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Date: 03/05/2014

Hand luggage advice to avoid a heavy load on your back

With the recent restrictions placed on hand luggage, it has never been easier to ensure that you keep the contents of your carry-on to a minimum, lightening your load and keeping most of your heavy items in your suitcase. Here are just a few handy tips to ensure you don't end up with a heavy load to carry when it comes to your hand luggage

Travel size

Packing travel size toiletries is a great idea, particularly if you're only going away for a long weekend or even a week-long trip. In most destinations, you can pick up spare toiletries should you run out, and travel size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel will definitely lighten the load! For an even more affordable way to take mini toiletries on holiday with you, pick up some empty travel size bottles from your local chemist and fill them yourself at home. Many shops stock travel kits with all the bottles and jars you could ever need - in miniature!

Take your e-reader

If you're jetting off for a fortnight in Thailand or a backpacking trip around China, carrying heavy books with you is not a good idea. You might be a fast reader, which means you could get through dozens of books on your journey. By taking an e-reader with you, you can have all your favourite books to hand and none of the added weight in your hand luggage!

Make a list

Packing in an organised fashion ensures you won't overload your hand luggage this holiday season. Make a list of everything you'll need - divide things into categories such as toiletries, underwear, electrical items and so on. This way you will only pack what you need and won't be tempted to throw things into your bag on impulse.

Split the load

If you're travelling with friends or family, chances are you won't each need a hairdryer or a mobile phone charger. Discuss who will be taking what with your group and you can lighten your load considerably. If you're taking straighteners, perhaps someone else could pack a hairdryer, whilst another friend could be responsible for packing sun tan lotion.

Pack only what you need

As a general rule, your hand luggage should only include what you'll need for the first 24-48 hours of your trip - so things like a change of clothes, underwear and toiletries. It's also a good idea to pack electrical items such as your camera, e-reader and chargers in your hand luggage, in case anything happens to your suitcase en-route. Of course, with travel insurance from, you'll be covered even if the worst happens and your luggage goes missing!

Hopefully these tips will help to lighten the load this summer and ensure you're not carrying around heavy hand luggage on holiday.