Why You Should Consider Traveling Carry-On-Only
Traveling carry-on-only has become our preferred way of flying for years now. Since the airlines adjusted their fees, racking around $25 each way… That's $100 extra for the two of us on a round trip. We said, "No way Jose. We can do this!"
Since making travel a priority in life, we have adopted a more minimalist approach. Materialistic items are less of a need in our lives, as our money is best spent on experiences. With that mindset, there is no reason why we should overload our luggage full of clothes. Realistically, we never even wear all the clothes we bring.
So beat the system
And not worry about missing bags
We opted to always be carry-on only and to tell you the truth, we still find ourselves not wearing everything we bring.
Pretty crazy, right?
It’s all about being smart. So I decided to reach out and see if others were on the same train as us and sure enough they were!
Here are 5 travel bloggers who agree with our style of traveling and provide us their personal insights and what makes it work best for them.
Grab a pen and paper, these tips can be useful!
My first three trips abroad I was lugging around a suitcase that I could have fit in myself, full of things I never ended up using or wearing. I was also traveling in groups for school, so I never really had to lift my suitcase all that much. Then I decided to go on my first solo backpacking trip.
I am not a strong person. I knew I wouldn't be able to lug around a 70-liter backpack on my back, much less be able to hand it up to people over my head to go on top of buses and shuttles. That's why I decided to go carry-on only. I got the perfect 40-liter backpack that opens from the front making it super easy to get everything in and out.
It's made traveling a lot easier. I don't have to worry about my luggage being lost. I can lift it myself, even into the overhead bins, but sometimes people still offer to help get it down. I don't end up overpacking. I can always keep my bag with me on crowded buses if I need to so I don't have to worry about it as much as if it were under the bus.
My biggest tip for minimizing is to pack solid versions of liquid things. LUSH is my favorite place for these things. You can find solid shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash tabs, toothpaste tabs, bar soap, and even solid moisturizing bars. I'll always be team carry-on only.
When first started traveling I used to be an over-packer and would always check luggage before I learned my lesson and changed my ways to become the carry-on only traveler that I am today. I have a few strategies to share;
First I use a travel packing list template that I customize for each trip to make sure I pack all the items that I need and nothing more. I limit how many shoes I bring as shoes are heavy and take up the most room in my bag. I roll my clothes to save space and also use packing cubes to keep everything organized in my bag.
Traveling with carry-on luggage is a big money and time saver – I don’t have to pay any checked and overweight bag fees, I can take public transportation from the airport and I avoid the painfully long wait for my bag around the baggage carousel.
I live in Geneva, Switzerland and often make a weekend or a week backpack trip to many other places in Europe. One of the lessons that I have learned is minimizing my articles of clothes.
I cannot compromise on essentials like toiletry kit, medical kit, and my cosmetic kit. My camera, Bluetooth speakers, and drone occupy the rest of my space. So, I generally wear one and carry an extra pair of jeans and make pouches day-wise to define my wardrobe in my backpack. I separate the t-shirts with my intimates and a fresh pair of socks, put them all in a pouch and vacuum it so it occupies minimum space. I would carry a colorful scarf or bandana to team it with my t-shirts in different ways to give my pictures a new look every day. It really helps me in saving a lot of space in my backpack, making it lighter, easier to carry and of course more organized.
I never travel with soap, shampoo or conditioner bottles anymore. Bars are a lot more convenient when on the move, whether you’re flying or on a road trip. I ended up loving my bar products so much that I now also use them at home. I’m currently using Lush Products.
Shampoo and conditioner bars are fantastic for three reasons. First, when weight and space are the most significant challenges to travel with a carry-on only, shampoo and conditioner bars are light and compact. Second, bars are a lot better than liquids which are always a risk for security reasons and because they can leak and ruin your clothes. Finally, shampoo and conditioner bars can be bought without packaging, limiting the use of plastic and resources which is great for the environment.
Whenever I travel, I choose to travel with only a carry-on! Yes, be it a short 3-day to a month-long trip, I’ve managed to travel from tropical sunny Singapore to wintery Europe, Scandinavia, and the United States of America getting a lot of curious stares for my minimalist ways.
The reason for this is simple, you’ll receive a massive load of cost-savings and spare yourself the trouble of getting a lost checked bag and spoiling the rest of your holiday. You can get from city to city on many low-cost carriers for a really good price. When I was still a poor undergraduate having my exchange in Europe, every cent mattered but this habit lasted for the next 5 years!
Here are my space-saving tips to travel for winter destinations: Get dri-fit innerwear as much as possible. Bring 3 sets of undergarments and socks and wash them every night! For the ladies, you’ll need a pair of jeans, a pair of leggings, a dress, a scarf, innerwear, a mid-layer (I use Uniqlo’s ultralight packable down), and a thick black winter jacket (black matches everything!) you can mix and match your clothes. It is also not much of a hassle to do the laundry every night once you purchase those travel detergents. Otherwise, most hostels and hotels also do have a laundry service. For souvenirs, get magnets or photos as experiences matter more than what you shop for.
Do we have you convinced yet?
Listen it’s never easy at first, but we promise you, with a little practice you will be minimizing the load more and more every day.
It stars with your Carry- On and will lead to your own closet, household goods and more.
Keeping life simple with one less thing to worry about at a time.