First off, a HUGE HUG and a MAHOOOOSIVE THANK YOU from both of us, for checking out our blog! Seriously, it means a lot to us so thanks for stopping by to visit!

How ‘Hand Luggage Only’ Began…

As a hare-brained challenge at University… Just kidding!!! Hand Luggage Only was born back in April 2014 on a surprisingly warm afternoon in Yaya’s college room at University of Cambridge. In what seemed like an oasis of calm between assignments, Yaya and Lloyd (that’s us!) were talking about sharing our travel stories and photos with others like-minded travellers on the internet. We’d already been doing this for a while and (almost competitively) sharing our stories on Facebook but what we really wanted was to connect with other travellers across the globe and have a two-way conversation about travel.

On that fateful day in Cambridge in true Yaya style (i.e. impatient), we started writing blog posts, using photos we’d already edited and within a few hours, was online and ready to go!

Who’s Yaya?

Let’s see…. How would I describe myself? T.D.H. – Tall Dark and Handsome! Again… JUST KIDDING! I would probably describe myself as someone who knows no limits with his favourite foods (I can literally eat to the point of shame). I am swirling mass of contradictions, I love a good boogie but I have the worst taste in music (example 1) and some people describe me as smart/clever (due to my grades) but on the other hand, I’m incredibly clueless about a lot of things (like how I couldn’t point out where Singapore was on a map until the day I actually moved to Singapore – example 2). I am working on the cluelessness part though and I’m hoping you can help me out with that one. 😉

What else is there about me? I’m a dog person but I would quite like to get a cat as well (another contradiction perhaps?), I’m not a huge fan of chocolates but I love anything strawberry flavoured! (Yes, I’ll even eat strawberry flavoured ham – if there was such a thing).

Who’s Lloyd?

Hmmmm… firstly, unlike Yaya – I am a total chocolate fiend! Dip, cover or smother anything in chocolate and I will be your best friend for life… oh and, of-course, eat it! So, how would I describe myself? Obviously, I love to explore new places, it has been my passion since I was a little boy – I always wanted to be a pilot but my colour-blindness prevented that dream from happening – Boooo! Then I found something equally as exciting…. Travel blogging! Yay! 🙂

I really love anything cute; kawaii style animation, bite-sized fudge, shetland ponies, puppies – if it’s cute, it’s best to expect that I will either want to touch, eat or photograph it!

Wanna Know More?

If you have any questions or wanna know more about us (including where to send us cakes), then send us an email via our contact page! 🙂

Email Us

  • gina

    so hadn’t clocked that this was a blog written by boys!! love it

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! Thanks Gina!

  • Ekaterina

    I love reading your posts! but you guys need to come to Switzerland! I’m currently living here (originally from Arizona, USA) and I absolutely love it. xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Sounds like a plan Ekaterina!!! I think when we do next, we will probably end up spending half the time eating chocolates… though that’s probably a good thing! Hehehe!

  • cs1003

    Angel Falls, Venezuela – The most amazing place I have visited. We flew into Canaima, spent three days on the river in a “Curiara” to get there. Guys put this on your South America Adventure List!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks! Will do!

  • Lunch and Lit

    I love your blog! I also love that one of you is named Yaya. I have a student named Yaya and have never met another! If you guys ever need tips on New York ( I live in the ‘burbs of NYC), I’d be happy to help!


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Jackie! This is Yaya and you just raised a funny thought in my head, I’ve never met someone else whose actual name is Yaya! And yes please, we would love NYC tips! Send us an email at when you get the chance to. 🙂

  • I’m a big fan of travel – I can’t really stay in one place for too long! Joined Bloglovin’ to read more blogs (I blog about travel and poetry, myself), and stumbled upon yours. Very interesting!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Great to hear that Kerridwen! Thanks!!!

  • Pingback: World First Travel Insurance Blog » Blog Archive The World First Wander: the best travel writing on the Internet()

  • Mandira Adhikari

    I have recently discovered your blog and should say that I have almost finished reading all the posts! I am a traveller too so I love you guys! Keep up the great work!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Mandira – we’re so glad you liked our posts. Ps – Amazing blog!

      Have a lovely New Year!

      Lloyd & Yaya x

  • Holly

    Hey guys! This is everything that I wanted from a travel blog + more! I can’t wait to dive in further! Just wondering what camera & lens kit you’re using for those gorgeous wide angled pics? Thx 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hi Holly – thanks so much, such a lovely comment – it made us feel all warm and fuzzy, so thank you. We use a Canon Wide Angle DSLR for our pics. Hope this helps x

      Have a great 2016!

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • Wonderful! I agree with holly! <3

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Sia – Have a great New Years! 🙂

  • Pingback: 5 blogueurs britanniques en Vallée de la Dordogne - Site pro du contrat de destination Vallée de la Dordogne()

  • You have covered really well destinations a lot of people would like to visit. I enjoy reading your blog it is very inspiring. Looking forward to your updates.

    Paul Kenya Travel Tips

  • Helloooooo! I’m in California! And found you guys via… actually, I haven’t a clue. ^_^ But, am so glad I did! I’m going to be ‘following’ you guys (ooooooooo… XD) because I love your photos, yes. But also because I love your style of writing. It’s so fun and so uplifting! Great stuff! Cheers, gents!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, Thanks so much for your kind comment! You literally just made our weekend! THANK YOU 🙂

      So so happy you like our writing style too – that means so much to us – really it does!

      Have an awesome week!

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • HELLLLOOOO! I found you guys through Bloglovin and I’m already in love with your blog! ALSO! My favorite aunt’s name is actually Yaya… never thought there’d be another Yaya around the world!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhhh, thanks so much, Eena! You’ve made our evening with your lovely comment! 🙂 Thank you.

      No way! There is another Yaya in the world! This makes me so happy!

      Yaya & Lloyd xx

  • Cora Harrison

    Fantastic blog guys. Honestly, inspiring. I’ve read so many travel blogs but all lack personality. You guys more than make up for it so thank you!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, thanks so much Cora! That is so kind of you to say – we’re so flattered and really ecstatic that you like our blog – it’s our passion and we’re genuinely humbled by your lovely words.

      Thank you! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Well isn’t this just the most fun “About Me” page ever? I love the cake bit at the end 😉 I’ve been perusing your blog and really like your guys’ style and look forward to reading more of your goodies!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhhhh, thanks so much Caitlin 🙂

      No ending is ever complete without cake… that’s gotta be a life motto right there! Haha!

      Thanks so much for your really kind and lovely words 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Izzati Liyana

    Hi, Yaya and Llyod…. I just recently found your blog and WOW!!! I LIKE IT!!! It feels like my passion for travelling is came out from the body…. But.. it is quite sad that I can’t find my beloved country on your Destination box which is Malaysia!!! So I was just wondering that when will u come to Malaysia? I would love to read about Malaysia on your blog. So yeah. Good Job guys!!! Keep on your good work cuz I love your photo!!! Salam Sayang from Malaysia!!!

    -Izzati, Malaysia-

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hi Izzati – thank you so much for your kind words! You made our evening with your lovely comment 🤗

      Ahhh, we’re hoping to visit Malaysia very very very soon! Definitely will try to head over this year. It’s somewhere we’ve been itching to explore. 🇲🇾

      Big hugs,

      Lloyd & Yaya 😘

  • Wow super impressed with the travel blog Yaya & Lloyd. Beautiful photography and so well written. My daughter would be horrified by the guinea pig meal as she thinks they’re the cutest things in the world – might take after you Lloyd… When are you heading to Queensland, Australia? The Gold and Sunshine Coast and of course The Great Barrier Reef await. I’m not sure you’ll remember Gavin, but we met once a million years ago were about twelve and I was sixteen. We visited you and family in Wales. Your mum is my great aunt- does that make us second cousins? Anyway, be sure to let me know if you’re ever in Oz ..take care and safe travels. Haley

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hayley, it’s so lovely to hear from you! Of course I remember…yeah, second cousins… I think! 😊 I hope all is good with you and the rest of the family. It’s funny, I was going to message your Mum as we due to be in Brisbane (and surrounding area) at the end of May – I was going to come and visit you all. Unfortunately, timings didn’t work… but next time for sure!

      Big hugs! xx

  • Shana Wilson

    I am traveling to Iceland this summer with friends and stumbled on your blog while doing research. I am loving it so far! Thank you for sharing your travels with us, cant wait to read more!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Shana! 🙂

      Iceland is incredible! You’re going to love it! Let us know if you need any advice or trips – always happy to help 😘

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Albert

    going to Barbados this May how did you guys get around. thinking of renting a car. if you rented where did it?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Barbados is such an incredible island. You will be able to pick a car up at the airport (or even from your hotel, who can organise). I found it quite easy to drive around the whole island. You’re going to love it!

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • Bindu Rammohan

    Just read your 5 days in Croatia. Terrific. Visiting in late Oct – early Nov for 5 days. Not clear – all nights in Split with day trips? Please respond…..

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We stayed in a few different hotels during the trip, but it can be done by staying in Split. Hope this helps.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Robert Kamau

    I must say your social media presence is huge. I can imagine your blog must have serious traffic. I may just consider running some advertisement here.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Robert. 😊

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • Fran

    Just read your post about Macchu Pichu, and climbing – brought back great memories and made my palms sweat remembering some dizzying spots especially the open staircases ! We actually got turned around somehow and went the opposite direction but still got to the very top after scaling a steep smooth rock -only to realize afterwards that there were stairs there . And can I add that 90% of the climbers were at least half our age and sprinted past us along the way- definitely a bucket list accomplishment for us

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! So amazing to hear your account Fran. So happy you got the the very top. It really is very special isn’t it – we loved it so much!

      It really is an accomplishment and something we’ll never forget. So happy you loved it too.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Miss Imee

    Traveling is also a major passion of mine, and I spend a lot of my free-time planning out future adventures. I would love to travel through South America sometime, especially Argentina. Something about the culture just speaks to me… not to mention, they make fantastic wine.

  • Alice Maria Rada

    This is such a brilliant, beautiful blog. Everything- from the appearance, to the blog posts themselves is perfect. Thank you for what you do guys. It’s truly amazing and inspiring.

    Much love, Alice

    • Thanks so much, Alice. So kind of you to say. It really means so much to us.

      Thank you.