With the Right Game Plan, Carry-On Only Travel can be Done with Just a Backpack
I always travel light and try to avoid heavy luggages and the baggage check-in counter at airports. It's always too much hassle and even after I get to my destination I still have to lug around these heavy bags filled with more than I need. (Read more on why it's the best way to travel)
People are always shocked to see me showing up with just a backpack, so I wanted to share EXACTLY what's in my bag for a recent overseas trip, and how I achieve Carry-On only even when traveling internationally.
My Tips on How to Pack Light & Efficiently
1. Clothing: It's easier to pack light for warmer climates. Wether you are traveling for 5 days or traveling for a month, you can get away with packing the same amount of clothing by packing for about 5-7 days worth of clothing, and then just doing laundry as needed. If you're going on a particularly long trip and are afraid of getting bored of wearing repeat outfits, pack clothing that all can be mixed and matched for multiple outfit options. Be realistic about what you will actually wear by researching the weather at your destination and taking a look at the type of activities you will be doing.
2. Toiletries: Go for travel sizes, or purchase small containers to depot your items. I even like using empty mini jars to refill with creams, and old cleaned out contact cases to hold a small amount of eye cream and serums. If you're staying at a hotel, remember they will often have many toiletries for you to use, so you won't need to bring shower gels and shampoo. For makeup lovers out there, consider what you absolutely want to use and what you can live without. I love things like BB cushions for travel since they don't need extra brushes and won't leak like a tube of foundation in my bag. Also consider multi-purpose items like bronzer and highlighter for eyeshadow.
3. Tech & Misc.: A laptop easily makes your bag so much heavier so consider if you can leave it behind. However, if you need to work on your trip like me, then it's unavoidable. Luckily my Daily Laptop Backpack has a laptop sleeve to keep my Mack Book Pro comfy and safe. The separate pocket is nice since going though TSA is much faster when you can pull it out without digging out all your clothes.
4. Pack a Smaller day bag: Since your backpack is the main thing holding all your stuff, you can leave it at the hotel and carry a smaller bag during the day. These Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies are really idea for travel day bags. I like to back all the items I want to keep nearby for the plane ride inside (eye mask, passport, travel documents, money, cards, headphones..) so that I can get on the plane, take out the small bag to put under my seat, and chuck the backpack in the overhead bin.
Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop ArdenCove.com.