Carry-On Only Made Easy

August 22, 2016 4 min read

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

{Guest Post from Brooke of HerPackinglist.com}

As the owner of Her Packing List, I see a lot of women enter our community that seem to be asking the same burning question:

“I'm traveling for 2+ weeks. Can I go carry on only… really?”

While I’m sure these women know the answer they are about to receive, the question has less to do with my response and more to do with their acknowledgement of self-doubt. “I know women travel this long using only a carry-on, but willI be able to survive with fewer things than I’m used to?”

And the answer is always a resounding YES.

Because you absolutely can. You can travel for 2 months, or even longer, with just a carry on. In fact, you could travel the world with nothing but the contents of a handbag! (But I'm not expecting you to travel with that little - unless you want to.)

Armed with the right packing tips and most importantly a mindset shift, you can overcome the self-doubt and successfully travel carry-on only for a trip of almost any length.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Step 1:  Accept the Following

  • You can’t prepare for everything, so don’t pack like that’s actually possible.

From the unpredictability of the weather to the spontaneous nature of travel, thinking that you could be prepared for anything and everything is doing two things: 1) causing you to overpack, and 2) stressing you out. Pack the things you know you’ll need, make back-up plans for the “what-ifs”, and plan to deal with the surprises while abroad. See the next point for that.

  • If you forget something or need something unexpectedly, you can buy it abroad.

Ladiesssss… stores exist across the globe, and it’s not going to break the bank if you need to pick up a scarf, a t-shirt, a bar of soap, or even some aspirin. Some women don’t even pack toiletries and instead wait to buy them when they arrive. It saves the worry of liquid spills, and it makes your carry-on more carry-on friendly.

  • Wearing items and outfits multiple times will not negatively impact your trip.

I know it’s a cultural expectation to not be seen wearing the same thing day in and day out, so it can be hard for some women to take less clothing. But in reality, you might notice that you're wearing the same things a few times, but no one else is. Focus on the experiences and enjoy your travels.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Step 2: Invest in the Following

  • Lighter, smaller luggage.

The smaller your luggage, the easier it is to pack less. A lot of it comes down to perception. When you have a large suitcase, and a lot of empty space, you tend to fill it. Because why not, right? Not only that, but many carry-on restrictions across the globe also have weight limits, so less stuff equals less weight. I prefer small backpacks for my luggage as they generally weigh less than suitcases with their wheels and frames.

  • Multipurpose items that allow you to cover more tasks with fewer things to pack.

Convertible travel clothing (like the great items in the Encircled line!) will help you pack with purpose for more situations. Beyond clothing, it’s important to consider items like: 1) soaps that can serve as laundry wash or shampoo, 2) solid lotion that can serve as lip balm, or 3) sandals that can also be worn in place of a shower flip-flop in hostels.

  • Travel-friendly toiletry bottles.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to repackage your liquid toiletries into travel bottles. Not only is it necessary to have everything under the 100ml (3.4 oz) mark, the right travel bottles will keep your luggage free of leaking liquids, as well as cut back on space and weight from the original packaging. Little things add up!

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Step 3:  Do the Following

  • Double check the carry-on restrictions for your airline.

As mentioned before, not all carry-on rules are created equally. If you’re traveling a new airline, it’s best to check and double check the specific airline rules because they can vary greatly.

  • Laundry on the road, even in the sink if needed.

Don’t plan on packing enough clothes for every day of a trip. We recommend no more than a week’s worth at most. Instead, do laundry! If you’re in a bind, a sink is really handy for keeping your undergarments clean.

  • Pack in layers.

Avoid bulky items in favor of items that can be paired together. Instead of heavy jackets and coats, opt for bringing 2 lighter items that can be worn together for the same warmth and also on their own.

  • Pack 3 pairs of shoes (or less!)

If you just had a heart attack, my apologies. Shoes are a total space-suck, and some are very heavy! When it comes to traveling carry-on only, the sad truth is you can’t have the perfect shoe for every occasion. Look for shoes that are practical yet versatile enough to work in many situations if need be.

  • Use packing cubes or compression to fit more in.

Of course this only works when you’re not struggling with carry-on weight regulations. If you’re not, then you’re very lucky and both cubes and compression can help you fit more stuff into a carry-on sized backpack or suitcase.

  • Be confident in your decisions.

Second guessing your packing leads to those last-minute items being thrown into the suitcase before take-off!

  • Have a wonderful trip worrying less about luggage! 

There will be a moment when the realization hits you, that traveling carry-on only benefits your trip. It might be when you breeze through check-in, or it might be when you’re walking straight past the hundred people waiting for their luggage at the baggage carousel. It might be when you don’t have issues getting up several flights of stairs in your quaint European hotel. It’s at that point that you will be hooked and wonder why you ever struggled in the first place.

 

About the author: Brooke Schoenman wants you to pack smarter and travel more confidently. For all the best packing lists and gear reviews, check outHer Packing List, join the uber specialFacebook group, or sign up to get a free copy of3 Steps to Packing Everything You Need & Nothing More.


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