There are so many of us nowadays (including myself) who don’t want to pay extra charges for hold luggage. So, how do we ensure that it’s hand luggage only and within the size and weight restrictions.

On the case

Taking a little time to plan can make all the difference between a relaxing and a stressful time on your well-earned break. Some simple rules apply whether it is a short break, a week or a 2 week holiday.

Make a list

First thing to do is make a list, draw up a row for every day with an idea of what your activity might be (beach, walking, shopping, sightseeing etc.) then separate into columns and in each column put roughly what you might wear.

An example of what it might look like is below:

THURSDAY Travel and sightseeing Jeans, top, coat Dinner out Dress, shawl, heels
FRIDAY Beach and shopping Swimsuit etc.Trousers, top Show Capri pants, silk kaftan
SATURDAY Zoo and lunch out Capri pants, cotton top Theatre Kaftan, heels, shawl
SUNDAY Beach and Travel Shorts, cotton top, jeans, tee shirt Dinner Dress, shawl, heels


You will begin to see that there are items, such as trousers, tops or skirts that can be worn more than once and that some items can be ‘dressed up’ or ‘dressed down’ for various occasions.

Choose your colour theme

Holidays are a great time to wear colours you would not normally wear for work. Some colours look fabulous in sunnier climes and here is your chance to wear them. It doesn’t have to be a case of everything ‘matching’, we don’t want to be boring on our holiday!! But start with a few basics and build your holiday capsule around them. Colour clashes are very ‘in’ nowadays, lime green and orange are my favourite combination, but if this is just too loud for you try using bright colours in your accessories to add that ‘splash’.

Let’s start with the basics

Refer back to your list and decide which basics you will wear more than once. This could be a pair of trousers or a skirt. Lay out your clothes on the bed and work out different combinations, updating and adjusting your list as you build your holiday capsule.

I’ve used a pair of black and a pair of white Capri pants plus a pair of white shorts as the basis for my 4 day holiday capsule.

Daytime or evening?

Add to these basics with a mixture of tops, these should be tops that can be used for both day and evening and of course you need to add a couple of dresses for those special evenings out. Make one of the dresses a colourful kaftan style which can be used again over Capri pants or shorts. Take a neutral coloured shawl for the cooler evenings.


Travel in either jeans or light trousers, add a showerproof jacket and a pashmina which can be used for chilly evenings. Changing tops for the outward and inward journeys gives you additional options depending on the weather.


For a 4 day break take one swimsuit (I have chosen a tan-kini) with a matching sarong and either flip flops or sandals. Add a loose hooded top as a cover up which can also be utilised as daywear with a pair of shorts or Capri pants. A simple sundress can be rolled in your bag for instant beach to bar transformation.


Travel in a comfy pair of sandals which can also be worn for sightseeing and shopping trips. Add a pair of flip flops for the beach and a pair of heels or wedges for the evenings.


Add a day bag, a clutch for evenings, some colourful scarves and a range of bold jewellery. Depending on your hairstyle, add a few ‘blingie’ slides and combs in co-ordinating colours. Buy a cheap straw hat whilst on holiday, it can always be left for the next holidaymaker and add a pair of sunnies to make your wardrobe complete.

Match, clash, go bold or go for bling but add plenty of accessories

Match, clash, go bold or go for bling but add plenty of accessories


Tips on packing

With limited space in your hand luggage you also need to plan your packing. Rolling items rather than folding them takes up less room in a case, the added advantage of rolling is that they are less likely to get creased. Choose crease resistant materials if possible, but on arrival hang clothes in the bathroom while you take your shower, the steam will help to eliminate creases. Roll smaller items (underwear and tops) and stuff them into your shoes or sandals utilising the space inside.


4 days, 4 evenings and 2 travel

Assuming you don’t want to do any laundry whilst on holiday, here is a basic list for a 4 day break:

1 pair of jeans

1 pashmina or summer cardigan

1 light showerproof jacket

1 pair of comfortable sandals

2 pairs of cropped or Capri pants

1 pair of shorts

1 swimsuit

1 sarong

1 shawl

1 hat (you could buy a cheap one and leave it at your location)

2 dresses

1 hooded cover up (for beach or daytime)

3 daytime tops or tee shirts

2 smart tops

1 pair of flip flops

1 pair of heels or wedges

4 days of underwear

1 evening clutch bag


Variety of scarves

1 handbag (you could choose one that doubles as a beach bag)

A longer holiday?

The same process applies for a longer holiday and in fact adding a couple of extra tops for the daytime and evening, maybe a nice skirt and another dress the list above would easily work for a 10 day holiday. In fact the 4 day holiday capsule I have put together could be arranged and combined to make up to 30 different outfits!


About Living in rural Spain

I live in Andalucía in the beautiful southern part of Spain. It is the largest of the 17 regions of Spain and Andalucía is broken down into 8 provinces and I live in the province of Granada. I have lived in rural Andalucia for almost 13 years. I am originally from England. I find the scenery here in Spain stunning. There are amazing sunsets and the colours of wild flowers, almond blossom and poppy fields in the Spring and trees in the area are an inspiration.

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