How To Travel With Only A Carry-On.

How To Travel With Only A Carry-On.

Hey friends! I have only traveled with a carry-on since I was a child. There have been very few times that I have traveled with a checked bag – and that was only because we flew Spirit Airlines and it was cheaper to check than to carry. That’s pretty rare though. With more and more airlines charging exorbitant fees for checked luggage, I found only traveling with a carry-on to be a necessity for saving money. So how do I pack enough for a two week trip with only a carry-on? Keep reading!

How To Travel With Only A Carry On.

Tip #1: Plan Your Outfits 

I start thinking about what I’ll be wearing on the trip a couple weeks before I leave. And then taking into account the weather, I’ll start packing a few days beforehand. For hot weather locations, such as Mexico, I packed items such as dresses, shorts, tank tops, and sandals. Since these items were light weight, I was able to pack more outfits.

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For colder weather locations, it’s a little more difficult to pack as much in a small carry on since clothes are typically thicker and cozier. I plan my outfits far more carefully when traveling to cold weather locations. I typically will bring a few pairs of jeans (dark denim and black), some long sleeved tops that will pair well with each jeans,  I’ll wear one of the pairs of jeans, a long sleeved top, my thickest sweater, and a coat onto the plane so it doesn’t take up room in my bag. It works well since I get super cold on planes anyways. But if I get hot, I can take off the coat/sweater and use them as a pillow if need be.

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Tip #2: Roll Your Clothes

I am a chronic over-packer. It’s built into my bones. I think of every single thing I could possibly need while away, and I’ll bring it. Only traveling with a carry on has really helped tone down my packrat tendencies but I’ve still found a way to bring more shit with me. Rolling my clothes has allowed me to bring double the amount of clothing I could fit if I just folded them regularly. I swear by this. You can easily search on Pinterest for the correct and efficient way to roll clothing so I won’t bore you here.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Your Personal Item

Don’t carry a small purse as your personal item. Take advantage of the size limits considered for a personal item. I will bring my hiking backpack as my personal item and fit my purse, camera bag, laptop and chargers, and some extra clothing. If the airline is a little more strict with what’s considered a personal item, I will bring my camera bag instead and stuff my purse and some clothing inside and have Christopher put my laptop in his personal item (usually a smaller backpack).


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What are some of your tips for only traveling with a carry-on?

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