There are some obvious advantages to travelling with only carry-on luggage… On some airlines you have to pay extra for checked in luggage, so travelling without saves you money. It also saves time as you are quicker checking in and, more importantly, you don’t have to queue for ages at the carousel to retrieve your luggage after your flight (and that’s one of the worst things about flying, right?). And, if you don’t check any luggage in, there is no possibility of arriving at your destination to find that your luggage has not arrived as well!
But how easy is it really to travel without checking in any luggage? Here are my top tips for ditching the big suitcases…
- Check your hand luggage allowance and make sure you take the largest size carry-on that you can… but don’t forget there is a weight restriction too so make sure your bag/case is lightweight – you don’t want to have almost reached the weight limit before you’ve even put anything in your bag/case!
- Due to increased security, you can only travel with bottles of liquids smaller than 100 ml nowadays anyway, meaning you only need to take a small wash-kit, saving you space in your bag. Either buy travel-sized products or make use of the small toiletries you get in most hotel rooms.
- Travel in your bulkiest clothing/footwear – it will save space in your carry-on luggage.
- Think about what you will be doing at your destination and pack accordingly – don’t pack items/clothing you are unlikely to wear. If it’s a beach holiday, are you really likely to need woolly jumpers and lots of pairs of trousers??
- Take a capsule wardrobe – items of clothing that can be mixed and matched and dressed up or down depending on what you are doing/the time of day. Don’t forget, accessorising well can instantly alter an outfit – so makes sure you take a few statement pieces of jewellery or pretty scarves.
- Roll your clothes (rather than folding them) and put small items inside larger items (ie put socks inside your shoes).
- Minimise the amount of electrical items you take. Do you really need a hairdryer (there’ll probably be one in your hotel room), straighteners, electric toothbrush, etc or can you manage without? If you’re travelling with other people, decide in advance who will take what and share.
- And remember… you can always buy bits and pieces when you are away if you’ve forgotten something you can’t live without!
So, do you think you could do it? And do you think it’s worth it?
I guess for me it depends on where I am going and how long I am going for… I can manage with just carry-on luggage for a week in the sun where most days will just involve a bikini, shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops but if I am going for longer or to somewhere that I know will involve lots of activities I find it pretty much impossible not to take checked in luggage!