tops including sprays and pumps 👌 I manage to decant enough toiletries for a six day trip. If you want a robust bag for taking your toiletries through airport security Ryman’s sell the perfect one which meets all airport security criteria… Happy Holidays everyone ☀️💛😘

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