I have an adult daughter I love to travel with and we have been fortunate to go several places around the world together. As the saying goes she would pack everything but the kitchen sink and I knew if I had forgotten something she would have it. When she would come home for Christmas we would always laugh that she had to bring two suit cases and a carry on for a seven day stay.
This same daughter came back from a trip to Switzerland and Prague this year and informed me she had only taken a carry-on bag. I was astonished. I asked her if she felt like she needed more and she said no.
Advantages to using only a carry-on bag when flying:
It is wonderful not checking bags and having to wait in line to check them, and then wait even longer for them to come off the belt to pick up. This saves a lot of time and frustration.
Knowing that your bag wouldn’t be lost.
Not having heavy baggage to lug up and down stairs and off and on trains or other modes of transportation.
Packing only the essentials.
Saving money by not having to pay money to check one or more bags.
So how on earth do you pack just a carry-on bag instead of larger bags? I just went to Japan for 10 days so I have some firsthand knowledge of how to do this. At first I had to receive constant reassurance from my daughter that I could do it because frankly I didn’t know how I could do it. When packing only a carry-on there is not the luxury of packing clothing “just in case I might want it”, planning ahead is very important. Everything you pack will be used.
First of all check with your airline, this can be done on line, to find out what their measurement restrictions are. Domestic and International can be different. Measure your bag three ways; length wise, the depth and side to side. Add these three together and you have the size of your bag.
I still pack everything in plastic bags, by squeezing out the air you can get more in them. Rolling your clothes takes up less space. If you are concerned about wrinkles you can buy wrinkle free clothes, use the hotel’s iron, or lay them flat for your outgoing trip and then as you collect things on your trip roll them up for the return trip.
Wear one blouse and take two other blouses for a total of three. These can be two short sleeves and one long sleeve if going to a warm climate, or reversed for a cold climate. Check the local weather before you pack.
Wear one long pair of pants and pack two short pair, or reversed depending on the weather. If you like to wear skirts or dresses, change out one of these.
Take as many socks and underwear as you are willing to wash outI mean if you don’t want to wash only every four to six days then take that many.
Wear your bulkier shoes and pack your lighter ones. If you will only need one pair, that saves even more space. Two pair might be a good idea if you are planning on going to the beach, out for the evening, or if you think you may get your feet wet.
For cosmetics take as few as possible and in 3 oz. or smaller sizes as those are the TSA rules. Put all gels and liquids in a quart size plastic zip bag before getting to the airport. Place them in the outside pocket of your luggage and you can take it out easily to go through security.
Pack enough medications for the duration of your trip and a few extra pills in case of emergencies. Keep these in their original bottles, ask the pharmacists to put them in the smallest bottles available with a label.
If you need a curling iron or blow dryer buy a travel size. Everyplace I have been are now providing blow dryers. Buy smaller hair brushes.
Use a bungee cord to attach a jacket to your bag to stroll through the airport, doesn’t take up valuable space on the inside of your bag.
I do not recommend the hard suitcases as a carry-on bag because they don’t have any pockets on the outside you can put things in. Like your plastic bag with liquids. And other things you may need to tuck in at the last second.
If you travel often within the USA to relatives homes keep things like blow dryers, extra tooth paste, brushes and so forth in a closed container that can be kept out of their way on a shelf or under the bed at their homes. This saves you space when traveling and keeps you organized.
If you travel often keep small size products in the plastic zip lock and keep them with your travel supplies. The next time you travel your personal items will be all ready to go and this will save you time.
If you are traveling with children get them carry-ons they can not only pull, but holds all their clothing and stuff, even if you have to carry it along with yours, a paying customer is allowed one carry-on and one personal item. Too often I see kids just pulling little dinky carry-ons.
You are also allowed a personal item so use your back pack for your book to read, whatever you take to hold your I.D., money, treats, and other things you want to get to without opening the overhead bin. For the children load their backpacks with things they will need for the trip, activities and treats would be the main things to include.
Time management is important to all of us and you will not only make the most of your time but you will see that being organized has its distinct advantages even when traveling.