Traveling with only a carry-on bag is more convenient than checking in luggage. It saves you money by limiting checked-luggage fees. It allows you to save time at the check-in counter by using self-check-in kiosks and while departing the airport as you don’t have to wait for your luggage to arrive.
It also ensures that your luggage makes it on the same flight as you, and gives you access to all of your belongings during any layovers. However, with increased flight security and ever-tightening requirements for carry-on luggage, it can be difficult to fit the essentials in a carry-on. These tips will help you to maximize your carry-on space and make it much easier to skip the checked-luggage counter.
First of all, you should invest in the largest carry-on within your airline’s limits. This can be a bit tricky, as many airlines have different carry-on specifications. If you are buying your luggage specifically for one, longer trip then you can purchase a bag that fits the airline’s specifications. Otherwise, you might want to opt for a soft bag that can be stuffed to the fullest on airlines that allow, and packed a bit lighter when traveling with stricter airlines. A soft bag can be bunched down a bit to fit into testing areas. However, you might still want wheels on your carry-on, especially if it is your only bag, as they can get rather heavy.
The second step to fit everything in your carry-on is to plan well in advance. If you are doing all of your packing the night before you leave, you might end up needing that checked bag. However, if you can give yourself two nights, or a week for longer trips, then you can take the time to truly assess what you need and where it will fit in your bag. Begin by laying out everything you think you want to bring. Then, begin removing items you can do without. Packing fewer shoes and only one jacket or coat saves a lot of space. Also, consider whether you will be able to do laundry at your destination, which can sometimes cut your packing needs in half.
Once you have your pile down to a manageable size it is time to start packing. It is suggested that you roll your clothing, rather than folding it, as it takes up less space. Pack the largest, heaviest rolls at the bottom of your suitcase, and stuff lighter clothing into cracks. Also, make sure to utilize the space in your shoes by filling them with socks or other small items. To keep things organized you can use large zip-lock bags to separate out your belongings. That way you will be able to quickly repack your bag every time you have to open it, even if it is filled to the maximum.
While you are doing this packing, keep in mind that most airlines allow a carry-on as well as a personal item. Instead of carrying a small purse, or tiny laptop case, make your personal item a large tote-bag. You can fit your purse or laptop (containing your favorite mobile legends game) in the tote and have room to pack other essential items that you will want to access during the flight.
One of the reasons most people end up checking a bag is to not have to deal with the restrictions on liquids. However, it is rather easy to keep within the 3-1-1 rule if you are willing to give up some of your personal care items for a week. Opt to use the shampoo and conditioner offered at your hotel instead of bringing your own. If you are going to a beach destination, you will definitely have your choice of sunscreens and skincare products available when you land. If you really need your brand of shampoo, it might be cheaper to buy a small bottle when you arrive rather than paying for a checked back to haul it 1,000 miles with you.
Fitting everything into a carry-on might not be the easiest task at first, but with practice it becomes second nature. You may even find the size of your carry-on decreasing as you begin to realize how liberating it is to travel with less luggage!