Nobody wants to experience the same chaos of last summer with lost baggage and long waiting lines at the check in counters. Therefore, in order to skip all that misery, I have some tips and tricks to help you to just travel with a carry-on. This will make traveling a bit less stressful and believe me, you can pack more than you think. Before you start packing, check the weight limits for carry on luggage with your airline along with the number of bags you can bring along. This will differ per airline.
1. Make optimal use of clothing sets
It is best to do this a few days in advance. Prepare everything you want to take with you. Make sure you always bring a few basic items that you can combine with other items of clothing such as a pair of jeans which you can wear with several t-shirts or tops. Trying on everything in advance and taking photos of the items will help to prevent packing unnecessary clothing.
In addition, wear your ‘heaviest’ clothes when you fly. If you have a short flight, you can also put on layers. Perhaps for a long flight this will not be ideal. Alternatively, wear your most comfortable outfit but with your heaviest shoes or shoes that would take up a lot of space in your suitcase.
2. Roll and do not fold
What will save you a lot of space is rolling up your clothes. Roll them up tightly and you can actually store more in your suitcase than you think. The advantage of rolling is that it will wrinkle less compared to folding everything. If you still have wrinkles but no iron, you can hang the clothes in the bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam ensures that the wrinkles are reduced.
3. Use all the space in the suitcase
More tips when traveling with a carry-on only: Use every inch in your suitcase. If you bring a small handbag, fill it with underwear for example. If you have a pair of sneakers in your suitcase, fill them with socks. Put everything in small bags to keep everything ‘fresh’.
Also take anything out of packaging. It may not make a lot of difference, but every little bit helps.
I would only use this method for clothing that is allowed to wrinkle since a vacuum bag does give you folds and creases, however, it saves a lot of space. I apply this process for tops, underwear, and pajamas. On the return flight, I place all clothing in the vacuum bags since obviously the wrinkles will not matter at that point as everything will be washed anyway.
Use vacuum bags whenever you will not need a vacuum cleaner. You can purchase these anywhere for just a few dollars. Simply by rolling and applying some force, all of the air releases out of the bag. This makes it one solid package.
5. Washing at your vacation address
Another option is to wash your clothes at your vacation address. There are travel size detergents that you can take with you and therefore you can take less clothing. This is handy for clothes that are not too dirty and only need a refresh.
Another option would be hotels that offer a laundry service. You can then have some clothes washed on-site using this service. Keep in mind that this process would incur extra costs. In large cities you also have the option of using a nearby laundromat.
Another one of those tips: If you only travel with a carry-on luggage, you will have the max of 1 liter of liquids that you can take with you in a container of up to 3.4 oz (100ml.). Pay attention to this since they are very strict about this rule. You can also buy travel size products for vacation. They are however quite pricey in comparison to the regular sized packages. Otherwise, you can also purchase empty travel minis and fill them yourself with the products you always use.
What I often do is take the minis from the hotel I’ve stayed in and simply reuse them. I rinse these well and fill them with my shampoo or shower gel. The empty minis for purchase are sometimes too big for the number of days of your trip and that’s a waste of space.
7. iPad/ E-reader
Don’t take books with you when you’re running out of space. Instead upload them on an e-reader or on your iPad. Also, I would advise not to take a laptop with you unless you really need it. You can upload so much content on an iPad instead. Alternately, you can simply upload everything on your phone. It is a smaller screen but you have everything on one device.
I recently came across some “tips” on social media although I don’t think I would use them any time soon. Currently, it is going viral that you can take extra items with you in a pillowcase however, I don’t know if this really works.
This process surely won’t cause any problems with security however, I don’t know it will a be a problem upon boarding. It’s possible that it may be charged as an extra carry-on and in this case you would be stuck with it not fitting in your suitcase or it may be too heavy. Surely now that this method is going viral, TSA is going to pay more attention to it.
If the airline still wants you to check in your suitcase and you are afraid of losing your suitcase, you can also put a tracker in your suitcase. In this way at least you will know whether your suitcase is on the plane, and the location of it.
Don’t forget to pack at least one set of clothing and underwear in your personal purse/ bag. In this way, if your suitcase is lost or left behind, you always have an extra set of clothing and underwear. Also note, never put all the important items you can’t live without in your suitcase if it has to be checked in.