We’ve all been there – the last minute flurry as you scrabble to squish closed your carry-on suitcase, deciding whether you really need five pairs of shoes for a three-day trip (answer: if it’s a hen do then clearly, yes). With added fees from airlines, the hassle of security checks and the nightmare-inducing thought of being that one friend who gets her bag lost at the other end, learning how to be savvy with your carry-on luggage is a must. It’ll make your trip a lot easier and give you plenty of time to enjoy the hen party antics with your mates.
So, to take that stress out of packing, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for packing light when going abroad.

10 tips on packing light for a hen-do abroad

Check them out and memorise them for your next trip (hen party ‘L’ plates are optional…):

1. Sensible makeup choices

Makeup-wise, we recently discovered that powders and lipsticks don’t count as liquids for jamming into that irritatingly tiny plastic bag. If it’s a hen do, you’ve probably got some good nights out planned – with outfits to match the occasion. So to make space for your toiletries and other makeup, it’s worth taking face powder or bronzer instead of liquid foundation. Or if you’re feeling brave, sling in a red lippy and go barefaced!

2. Use shoes as storage

One trick we love is to use shoes as extra space for packing your socks, underwear and other small essentials. Do try to limit the amount of shoes you take if you just have hand luggage (we find this one hard too!) – pick your favourite pair or two and get stuffing!

3. Roll up clothes

It’s an old cheat, but it really does work wonders. Rolling up your clothes not only saves space, but it also makes your clothes easier to find AND it prevents them from creasing!

4. Invest in suitable hand luggage

Certain airlines these days are more lenient than others when it comes to hand luggage. Typically you have to cram everything into one measly bag, however airlines such as Ryanair (who changed their restrictions) now let you take a small suitcase and a good-sized handbag, perfect to give you plenty of space for your outfits! Always double check!

5. Avoid taking bulky laptops

This tip is more relevant to speeding up the security check process. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, try to avoid taking your laptop or tablet with you – you’ll have to take it out and have it scanned separately. Use the downtime to get to know your hen group instead! Plus not taking it saves some room for clothes.


6. Don your heaviest items of clothes/shoes

Another well-known cheat, but we are big fans of this one. If you are set on taking your Chelsea boots, it’s probably best to wear them on the plane. Just don’t do a James McElvar and pass out from overheating.

7. Pre-plan outfits

Go with a colour scheme and pre-plan outfits – hen parties help here, there’s usually lots of planning ahead amongst the group! After all, there’s no point taking your favourite top if it doesn’t match your jeans or carefully selected heels.

8. Buy stuff there or share amongst your hen group

Your travel destination will definitely have any essential you forgot, so there’s no point wasting money on tiny shampoos/conditioners when you can just buy a big one there for half the price. Even better, if you’re going as a group, co-ordinate with the other girls and share who brings different items.

9. Go mini

Invest in a travel hairdryer or even travel-sized hair straighteners (if you’re that desperate to take them) as these bulky items take up space and weigh a lot. Well worth doing as they can be re-used every time you travel.

10. Don’t take things you do not need

It sounds simple, but this last tip is key and a trap a lot of holidaymakers fall into. Once you hit the ground with your hen group, you’ll rapidly realise that good company (and a cocktail or three!) are all you need. That travel iron, 7 different colours of nail varnish and the entire Fifty Shades of Grey series can all stay at home.

So there you have it – our top 10 tips to travel light. You can find our tips and a whole load more over at the Expedia Hen Hub.

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