How to Travel Light and Get One Up On Ryanair

How to Travel Light and Get One Up On Ryanair


I LOOOOVE a city break.

I HAAAATE packing.

It’s such a pain in the ass.  Not that you’d think so if you’ve ever read one of those cheery 10 Tips For Stress-Free Packing type articles, where all you have to do is opt for a capsule wardrobe – say, blue and white with an accent of tangerine – and the next thing you know you’re lying on a lounger, sipping a Pina Colada, turning a gorgeous shade of pink.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but real life is not like…not mine anyway.

To start with, I don’t have much tangerine in my wardrobe, and then there’s The Shoe Issue.  I want to look like I’m wearing Jimmy Choos, and feel like I am wearing Hotters. Alas, the impossible dream. I compromise with a nice mid-heel wedge.

Added to that my life-long mission to NEVER, EVER, EVER take hold luggage, unless it’s free or I am going to the Maldives, for at least a fortnight – so until either of those miracles transpire, I refuse, damn it, to pay £50 to take a suitcase on a flight that cost me £45.

So, here is my 3-day Travel-Light Holiday-Packing Countdown…

 D(eparture) Day minus 3- Preparation

With the determination of a young Madonna (the Get into the Groove one, not the Virgin one) dig out your carry-on suitcase and all the clothes that you want to fit into it, frown, pour yourself a gin and tonic and catch up on Big Little Lies.

A pile of clothes to sort through before packing
Hmmm…time for a gin n tonic

D-Day minus 2 – Planning

It’s time to put on a washing and go shopping for travel-sized toiletries that will not be seized by over-zealous airport security operatives.

D-Day minus 1 – Elimination and Packing  

Now the hard bit. Discard anything too small or horrible or anything that’s not blue, white or tangerine, with the aim of ending up with a pile that should just about fit in your case.

Pour another gin and tonic, and move on to the actual packing, using…

Jill’s Simple R.S.S. Packing Strategy

1/ R  – ROLL

Lay four similar sized items on top of each other and roll like billy-o


…random things in between the rolled things.

3/ S – STUFF

…and I mean stuff, REALLY HARD, everything else between the rolled and squashed things

Traveling light - a neatly packed case
Roll. Stuff. Squash.

Oh, I just thought of 3 more things to do on Departure Day…

4/ Wear everything else that you decide to take at the last minute but can’t fit into your suitcase.

In my experience, it’s perfectly possible to be reasonably comfortable traveling while wearing a bikini, nightie, t-shirt, jumper, jacket, leggings, combat trousers, hat, sunglasses and carrying an umbrella.

5/ Take a VERY VERY large handbag

…for your passport, keys, purse, money – UK and foreign – hard sweets (for Air Pressure), jewellery, spare contact lenses and sunglasses, all your liquids, hair straighteners, your mobile and Mac, assorted chargers, that work you didn’t manage to finish, a book, some socks, that birthday card  that you forgot to post, water, snacks and all the things you can’t fit in your  suitcase or wear.

And finally…

6/ Once you are through security, buy something

…anything –  a packet of polo mints will do – and ask for the largest plastic bag that WH Smith will give you for 5p, then stuff it full of the things that are bulging out of your handbag

So there you have it….the satisfaction of knowing that you, rather than Ryanair, are £50 better off. Now, who doesn’t get a little glow of please at that thought? 

A word of warning –  I always forget something when I travel – never my passport (I go through too many Paranoid Passport Checks for that)  but it has been known for me to arrive for a long weekend without any pants. Hey ho, there’s always a Zara nearby.


Don’t miss a trick…you can also find me on…

Twitter @MidlifeSmarts



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  1. Kyle
    12 April 2017 / 1:04 pm

    Really good advice there on packing light…now to persuade the wife!

    • Jill
      12 April 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Haha Kyle, now that could be a problem! X

  2. Lynn Harris
    18 April 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Perfect timing with this article – I’m just about to face this exact dilemma!
    I am going with the navy/white/orange combo, as orange is my warm weather pop of colour!!
    Will be following your advice…and let you know how it goes!
    Lynn x

    • Jill
      20 April 2017 / 2:18 pm

      Ha Lynn. I’m liking the navy/white/orange combo!! Let me know how the hand luggage works out – I still don’t manage to wear everything I take !! Thanx for the comment x

    • Jill
      22 April 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Hey Lynn Love the sound of that combo and the colour pop! Thanks for reading x

  3. Lynne Wallace
    27 June 2017 / 9:23 am

    HI Jill – found your blog through Nicky Black – loving it, its give me the push to get back to mine!

    • Jill
      27 June 2017 / 10:14 am

      Hey Lynne.
      Thanx. Lovely to hear from you.. I really appreciate feedback.
      I’d love to see your blog.
      Jill x

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