How to Pack the Perfect Carry-On
It’s December! And, for a lot of people that means travel time. So, we’ve decided to dedicate the month’s travel posts to helping you experience the perfect trip! This is the first post of a four-part series.
First up, carry-on luggage. As avid travellers, we’ve spent countless hours packing, repacking, and re-repacking our carry-on luggage to get the most out of the 7kg – 10kg that you’re allowed on most international flights. After much trial and error, a few fits of frustration, and the occasional bout of tears, we’ve pinpointed a few aspects that can make all the difference.
Choose your bag wisely
For a moment, forget about style (don’t worry, we’ll get back to that) and focus on practicality. Carry-on bags come in two primary varieties: a soft-shell backpack or shoulder bag, or a hard case, wheeled suitcase. Each has its own pros and cons. In many situations, a backpack or shoulder bag can be more practical and easier to move with (not to mention you can usually stuff it under your seat on the flight), however it comes at the cost of precious space and often does not offer the same padding and protection as a hard case. The latter on the other hand, can usually be packed more tightly, and the wheels can be a huge convenience if you’re not in a rush. We tend to go for the former, especially because we love all the little compartments that backpacks and oversize handbags offer. Once you’ve decided on which type you prefer, you can take on the difficult task of tracking down the one that most easily matches all your outfits (neutral or solid colours go a long way)!
Pack like a Pro
Once you’ve settled on your bag, it’s time to get packing, and this is one instance where we can confidently say less Is more. There’s so much that you’re probably including in your carry-on purely out of habit, and we’re here to help you change that.
If you’ll be staying at a hotel or resort you can almost immediately cut out half, if not more, of your toiletries. Bring your own facewash and moisturiser, and potentially your own hair products, but things like body wash, toothpaste, hand soap, and more, you’ll get for free at your accommodation. Also, remember that this is your carry-on, you don’t need everything with you all the time. Clothing, the only extras you really need are a change of underwear, some socks, and possibly an extra top – save the rest for your checked-in luggage. Same thing goes for electronics. You really don’t need your hairdryer and straightening iron on the plane – people know you’ve been travelling, they don’t expect you to look like a million bucks the minute you get off.
That said, there are a few things that are must-haves on any flight: headphones, travel pillow (seriously), wet wipes/waterless soap, snacks and water.
A Blonde Abroad has an excellent check-list up on her site that we highly recommend!
Most airlines allow you to bring one piece of carry-on luggage PLUS an additional personal item. That means you can bring your well-packed backpack/hard case and bring along your handbag. This is precious space that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only that, but it’s the perfect place to keep your passport and other essentials so that they’re always within easy reach.
Think we forgot something? Let us know in the comments!
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