Travelling is fun. It is only when you start packing that you realize how a not so light luggage can limit your traveling experience. Especially if you are traveling for a period as short as 1 week (and even when it isn’t a short trip), you really don’t want to carry a huge luggage around with you. So here are 5 most useful tips to survive a week simply with your carry-on bag! If you are confused about a carry-on bag, we have it all explained on carry on vs checked luggage: Travel packing basics.
Obvious as it might sound, your first move should be to prepare yourself for packing less. Packing less is hardly magic. It is entirely related to packing smartly and logically. You should be okay with carrying two instead of three pairs of shoes and leaving behind what you really don’t require. If you are not willing to live with less, then this is hardly going to work out.
2) Know what is essential:
Prioritize your essentials. Hacks are useful, but they cannot be generalized. What is essential to you may not be essential to everyone. For instance, some people can’t do without their sleep mask. Make a list of what you absolutely require. But don’t go overboard, ensure that this list isn’t unnecessarily long. Set a limit, say – 5 essentials that you can’t live without.
“Excess baggage is a symptom of something we are missing on the inside…a fear that we won’t be accepted for what we are, is if our selves are not enough.”
– Mary Morris
3) Pick the right bag:
Choosing the right bag is the most important factor. A wrong bag could make you feel uncomfortable throughout your trip. When deciding on a carry-on bag three factors should be considered:
a) Does the bag follow the airline guidelines? – This decision doesn’t solely depend on your choice. Usually, every airline has a set guideline for the size of carry-on baggage. Check on the size limitation of carry-on bags with the airlines that you’ll be flying with. In most cases, a 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm bag should work.
b) Is the bag apt for my purpose? – Needless to say, the type of bag also depends on whether you are going for a business trip (smart bag with built in organizers, file friendly) or for a vacation (Lots of compartments).
c) Is this bag comfortable for me? – The type of carry-on bag also depends on your comfort level with it. I usually prefer carry-on rolling bag, so that I can just trolley my bag around instead of carrying it, others might prefer a shoulder backpack. Each type has its advantages as well as disadvantages, so it depends on what you are most comfortable with.
4) Pack it right:
Many people assume that packing right only involves arranging your content in a particular way. But this method is hardly going to last throughout your trip. A day or two through the trip, you won’t be so particular about arranging your contents. Following are some useful tips to pack right and travel light:
a) Fundamental toiletries: Be minimal with your set of toiletries. Hotels usually provide the essentials, carry only what you won’t get there. And whatever you are carrying, store it in a smaller container. You don’t require the entire bottle of your lotion or full bottle of the solution you use for your contact lenses. If you want to be a minimalist, you need to have a compact toiletry kit with only your essentials in required quantity. A good travel pouch is a savior when it comes to packing your toiletries efficiently.
b) Wise Gadgets: Since our mantra till now has been “no more than required”, your gadgets are no exception. Pick only two gadgets you can’t live without. Assuming that the first thing you will grab is your phone, the second vacant space could be for your iPod or camera or tablet. Many gadgets these days allow you to carry out multiple functions thus making almost all gadgets substitutable. In minimal packing, it’s better to avoid space-consuming gadgets like a laptop.
c) Leave some space: One of the most common mistakes people do is stuffing their bag completely. In 90 % of the cases, people come back with more than what they had carried when traveling. Also, when you pack carefully you might be able to fit your contents right, but during travel if you end up just stuffing half your things in a hurry, the contents will definitely take up more space. So be prepared and leave a little bit of space in your bag.
5) How to pack a carry on bag for a week:
All things said we can’t forget that the most space consuming content is and will always be clothes. Following are some go hacks to save maximum space when it comes to packing your clothes:
a) Roll it up – Be it your jeans, your top or your skirt, whenever possible just roll it up. Keep it folded only if the clothes are easily wrinkly. It is, therefore, advisable that you carry clothes which are wrinkle free. Know more in our article on travel-friendly clothes.
b) Mix and match – Yesterday’s jeans will match tomorrow’s top too! Avoid having a unique pair for each day of your trip. Mix and match with your clothes, for all you know you might come across your favorite pair.
c) If you can’t pack it then wear it – Your jeans may be very durable but they will take up a lot of space as compared to your leggings. So during the transit pack your leggings and wear your jeans. You can avoid stuffing in the sweater and sling it on your arm or your bag’s strap. These are just little adjustments you could make till you reach your hotel.
These tricks are not only enough to save you from any major crisis during packing less but are also indicative of how much easier the art of minimalist packing is. However, don’t be worried if it isn’t that successful in the first go because it usually requires some practice. While you get busy with mastering the art, we have some space right below for you to share your creative ideas for minimalist packing.