Traveling by air is not the easiest thing to do! Traveling with 1 carry-on and 1 personal item can be a difficult task, but I have been managing to do it since July 2013 (aside from one trip which was a stupid mistake…long story). I am no expert, but I’ve mastered it to make it work for me. I’d love to share what I have learned and my successes with you! I travel for months at a time with only my carry-on. I have mentioned this before, but there is something more freeing than flying without a checked bag! I have learned to live with less and realized that I didn’t need as much as I thought. Yes, there are things that I miss and things I wish I had, but I can live without those items.
What’s my go-to travel outfit?
Dressing in layers is key! I usually wear comfortable athletic sneakers, comfortable jeans, knee high sport compression stockings (to help increase the blood flow in my legs when flying and to reduce swelling from sitting for long periods of time), black cotton tank top, black cotton t-shirt, zip-up light-weight athletic jacket, and a cotton shrug over top!
What’s in my Lug purse (which is inside of my backpack)?
First of all, the brand Lug makes incredible travel friendly bags which have a lot of pockets to put all of my travel items in. I love my Lug purse because it has a place for everything including a side water bottle pocket. It’s the perfect day bag. I carry my wallet, passport (not when I am in my destination of course- I leave that locked up in a safe), travel documents, small note book, sunglasses, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, hand cream, nail file, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and Burt’s Bees hand salve (perfect for dry skin on face and hands) in my purse.
What’s in my LLBean back pack?
I carry all of travel essentials in my backpack from travel accessories (i.e. mini-flash light, dry sac, plug converters, etc…), technology (lap top, mouse, cameras, camera gadgets, cell phone, and ipod- all for documenting my trips and blogging of course), reading material, snacks, scarf, sarong, noise canceling headphones, and water bottle.
What’s in my roller bag?
I carry enough clothes to go 2 weeks (sometimes more) without needing to wash them!
1 small towel
2 sport bras
Columbia strap on sandals (when your shoes need to stay on and your feet get wet)
Havaianas flip flops
Rider flip flop sandals (more comfortable than Havaianas)
Roxy Loafers (perfect day to night wear)
5 pairs of white sport socks
2 cotton beach dresses
2 cotton street to beach dresses
1 small Mountain Equipment Co-op day back-pack
1 short sleeve shrug
2 sport shorts (which I can also use to sleep in)
1 dress pant capri
3 sport capri pants
1 button up shirt
2 t-shirts (can also be used for pajama tops)
1 pair of cotton PJ shorts
2 bathing suit skirt cover ups
7 cotton tank tops
5 bathing suits- mix and match
1 yoga top
1 yoga pant
Yes, this all fits in my roller bag! I have learned how to pack throughout the years and how to make it all fit.
What can I live without?
-Fancy & expensive jewellery
-Extra purses and accessories
What are my must haves?
-Reusable water bottle
-Snorkel and mask
-Bose noise canceling headphones
-Day to beach wear (cotton dresses work well)
-Comfortable shoes: sneakers and flip flops are a must!
-Light cotton clothing
-Mix and match bathing suits
-Athletic capri pants
-A sarong (which can be used as a blanket on the plane, beach blanket, towel, dress, or skirt)
-Cotton scarf for colder days/nights (which can also be used as a shawl or skirt)
I can’t emphasize enough: comfort, flexibility, and the ability to mix and match~! I won’t have the ability to travel full time forever, so I am taking advantage of living without the extras to travel light and care free. Luxuries are not needed.
What are my tips for successful carry-on travel?
– #1, check airline restrictions for Carry-On luggage. Most airlines are similar. Here are two airlines I use often:
- Delta– large bag size: 22inches x 14 x 9
Air Canada– large bad size: 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 ; small bag size 13 x 17 x 6
-Become a master packer
-Be creative when packing
-Pack things within things
-Buy travel size accessories: i.e. Flash light
-Buy small travel size body products
-Use “liquid-less” face and body products (i.e. moistened face wipes, baby wipes, dry cleansing clothes which you just add water to)
-Utilize all the space you have
-Only bring what you need for the days you are away (i.e don’t bring a full bottle of Advil if you don’t think you will need it all)
-Research what is expensive/cheap in the places you plan to visit. Wait and buy the products you know will be cheap in that destination.
-Find a carry-on bag that suits your needs (I am still searching for the perfect bag).
-Benefits of a fabric bag: you can fit more in them, but they bulge (sometimes wider than airline measurement restrictions) when packed to the max (which I do)
– Benefits of a soft shell bag (as pictured above): although they hold slightly less, you can be sure that the bag will not bulge and change size when packed full
-Figure out what your must haves are and pack those first
-Always pack less than you think you need
-Learn to live with less
-Enjoy the freedom of traveling with on a carry-on
If you have any questions I’d love to tell you more!