How to pack for carry-on only

Travel freer, cheaper and hastle free

When it comes to traveling, I’ve become a pro at packing just a carry-on, even for those long trips. After my bag got lost during a two-month adventure in Trinidad and Tobago, I decided to ditch the hassle of checked luggage whenever possible.

And let me tell you, there are some major perks to having just carry-on luggage. No more waiting at baggage claim, no more circling around the carousel, and, most importantly, no more extra costs for checking in a bag. It’s all about that freedom!

Avoiding lost luggage is right at the top of my list when it comes to reasons for ditching checked bags.

With each trip I take, I learn a bunch of helpful things that I can apply to my next adventure. Trust me, there’s a lot to think about, whether you’re packing for carry-on or checked bags. The airlines seem to be tightening the screws when it comes to heavy suitcases, especially on international flights. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some awesome tricks up my sleeve. By following these packing tips, you’ll be less likely to forget important items and can focus on enjoying your travels.

Research Airline Policies and Size/Weight Limits

The first step in packing efficiently is to research airline policies and size/weight limits. Every airline has different policies regarding carry-on luggage, so it's important to check their websites for specific restrictions. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has regulations for prohibited items, so make sure to review those as well. Knowing these policies can help prevent your bag from being rejected at the airport.

Invest in a lightweight, quality bag

Investing in a quality, sustainable, and lightweight bag is crucial for efficient packing. When searching for a bag, look for durable materials and sturdy construction. Consider size and weight for easy maneuverability. Explore different styles and features, such as expandable compartments or removable straps. Remember that a quality bag is a long-term investment that will save you time and money in the future.

The biggest decision to make when choosing your carry-on luggage is whether you want a backpack or a piece of luggage with wheels.

Me laying my clothes ou

Spread everything out

Before packing spread everything out and look at it again the next day. This technique helps me to see if I have forgotten something. Also, usually, it helps me eliminate unnecessary stuff. When unsure what to choose, always opt for the more lightweight option!

Create a packing list

Packing for a trip can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to deciding what to bring in your carry-on. Creating a packing list is one of the most important steps in efficient packing. Determine essential items based on your itinerary, climate, and local culture. But with so many things to consider, where do you even start?

First, make a list of everything you absolutely need, such as your passport, phone charger, and any necessary medication.

Consider multi-purpose items to decrease the amount of clothing needed, so think about versatile outfits that can be mixed and matched.

A packing list not only helps organize your thoughts but also prevents overpacking.

Pack efficiently

Now that you have your packing list, it's time to pack efficiently.

1. Utilize rolling techniques to save space and prevent wrinkles.

2. Use packing cubes or compression bags to further maximize space.

3. Avoid packing bulky items that take up valuable room in your bag.

4. Keep in mind that liquid items are not allowed in bigger sizes. Face and Hair products in the shapes of bars will go a long way!

5. Remember to pack the items you will need during the flight at the top of your bag, such as your passport, boarding pass, and headphones.

Use the pillowcase trick

I use the pillow case trick to bring my spare outfits in my carry on

First, stuff all your clothes into the zippered pillowcase. Then, cover it with a regular pillowcase. Voila! Not only do you free up space in your bag for other essentials, but you also have a cozy pillow to sleep on during your flight. Plus, remember all those extra outfits you thought you couldn't bring? With this hack, you can bring them along too!

What makes this hack even better is that most airlines don't consider a pillow as a carry-on item. So you can enjoy all the perks without any worries. Try it out and pack like a pro on your next adventure!

Packing cubes

Organize Items within the Bag

Organizing items within the bag is the final step in efficient packing. Take advantage of pockets and compartments for easy access to important items. Consider using packing cubes to group items by category or outfit. Use a luggage tag to clearly identify your bag. Organizing your bag not only makes it easy to find what you need but also saves you time and frustration.

Pack it and try it!

To make sure you did not overpack I highly recommend packing everything one day prior and actually putting everything in your backpack. I have overpacked so many time and ended up being stressed by reducing stuff last minute.

Have Fun!

Backpacking is all about having an adventure and exploring the unknown so don't let packing overwhelm you and take away from your fun. With these tips, you can have your backpack

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