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Packing tips: How to travel with only carry-on


September 07, 2017



In today’s age of social media, we’re flooded with beautiful images from all around the world. Instagram and Facebook make travel look easy and enjoyable, but the truth is that it’s hard work. Transiting can be stressful and exhausting.

Rest easy though as there are many things you can do to minimise the hassles and strain travel can bring. One of those things is literally taking a load off by restricting your luggage and travelling with just your carry on.

Hauling suitcases is not only cumbersome, it can also cost you quite a bit these days with many airlines charging exorbitant fees for checked luggage. Then there’s the dreaded scenario of lost bags. According to Condé Nast Traveler, the 2016 SITA Baggage Report states that some 23 million bags were mishandled or lost … and that’s an extremely good year according to historic facts.

So treat your next holiday like you would a first date and leave most of your baggage at home. Here are some tips on how to do so.


Essentials You Need to Pack

Travel is all about leaving your mundane everyday life for adventure and excitement, so why take your ordinary life with you. Most travelers and up taking things they rarely use or don’t even unpack at all. So what do you need?

Clothes are of course essential but don’t take your entire wardrobe. Undergarments may need to be changed daily but things like jeans and sweatshirts can get a lot of use before they need to be washed. You can also easily find laundry facilities everywhere these days, and this will often be a lot cheaper than checking a bag. According to Fox News, in 2016 U.S. airlines alone collected over $4 billion in baggage fees.

Medications and things like extra sets of contact lenses or glasses are a must, but thankfully they take up very little space. Pack anything that may be difficult or costly to obtain abroad.

Electronics are also a must; laptops and iPads give us access to an encyclopedia of knowledge, and cameras record our experiences to share with the world and preserve for ourselves.

An organized folder filled with reservation confirmations, hotel addresses, visas, and planned itineraries with researched tips will also prove to be extremely useful and save time. This is extremely important when partaking in long trips which cover multiple destinations.


What to Leave at Home

Travelers tend to take way too many toiletries. Most things you will need on a daily basis come complimentary at hotels, and worst case you can always pick up whatever you are missing at a local pharmacy or supermarket.

It’s always good to plan for a rainy day however leave things like umbrellas at home along with other bulky items, and opt for borrowing or renting what you may need (most hotels have umbrellas stored at reception).

Leave your books at home. Nothing can put you over your carry on weight limit faster than a few books. With today’s technology you can literally fit an entire library into your chosen device.


How to Pack

Packing cubes or vacuum packs are a great way to condense your items into a small space. It is also advisable to wear your most bulky articles of clothing on the flight, and that means large jackets. Planes are many times cold anyway so you can be assured to stay comfortable. You can always take layers off and it won’t count against your carry on allowance.

Many airlines allow one carry on plus a personal item. Place your laptop, camera, and other gadgets including anything you may need during the flight in your personal item, which can go under the seat and allow for more room in your carry on suitcase.


Purchase Items While Travelling

Pack light and purchase as necessary. As previously stated, many items we may find ourselves needing can be obtained during our holiday. Even the smallest of nations and cities tend to have modern day shopping facilities, many filled with products and brands we are familiar with.

Leave all snacks at home as many countries have restrictions on importing food items and trying new cuisine is one of the best parts of travel anyway.

Remember to leave room in your carry on for souvenirs and think about packing less clothing than you think you need, especially if you might purchase new fashion while overseas.


How to Get Extra Carry On

Many airlines are getting stricter with their carry on allowance but there are ways to get the most out of your allotted luggage.

As mentioned before, wear your bulkiest shoes and clothing onboard to free up space in your hand luggage. Wearing hats, sunglasses, and other accessories will also leave you with more room. Wearing a jacket with a lot of pockets can give you more room to place items you may need during the flight.

Remember that even if you’re not checking luggage, you should still be covered with quality travel insurance.. Peace of mind is worth its weight in gold.