Packing Tips When Traveling with Only a Carry-On

During the holidays, prices for baggage can really go high that’s why more vacationers opt to travel with a carry-on alone.  It may sound impossible for some, especially for over packers, but trust me, with careful planning and innovation, you can do it.  If this is your first time, here are some tips and tricks for packing the perfect carry-on (and ONLY a carry-on).

Know the airline’s luggage policy.

Every airline has its own set of policies so before you choose or purchase a bag and start packing, make sure that it complies with the size and weight restrictions.  Some airlines allow a personal item (purse, backpack or laptop bag) in addition to your carry-on but some don’t.  Check beforehand to avoid getting busted at the gate and end up paying for extra charges.

Pack multi-functional items that can serve double duty.

One example of this is a scarf then can be used in multiple ways – to keep you warm, cover your shoulders if you are visiting a church/temple, a beach cover up, a mat for sitting on the beach/grass or roll it up to use as a pillow when in transit.

Don’t bother to bring toiletries.

Without a doubt, there will be toiletries sold in your destination.  Just take the basics that you need like your skincare and leave the rest at home.  Also, make sure that all your liquids, gels, creams, etc. pass the TSA’s rules.

Get creative with your outfits.

When packing, make sure to have your outfits planned ahead of time.  Choose clothing pieces that you can layer, re-wear and mix up.  It’s all about being strategic while maintaining your style.  Stick with neutral pieces and a consistent color scheme that you can easily mix and match.  You don’t need to bring a bunch of shoes too!  A pair of comfy walking shoes, dress shoes and sneakers will do.

Choose clothing fabrics wisely.

Go for thin, light weight clothes to save space and won’t add to much weight to your carry-on.  Also pick clothes that are won’t get wrinkled easily to avoid the hassle of ironing clothes when you are on a vacation.

Compress or Roll your clothes.

To take up less space, don’t fold your clothing items.  Thin items such as shirts, swimwear and tank tops can be tightly rolled; while bulky items such as sweaters and pants can be put inside a compression bag where you can pump out the air.  Brands like Samsonite and Eagle Creek sell those.

Layer your clothes and wear your heaviest and bulkiest shoes.

For your airport wear, layer clothes as much as you can without looking ridiculous and sacrificing comfort of course.  For example wear a tank, then a shirt over it, then your jacket and pair it with your thickest bottom wear and your heaviest shoes like your boots or sneakers for example.

After you’ve packed everything, make sure to weigh your carry-on luggage to make sure that you are still within the baggage allowance.

About Toni Marie

Toni is a contributing author. In addition to writing about the Baby Boomer generation, she also likes to write about relationships and health.
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