Any traveller with decent mileage under their belt will advise you to avoid checked in bags whenever possible. They are bulky, they usually cost additional fees to board the plane, and there is also the possibility to lose these bags due to unforeseen circumstances at some of the airports during your travel.
The perks of taking only carry-ons on your trips include:
- No more waiting for your clumsy checked in bags over thirty minutes at the conveyor belt. Meaning your trips can start earlier
- Less weight overall to carry around. If you’re a heavy packer however, your carry-on can reach just as much weight as a checked in bag
- All of your essential items are within your grasp right when you need them
Make sure that your luggage meets carry-on standards
This can go without saying, but many backpackers have made the mistake of taking what seemed like a reasonably-sized bag, only to find out later that their bag is too large to be screened as a carry-on. This can lead to additional fees and further frustration when you end up separated from your much-needed items. Not fun.
To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly investigate your airline company for what constitutes a carry-on (usually they base this on luggage size and weight). However, note how we emphasize for a thorough investigation. This is mostly because some airliners make it very confusing to find out their standard luggage dimensions, as they will usually hit you with additional fees if you’re not careful.
Have a Carry-on Backpack in The First Place
If you’ll want to pack your life into a carry-on, it’s only natural for you to have – a carry-on. If you’re also shot for ideas, go ahead and try the 46 Liter Osprey Porter Backpack and assess your backpacking needs from there. At first, 46L may not seem like much space to work with – especially if you’re travelling continuously for more than 6 months. The bigger your backpack, however, the more you’d be tempted to fill it with unnecessary things and over-pack. Another reason why you should opt for the 46L size is because it’s the biggest backpack that fits within the carry-on limit for most airlines, even cheap ones like Wizz Air and Easyjet.
If you’re still not convinced, consider that a 46L size can also be taken onto buses in most tourist-friendly Asian regions without having to be put in the undercarriage where it can be easily stolen.
Additionally, the Osprey brand is great because it’s sturdy, it packs high-quality zippers, it has numerous organizational compartments, and it opens like a suitcase which makes packing and unpacking a breeze.
Plan your outfit accordingly
Make sure to lay your outfit down on the floor (or the bed) to match your most essential pieces and ditch the rest. An easy way to solve this is to avoid packing something you only half like. Plus, it’s probably a wise idea to skip your brand new pair of sneakers if you don’t want to get blisters on your feet.
Use ninja packing methods to your advantage
A laptop and a camera are the two most essential items for any backpacker, so make sure that you’re putting in those first. Laptop goes in the padded compartment, while the camera should sit somewhere at the bottom of the carry-on. You can always pad the camera later with an extra t-shirt just in case. It also goes without saying to keep your most valuable possessions with you at all times, neatly stuffed in your carry-on and tucked beneath the aeroplane seat.
However, if you still find yourself unable to fit a camera in your carry-on – and you happen to be travelling abroad somewhere in the Asian region, then Wandersnap is a perfectly viable option to get your photos taken. Alternatively for the utmost protection for your camera and equipment, look for some comprehensive guides on camera backpacks such as those on Shotkit to see which is the best for your budget.
Leave No Empty Space
Finally, by now you should know that leaving empty space in your carry-on is a big no-no. Throwing items in your bag at the last minute is a wise move, especially if your vacation stretches for more than what you initially planned for. Things like extra socks, magazines, and last-minute snacks as well are all viable options to be considered.
And that’s a wrap. If you think we missed a tip on how to pack your life into a carry-on, then feel free to comment below.
Written by guest blogger Rachel Cross.