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Does anyone have tips on travelling light/hand luggage only - to Poland in Feb!

(48 Posts)
MrsMeow Sun 08-Jan-17 09:28:14

I'm going to Poland in February and it's going to be a wee bit chilly. Travelling hand luggage only which is great for ease but am worrying about fitting everything in. I'm planning on wearing a couple of layers of tops on the plane, along with jeans and boots and coat but would like to be able to pack something to wear in the evenings and will need my make up etc. Could probably buy shampoo and shower gel etc out there to save room.

We're going for 3 nights and my case is a normal hand luggage size.

Any seasoned travellers out there with tips? I'm a notorious over-packer!!

Thanks smile

ps. can you take a handbag as well as hand luggage or is it classed as extra?

wobblywonderwoman Sun 08-Jan-17 09:33:29

I love Poland

Have been a couple of times. It will be cold, very cold. I wouldn't pack much 'dressy' clothing. Bring a very warm coat and scarf. I would pack something like a black dress and tights for the evening. You could wear that another day if you wanted. I collect sachets out of magazines for shampoo but boots do minis.

Pack some nice light weight scarves/ jewellery for changing the look of the outfit. Have a lovely time!!!

Fiona2609 Sun 08-Jan-17 09:34:04

Patra silk thermal vests, very light and keep you nice and warm. They also do silk thermal long johns which are brilliant for skiing, but might me too much under trousers if you are going to be in very heated buildings.
Who are you flying with? I thought a handbag and 1 piece of hand luggage was standard.

wobblywonderwoman Sun 08-Jan-17 09:34:22

Who are you flying with? Check website for details on handbags

NicknameUsed Sun 08-Jan-17 09:34:48

TBH I'm struggling to understand why you would need hold luggage for a 3 night stay anywhere. Just how many outfits do you need? You can buy shampoo in solid soap form from Lush so that would be one less liquid to carry. I prefer to use soap instead of shower gel anyway so that could be another substitute.

Don't forget that things like toothpaste and lipstick count as liquids

MrsMeow Sun 08-Jan-17 09:41:53

Brilliant tips, thank you! Flying Ryanair out and Easyjet back, looks like you can take a handbag on Ryanair but not Easyjet unless priority - I don't travel often so didn't realise there were different policies.

Great idea about the scarves. I have loads to choose from and they wont take up much space at all smile

MrsMeow Sun 08-Jan-17 09:42:43

And the Patra vests, will look for those now, thanks.

LadyLapsang Sun 08-Jan-17 09:54:26

My advice would be to check the size for a carry on case for the airlines as I think Ryanair's may be smaller than Easyjet. With some airlines - Easyjet included I think - the bag restrictions do not include what you purchase at the airport so you can pop into Boots and pick up full sizes if needed - more important for a summer or longer holiday so you can pick up big bottles of sunblock. I would just pack some black trousers and a jewelled cardigan to wear over a blouse in the evening, but unless you are staying in the hotel probably not worth packing heels as you will be in flat boots, jeans and a down jacket / warm coat all the time.

PaulDacresConscience Sun 08-Jan-17 10:00:13

I never take hold baggage - even when I go abroad for a fortnight's holiday!

- Unless you are going somewhere really far flung, then you can get shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and shower gel out of a supermarket when you are there. Ditto most sun creams.

- Facial skin care (which I am fussy about), can be bought either in a travel size, or decanted into travel friendly pots. Ditto perfume - if you buy a travel atomiser. Or take the opportunity to buy some more perfume in duty free on the way out and ensure the bottle size is under 100ml for when you want to bring it back.

- Clothing. You end up wearing the same few bits anyway; I did an experiment one year and made a list of the stuff that I hadn't worn or used and it was almost 60% of what I'd taken with me. For cold weather Uniqlo are very good at non-bulky thermal items.

I can really recommend hand luggage only - it makes the airport a much more pleasant experience as you don't have to queue to check your hold luggage, and at the other end there is no hanging about waiting for the bags to come out on the carousel.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 08-Jan-17 13:26:14

The thing about a Polish winter is that although it is really cold outside, once inside, the central heating is boiling. So I would go for really warm coat, hat, gloves and boots and relatively normal winter clothing underneath. (I used to live in Poland.)

It also depends what you're going to be doing. If this is a Warsaw or Krakow city break, the above applies, as you're not actually going to be outside for a huge amount of time before you pop into a bar or cafe to warm up. If you are going walking in Zakopane, it would be entirely different.

I would also recommend thermal or fleece lined tights. The top of my thighs always seemed to get extremely cold!

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 08-Jan-17 13:32:32

Get toiletries in Boots at the airport once you are airside - you don't want to have to look for toothpaste as soon as you arrive.

Second the idea for silk vest or cotton one layering, but don't go too mad with the thermal stuff or you'll be sweating like a bitch indoors. grin

Take v small handbag that just holds passport, purse, kindle? I have an expanding handbag that I take on flights - I can fit my bottle of duty free into the extra bit on the return journey!

bingohandjob Sun 08-Jan-17 13:54:05

I travel hand luggage a lot to cities including very cold ones in winter. I use an eBag rucksack/case as find much easier to get through airport/public transport with it on my back than dragging a wobbly wheeled case around and giving myself arm ache. These are the things I've used time and time again:
Uniqlo heattech polo and crew top and leggings - in Berlin in January, wore heattech layer under everything then could wear "normal" jeans, dress etc
Two pairs thermal tights
Merino socks - wore over tights as extra layer to prevent boot rub as did lots of walking - comfy boots, waterproof if possible
Merino jumper as layer if really cold - uniqlo do nice ones (I think I bought men's one in sale as lots cheaper)
Sealskinz wind and waterproof gloves because I hate having cold hands
Sunglasses - been bl00dy freezing but super sunny
I don't care how ridiculous I look but a decent trapper hat - I've got a Fjallraven one that is a lifesaver if the wind is biting as it covers my ears
I wear a Didriksons warm and waterproof parka
Once in bar/restaurant want to be able to whip off the heavy layers - I've got no problem nipping to loo and whipping off the heatteach to be comfy if too hot but to be honest, it's not been an issue 90% of the time!
Wear all the heavy gear on the flight and pack the heattech and a dress, top or two in hand luggage. Buy shampoo etc when there as I like to try new stuff anyway and if staying in Air BnB leave it there for next person to use. I've got a small travel kit of essential make up that I just leave in my case
Leave enough room to shove your handbag in cabin case and then you can go through baggage fine then take it out once on plane - I've done this on Easyjet, BA, Flybe, Ryanair, Norwegian etc
I use a hugely ugly but practical flat travel wallet which I keep on me at all times under my top layer with essentials so easy to hand, secure from pickpockets and if all else goes tits up, at least I have £, phone, headphones, meds etc and keys...this slips into tray at security check then straight back on when clear

bingohandjob Sun 08-Jan-17 13:57:22

This is the bag - fits in overhead locker, easy to grab as a suitcase and converts to a backpack - on offer on Amazon for thirty quid if you travel hand luggage a lot, worth a punt not pretty, but practical.

MrsMeow Sun 08-Jan-17 16:00:53

Oh wow there are some amazing tips here! Thank you so much all for taking the time to reply, will be saving this to check back, think I'll definitely be investing in a travel wallet and new hand luggage, reading your post bingohandjob has made me realise how rubbish my hand luggage case is!

I'm going to Krakow so don't need majorly warm stuff as will be in and out of places. I know Feb is slightly warmer than January but when I checked the weather yesterday it was -16!!

hifi Sun 08-Jan-17 17:09:44

you only need 3 tops, 3 changes of pants and 1 set of PJs.i was there in November and it wasn't freezing. I would save any space in your luggage for purchases when there, Zara is 30% cheaper than here, loads of lovely shops too.I wore the same jeans for 3 days.

RemusLupinsChristmasMovie Sun 08-Jan-17 17:24:40

Maybe a jumper dress for evenings, plus some nice boots with a chunky but not too high heel?

We did Prague when it was v v cold. Thermal socks were a must, and leggings to wear under jeans.

You won't need much. Jeans to wear and another pair to pack, ditto jumpers. Warm coat, Boots. Scarves a good idea. Don't forget gloves and a hat!

ninnypoo Sun 08-Jan-17 17:26:57

Place marking, I am also going to Poland in Feb!

Artandco Sun 08-Jan-17 17:30:40

It's fine. When freezing you actually don't really pack any more than when hot as
a) you wear all outside layers anyway ie coat, boots, scarf

b) you don't need to change all layers just base ones really ie underwear, thermal leggings, long thin top

I like finisterre merino thermals

hifi Sun 08-Jan-17 17:30:40

we never changed from sight seeing to going out for dinner, too knackered. Its not a "dressy" type of place, you will look out of place all dolled up.

Malermalergoni Sun 08-Jan-17 18:00:26

Buy cosmetics when you're there. Lots of stuff is tons cheaper, and in big cities the choice is fabulous.
I'd take light knit dresses, under t-shirts, fleece lined tights, lined boots and a light puffa, plus scarf hat & gloves. Heels for night/ bodycon dress.
Love Poland smile

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 08-Jan-17 18:35:09

I'd also say that the cold in Poland is "dry cold" as opposed to the wet, damp cold you get in UK. So unless it's actually snowing, you're likely to have crisp cold days with (hopefully) blue skies. -6 in Poland feels more like above freezing does in London.

PaulDacresConscience Sun 08-Jan-17 18:44:42

I second not using the wheelie case. Mine is for business trips when I need a smart looking bag. Holidays are when I use a rucksack - much more practical in very busy airports. Also much easier for packing because you can separate things in the different compartments - I keep the front pouch free to put my handbag into when they are checking your bag size and weight at the gate.

viques Sun 08-Jan-17 18:57:03

I have done Norway in December and New York in Feb! Make sure you have good thermals, I take long sleeved tops and thermal leggings from Uniqulo and have always been toastie, they have good colours too, and wash out and dry overnight, take a decent hat , socks and gloves too. Thin layers keep you warmer and can be rolled tight to pack. Wear your boots, maybe have one ballet shoe type for evening. Share shower gels/shampoo if you take them.

NicknameUsed Sun 08-Jan-17 20:14:56

"Buy cosmetics when you're there"

Would you really want to spend part of a short break shopping for cosmetics? Just how much do you wear that you can't fit it in hand luggage?

MrsMeow Sun 08-Jan-17 20:20:32

NicknameUsed, I'm going with my 16 year old daughter. There is a Sephora. Believe me there will be cosmetic buying going on!!

Thanks again everyone, I'm going to read through properly when I have more time but there are some really helpful tips and I appreciate them all smile

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