As airfares drop amid increased competition and travellers become increasingly budget-conscious, it's hardly surprising that many airlines now charge a painful price for baggage. It's not unusual to see fees of £30 or more for 20kg of hold luggage – which can sometimes be more than the cost of the flight.
Of course if you're planning a short getaway, you might be able to save yourself some cash by opting to only take a cabin bag. Naturally, you'll need to show a little restraint - your favourite tuxedo or ball gown will probably have to stay at home, unfortunately - but with a bit of careful planning it's perfectly possible to get through a long weekend with only a cabin bag's worth of clothing.
Don't want your wardrobe to suffer in the process of packing light? Read the Flexicover team’s top fashion hacks for travelling with just a cabin bag.
Don't overload on footwear
Bringing too much footwear is a guaranteed way to eat up your limited baggage space. Tempting as it might be to bring walking boots, trainers and a dressier option for the evenings, you'll thank yourself for being a little more selective. A smart light canvas trainer is the perfect choice for a day of sightseeing - save some space by wearing these on the flight. Allow yourself sandals if you're travelling somewhere hot, and women can make these a dressier pair, so that they’re also suitable for eating somewhere fancy. And unless hiking is going to be a mainstay of your trip, leave those clumpy boots at home!
Pick your fabrics wisely
While we love thick cable-knit jumpers, chunky cardigans and bulky puffer jackets as much as the next person, unfortunately they're not that efficient for light travellers. Give some serious thought to the material of the clothes you're packing in order to truly maximise your cabin bag's storage capacity. Flannel may be a lightweight fabric, but it's fantastic at retaining heat, which makes it a great choice when you're forgoing hold luggage. And remember that a light waterproof-jacket-and-top combination will often take up much less space than a single bulky coat, but will keep you just as warm when worn together.
Bring simple clothes – and go wild on the accessories
Sadly, travelling light will probably mean curtailing some of your more outlandish fashion choices. That lime green skirt or faux fur hoody obviously look great on you, but they're not exactly versatile. Instead of statement pieces, pack plenty of stuff that just goes with everything - plain T-shirts are a godsend here. And if you’re worried you're going to be stuck in a succession of boring outfits bring plenty of accessories – statement jewellery, a lightweight scarf, maybe a foldable hat - to lend some variety.
Decide on your outfits in advance
We've all packed for a holiday only to find out that we didn't need - and didn't wear - half of the clothes. This is obviously a situation you can ill afford when travelling with only a cabin bag. Avoid it by channelling your inner #influencer and planning your OOTDs (that's ‘outfits of the day’) before you start packing. That way, you'll cut down on unnecessary tops, T-shirts and the like, leaving only clothes that you know go together. For bonus points, consider storing each outfit in an individual packing cube so you don't have to rifle through your bag at the start of every day.
Choose multipurpose clothes
This one's a bit of a curveball, but when space is at a premium, it pays to prioritise multipurpose clothing. For example, that sarong isn't just a handy cover-up for your legs or shoulders, but it can also be used as a substitute towel or blanket in times of need. Those leggings can be teamed with pretty much any outfit and can be washed and dried in a hurry, plus they hardly take up any space. You can even sleep in them if needs be. We're not suggesting every item of clothing you pack should have an array of additional functions - you're not Inspector Gadget - but packing one or two multipurpose pieces will ultimately help you save space.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.