8 travelling hacks for travelling with only a carry-on
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all throw our items in our small carry-on luggage and then fly into the distance without a worry in the world. The reality is usually not so simple, it can be an utter nightmare fitting all of our beloved possessions into one tiny jam packed case. But if there was an opportunity to take the hassle out of carry-on packing, I’m sure most people would jump at the chance. I’ve put together 8 packing hacks for travelling with only a carry-on, which will help you travel like a pro.
Fold and roll
The rolling method my fave options, when it comes to packing a carry-on bag, as it minimises wrinkles yet maximises space in the long run. The process can be done by laying your clothes flat and then rolling them tightly, creating an egg roll type of visual. A tip, is to start with the bigger items and then work your way down packing smaller pieces of clothing, that way you will have no annoying surprises at the end. I can’t even count how many times I’ve used this savvy method, but it always works like a charm.
Wear your bulkiest clothes when travelling
It can be a bit tricky planning what to wear on a flight, as there can be a number of aspects to consider when it comes to being comfortable and practical on board. The weather at your final destination will also play a big role when choosing the right clothes for travel. If you’re visiting a scorching location, the wrong idea would be wearing solely a wooly jumper with tight jeans, but you can still bulk up for the ride with more flexible interchangeable clothing. When it comes to thicker clothes on a summer holiday, wearing layers is key. It’s beneficial wearing a lightly hidden t-shirt underneath a heavy jumper, because it leaves you with the freedom of whipping off your bulky jumper when it gets too hot in the cabin. Another idea is wearing cycling shorts under some looser trousers, which can then be taken off at your final destination. Aim to wear your heavier shoes when flying also, as this will allow you more space in your carry-on to fill with all important essentials.
Organise your bag with Compression cubes
Compression cubes are incredibly clever, allowing significant space in your carry on while keeping your clothes in regimented order. I swear by these wonderful resourceful tools, which allow me to pack smarty and travel smoothly! If you don’t already know, compression packing cubes are small rectangular pouches made of thick fabric that unzips on 3 sides. With their lightweight and compact design, these handy cubes provide a material compartment which you can use to pack and organise your belongings into without any hassle. I can always access contents quickly when I’m on the move, and that’s thanks to my trusty mini compression ‘suitcases’!
I found that the Ansio Packing Cubes via Amazon met my needs the best. They were extremely versatile, organising our items in perfect order.
Cut down on shoes
When you’re working with carry-on luggage, shoes can be the biggest space-stealing culprits and that’s no lie. You’ll find a lot of dead space is taken up in the place of extraneous shoes, and this can result in order significant items wrestling for luggage room. Try to look attentively at how many pairs of shoes you really need for the style of holiday you’re taking. Avoid thinking ‘just in case’ and be smart on your footwear choices. If you’re stuck for ideas, as an example, you could pack a classy set of evening shoes and pair of casual plimsoles for the day time, while saving your bulkiest shoes for the flight.
Go digital all the way
Piling books and magazines into my hand luggage sounds like a great idea at the time, until I blink and the whole contents of my bag is full to the brim. Luckily the world has advanced digital equipment now, known by the name of ‘technology.’ By investing in a slim lined iPad or Kindle book reader, you’ll have all of your go-to entertainment in one place, plus you’ll get to watch the volume size of your carry-on bag significantly increase – it’s a win-win! I’ve always enjoyed listening to the latest audio books by the pool while relaxing, and whenever outside entertainment is lacking, I can always watch all of the latest movies and TV shows on my trusty devices.
Bring multi-purpose items with you
Try to always opt for a minimalistic approach when aiming for a reduction in baggage size. We don’t always think about this, but there are items out there which will dramatically improve space because of their multi-functional purposes. For instance, if you’re visiting a place with interchangeable weather, a scarf is ideal to wear around your neck when it’s a bit cooler, while it can be used as a sarong during the hotter days. A pashmina can work the same way, practically used as a scarf, blanket or towel. There are also multi-purpose soaps now that can be used as shampoo, shower gel, shaving cream and more… When you implement these type of items into your packing approach, it will save you large amounts of space in the long run.
Plan your daily outfits well
How often have you packed for every given clothing scenario when you’re on your holidays, only to realise you haven’t used half of the clothes in your luggage? Yes… I’ve done it too, don’t worry! But I’ve learned overtime that, instead of squeezing everything you possibly can into your carry-on bag, you can pro-actively create a visual wardrobe for your week ahead. Sure, planning every piece of your daily outfit in advance does take a little more preparation, but the upfront effort will pay off when your bag space begins to free up. Don’t overthink things though, simply pick basic items that will complete the outfit, i.e. tops, trousers, etc. Particular items of clothing such as jeans, trousers and various tops can be re-worn to create different looks, helping to optimise the number of clothes you really need to pack. Recreating your pre-planned closet through photos is also a great way of visualising your clothing combinations in real-time. The best way to do this is to position your outfit choices out on the bed, have a play around mixing and matching your items, while experimenting with some fun pics. Lastly, dress for the occasion! Will your vacation involve lounging by the pool, City sightseeing or even hiking? Knowing what each day is going to look like while you are on holiday is key, when planning the ultimate pre-planned wardrobe.
Pack the largest items first
It may seem simple enough, but placing your larger and bulkier items is a top tip, because it gives you realistic expectations when it comes to filling space. The issue of packing smaller items becomes apparent, when you realise that you’ve packed way too many trivial little items, and there’s no space left for the bigger items. Look at it like this, if you initially fill your bag full of sand, how are the rocks and pebbles going to squeeze in? I personally think there’s less pressure and stress on my part, once I’ve placed all of my big items in my bag because those little top up pieces tend to neatly fit around those hefty items with no hassle.