How to travel light…and get one up on Ryanair

How to travel light…and get one up on Ryanair


Packing is a pain – not that you’d think so if you’ve ever read one of those cheery 10 tips articles where all you have to do is opt for a capsule wardrobe – say blue and white with an accent of tangarine – 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 tangarine and then there’s the shoe problem. Shoes are always a big issue for me on holiday. I want to look like I’m wearing Jimmy Choos, while feeling like I am wearing Hotters – alas, the impossible dream, so I end up packing a wedges /trainers/ Birkenstock combo.

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 (drum roll) is my three day, stress-free Holiday Packing Countdown…

 D(eparture) Day minus 3 – Preparation – I think I better get a washing on

Hmmm…time for a gin n tonic

D-Day minus 2 – Planning – with the determination of a young Madonna (the Get into the Groove one, not the Virgin one) I dig out my hand luggage suitcase and all the clothes that I want to fit into it, frown, then pour myself a gin and tonic and watch some Broadchurch re-runs.

D-Day minus 1 – Elimination and Packing  Now the hard bit – it’s time to discard anything too small or horrible or anything that’s not blue, white or one of my various accent colours, with the aim of  ending up with a pile that should just about fit in your case, then, I pour another gin and tonic, and move on to the actual packing.  Now here, I think I do have a technique worthy of a list – so, dear reader, here is my three point packing technique…


1/ ROLL – lay four similar sized items on top of each other and roll like billy-o

2/ SQUASH random things in between the rolled things.

3/ STUFF – and I mean stuff, really hard, everything else between the rolled and squashed things

Roll. Stuff. Squash.

…oh, just thought of a 4, 5 and 6 for Departure Day

4/ Wear everything else that you can’t fit into your suitcase. In my experience, it’s perfectly possible to be reasonably comfortable travelling while wearing a bikini, nightie, t-shirt, jumper, jacket, leggings, combat trousers, hat, sunglasses and carrying an umbrella.

Just slightly bulging handbag

5/ Take a VERY large handbag for your passport, keys, purse, money – UK and foreign, sweeties, jewellery, spare contact lenses and glasses, all your liquids, a book, some socks,  your mobile and Mac, assorted chargers, the work you didn’t manage to finish, a birthday card you forgot to post, water, snacks and all the things you can’t fit in your case or wear.

And finally…

6/ Once you are through security buy something, anything – a magazine, a packet of polo mints –  from RS McColls and get the largest plastic bag they’ll give you for 5p and stuff it full of the things bulging out of your handbag

So there you have it….the satisfaction of knowing that you, rather than Ryanair, are £50 better off. Good eh.   It goes without saying however that I always forget something – 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



Get Regular Updates

Pop your email in to join the gang & I'll drop you a line when a new post goes live





  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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *