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How to Pack in Just a Carry-On

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Traveling lightly with just your belongings is appealing, but many people are hesitant to try it. It’s often easier to stick to what you know and pack everything “just in case” than to embrace new and lighter ways to travel.

But those who switch to lightening their load often find that the benefits far outweigh the initial uncertainty.

Actually, I used to be a heavy packer too. Our family of four used to check his luggage at the airport every time he flew home to visit his family twice a year.

For us, our journey to change our travel habits began when I encountered minimalism. Now that I’ve started packing less stuff at home, I figured my next step would be to apply the principles of minimalism to my travel habits.

I don’t exactly remember my first vacation when I decided to take only a carry-on, but I do remember how easy it made traveling and how I decided I would never go back to my old way of traveling. .

Similarly, I recently went on an international trip with a friend, and I told him I needed to pack my carry-on for the trip, as I wasn’t waiting in baggage claim. As we finished our trip and were wading through US customs, he turned to me and said: This is very easy. I will never check my luggage again. “

As a family, we follow the same habits on almost every trip. We each carry our own baggage. No more needed. During our nearly three-week book tour last summer, we all packed our belongings into carry-on-sized suitcases.

Not only does this make loading and unloading luggage easier, it also eliminates the confusion of individuals limping around large suitcases containing multiple people’s luggage.

If the prospect of making this switch intrigues you, you will love it.

Here are some practical steps to help you get started.

1. Believe it is possible.

Free yourself from the idea that it is impossible to travel light, or that it is not possible in your particular situation. people do it all the time.

In fact, people from all walks of life are packing lightly. Any age, any gender, any travel period, any family size. If they can do it, so can you.

2. Be thoughtful.

My mother once said to me, “Overpacking is lazy packing.” And she is right!

Adopting a minimalist packing approach requires careful planning to consider your daily needs and select items that meet those requirements without overdoing it.

However, making thoughtful efforts at the beginning of your trip can save you physical and mental (stress) effort during your trip.

3. Plan your outfit.

Avoid the common pitfall of randomly throwing items in your suitcase.

Plan your outfit according to your daily activities. As we’ll see later, consider opportunities for mixing and reusing (especially outerwear).

4. Pack versatile clothes.

Choose clothing items that are flexible and can be combined in many different ways.

Neutral colors are your friend. Consider layering possibilities. A light sweater, for example, can instantly transform any summer outfit into one for chilly nights.

5. Repeat the costume.

It may seem unconventional, but most people wouldn’t notice it at all. I’m not advocating wearing dirty clothes more than once, but most clothing (especially pants) can be worn multiple times before being washed.

Don’t be afraid to wear the same outfit multiple times, especially if you’re combining different items.

6. Prepare for laundry.

Laundry is essential for long trips. Look for accommodations with laundry facilities, or find a laundromat nearby. Many hotels have washing machines, as do most Airbnbs. Items can also be hand washed if desired.

7. Don’t buy souvenirs.

We don’t have space to bring back a lot of souvenirs, but you’ll be glad you didn’t have to spend time shopping during your trip.

Remember, travel is about the experience, not the material possessions you bring back. When you need to prove to yourself and others that you’ve been on a trip, small keepsakes such as photos and postcards can be just as meaningful, if not more, than bulky keepsakes.

8. Fill with travel size liquids.

You can’t bring large amounts of liquids as carry-on baggage (at least not on planes). So please make an extra point to think this through.

Most toiletries are sold in travel size/sample size. that’s what i’m taking. However, for very specific items, TSA compatible product Helping you stay below legal limits.

9. Roll up the garment if necessary.

If you’re getting pretty close but it won’t fit in your carry-on suitcase, try rolling your clothes to save space instead of folding them flat. You will be amazed at how many clothes you can pack this way.

An iron is required on the other side of the trip. So I don’t much like that technique. But if it’s very close to being realized and you have an iron on the other side, give it a try.

Personally, when I get home, I’m more likely to roll up my clothes on the way home, where the washing machine is waiting. But you can do it either way.

10. Limit the types of shoes you wear.

It may be shoes that consume a lot of suitcases. Consider having a few versatile pairs for different occasions and wearing the bulkiest pair while on the move.

One common justification for overpacking is the fear of losing clothes. The idea is that it’s better to have more than you need when traveling, rather than not having enough.

On the surface, this argument seems logical. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the downside of excess baggage is overlooked. More clothes mean more weight to carry, more items to manage, more time spent packing and unpacking, more worries about losing your luggage, more time wasted (a lot more time to check your luggage at the airport). Arrive early and spend some time waiting at the baggage carousel (waiting for your bag to show up).

Compare this to the benefits of a minimalist approach: simplicity, convenience, and the joy of being able to focus on your travel experience instead of managing your belongings.

With careful planning, the benefits of saving time, reducing stress, and enjoying lighter travel far outweigh the minor inconveniences that a little laundry may bring.

If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it. At the end of your first trip, you are almost certain to think: This is much easier. I will never check my luggage again. “

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