Fashion Magazine

How To Travel With A Carry On Only

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
I was not a carry-on person for a longest time. It never even crossed my mind that it was an option. Not until I moved to the U.S. and the airlines started charging you for checking-in everything down to your underwear. Being on a  budget and yet loving to travel inspired me to explore carry-on only. Best decision ever! The only time I check-in my bag is when the trip is longer than a week and/or I am going back home! 

I cannot recommend this travel style enough. Seriously, it will change your life. No more worrying about lost luggage, waiting for hours at baggage carousels or having to lug around big, heavy suitcases once you reach your destination. Traveling with just a carry-on is a savior and can actually be quite easy. 

Below are a few ways in which you too can give it a shot, if you haven't already: 

Tip 1: Less Is More

The only way to make things work without checking your bag is to channel your inner minimalist. Really think about what your plan is each day and pack accordingly. I like to write down what I am going to wear each day on a note pad and plan my outfits in advance, which applying mix and match. 

Many of us are guilty of bringing along pieces that we never wear at home in the hopes that a beach or new city may be just the inspiration we need to finally break it in. But let’s be real, that’s not going to happen.

  • Create a clothing itinerary that works through what you will wear each day and night of your trip. 
  • Pack pieces that can be layered or worn multiple times (without ruining your pictures) and only give yourself maybe one or two extra options total – just in case. 
  • Stick to a similar color palette so that pieces can be mixed up if unexpected weather or occasions arise. 
Remember, if you end up needing something more, it’s a perfect excuse to do a little retail sight-seeing. Checking in a bag on your flight back is way less stressful than having a checked bag for your entire trip.

Tip 2: Be Minimalist with your toiletries 

Not being able to squeeze all of your liquids into that tiny plastic baggie is the reason most people give up and opt to check a bag. Ask yourself: do you really need all those liquids? There’s a reason beauty brands have made an industry out of creating mini-versions of their most popular products.

Pull together all of your liquid necessities so you can see what you’re dealing with. If you’re staying at a hotel, you likely don’t need shampoo, conditioner or body lotion (tip: hotels often list complimentary room toiletries on their website so check here before you start packing)


See if you can get a mini version or invest in some of those handy travel containers where you can transfer just enough liquid to get you through your trip. If you’re going on a beach vacation and are worried that one travel-sized container won’t be enough for your sunscreen, pack multiples. 

You can swap out any liquids for alternatives. For example, moist wipes often don’t qualify as liquids and can be used instead of makeup remover or face wash. 

Tip 3: Two pairs of shoes are enough

When it comes to shoes, the type of trip matter. If it is a city travel, or work travel then often two is the magic number - One dressy and one casual walking-friendly pair. The only time you might need a third pair is if you will be hiking, skiing, etc. which requires a specific type else two is plenty. 

Tip 4: Roll & Cube

Rolling your clothes will not only maximize the space in your carry-on but it also helps keep wrinkles at bay. I like to roll a heavy item (like jeans) with a light item (like tees) and roll them together and create outfits in advance and pack in a packing cube. Not only helps you get the most out of the space also makes unpacking, or living out of the suitcase convenient.  

Tip 5: Pick your elecronics wisely

Nowadays, everyone travels with a tablet, smartphone, GoPro, DSLR, multiple lenses, and batteries and chargers to go along with it! think about what you will actually need. In the end turns out you used your smartphone for everything, purely out of the convenience. 

Unless it is a photography related trip or you work in travel industry, may be just invest in small accessories for your phone, like a waterproof case or specialty lenses that clip on and that will take up no space in your suitcase and give you more bang for your buck.

Tip 6: Invest in a good quality carry-on

Not all carry-on bags are created equally. I will admit I own several. They all have different purposes. Do a bit of research to find the perfect bag to suit your needs. Most airlines will allow a carry-on that measures around 9 by 15.5 by 21.5 inches (including handle and wheels) so pick a bag that maximizes on that. Some people find it useful to have lots of separate compartments while others prefer one big open space. Try out a few options in store to see what works best for you.

How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
However, rolling suitcases isn't the most convenient when exploring busy cities. I was recently introduced to the Outbreaker Backpack which is an ideal carry-on backpack that has the ergonomics and portability of a backpack with the obsessive organization and easy packing of a suitcase. You have an organized place for everything in the Outbreaker Backpack. Made with X-Pac waterproof sailcloth, the Outbreaker is carry-on sized, height adjustable, has thick, soft padding for comfort, a removable hip belt, laptop and tablet sleeves, and is weather resistant. You will be tempted to overpack because everything you need really fits in there!

The Outbreaker Backpack features include: slots for your computer & tablet, external pockets, internal organizational pockets, padded shoulder straps, a height-adjustable suspension system for optimal fit, and a padded, removable hip belt to make carrying your belongings more comfortable. They really thought about everything with this bag! 

Not only does it hold a ton, but it also is carryon sized so you don't need to check a bag! The Outbreaker Backpack packs like a suitcase and carries like a backpack, which makes packing and unpacking easier and enables a more enjoyable, hands-free travel experience, no matter where you are.

How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
  
How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
 
How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.com
Location: Union Station, D.C. Shirt - Target // Similar Jeans - Rag & Bone // Similar Flats - TJ Maxx // Similar Bag - Kate Spade // Similar Backpack - Tortuga // Same 

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Tortuga bag for review purposes. 

All opinions mentioned are my own.

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