How to pack like a pro

CollectPlus teamed up with fashion blogger Lizzy Hadfield to learn how to perfect hand luggage-only packing

Sitting on your bag, poking the clothes inside through the straining zip teeth, you finally have to concede that you’ve packed too much stuff. Should you give up and take a ‘proper’ case after all? No. Only taking hand luggage on a mini break is one of the joys of going on a mini break – no shelling out extra cash for a massive unwieldy bag, no waiting at baggage reclaim and no realising two-thirds of the stuff you’ve packed is completely useless anyway. But how can you ensure you’ll have everything you need in one tiny bag? Easy. Click and collect retail service CollectPlus partnered up with fashion blogger Lizzy Hadfield, of, to discover her top packing tips.

Hi Lizzy. Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

I’ve been really interested in clothes since I was a teenager. However, I did a History of Art degree, so a career in fashion wasn’t always on the cards! It was only when I started reading blogs that I realised how much I would love to work in the industry and I started my own when I was at university – I was spending so much time reading other people’s blogs, I thought it could be put to better use doing one myself. And, of course, being able to travel was a big added bonus.  

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Do you often go on city breaks?

Yes. I love a city break. Somewhere with good shopping and amazing food. I prefer to be busy on holiday, so touring around a city is perfect for that. I’ve become very experienced at nailing carry-on packing!

OK, so hit us with your perfect hand luggage tips, please. First up, how do you decide what to take?

I always plan my outfits beforehand. I try on every look before I go somewhere, so I know exactly what I’ll need and what works with what. It’s the least stressful way of doing it; reducing the time you spend getting ready and faffing about when you’re there.

I only take three pairs of shoes: one pair of comfy sandals, a pair of trainers that will toughen up any girly holiday looks and a pair of heels that will work for day or night. If you’re going to take clompy shoes, like wedges, then travel in them to save on space in your case. Also, if you’re in a group, share the load: one person should take straighteners, another curlers. And always leave the hairdryer at home if you’re staying in a hotel as it’ll have one. 

Then, once you’ve decided, how do you get it all in?

Fold as little as possible as folding takes up more space – instead lay clothes flat. Also, this summer, pack a shirt dress as it’s super-versatile – you can wear it on its own and it doubles up as a great beach cover-up.

What about duty-free?

Take advantage of the fact most airlines let you take a hand luggage bag and one duty-free bag. I always buy shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and body wash at the airport so you can avoid the 100ml-only security rule. You just have to be prepared to leave it behind when you come back. I’ll also buy mini perfumes and any make-up I’ve run out of.

Visit to see more of Lizzy’s work and finally book that break you’ve been thinking about