For weeks or maybe even months, you’ve been counting down to this trip. Whether it’s a dream destination like Europe or visiting family elsewhere, there is a lot of excitement attached to this. You’re pretty much ready to hop on a plane and spend time just relaxing and taking a break. And then it hits you just when you’re starting to put things together—there’s a whole lot of stuff in your arsenal, which can quite literally weigh you down.
You know that the best course of action is to cut your luggage down somehow. Problem is, you’re not sure where to start, and given how the way airlines charge extra for checked baggage vary, you may wind up bringing too many travel accessories anyway. Of course there are non-negotiables like your passport, itinerary, and wallet with cash, IDs, and cards.
Wondering how to get by abroad with just a single piece of carry-on luggage? This starts with being fully aware of your parameters. Check with your airline regarding the weight restriction of carry-on luggage. Some airlines include personal items like laptops in their weight restriction; most of them only count the carry-on bag. Read the policies and weight restrictions carefully.
Let’s look at some tips on the best way to fit extended trip essentials in a single carry-on bag.
Only Bring Five Outfits
It’s actually possible to have even less than that, but five fits easily in one bag. Definitely a good starting point, especially if you’re a traveler who is used to having far more checked-in luggage. Obviously, what you bring also depends on the climate of where you’re off to; wherever that is, be sure to have activewear handy.
Some things to consider include:
- A baseball cap, beanie, or sun hat
- A belt
- A hoodie
- A lightweight jacket (waterproof)
- A long-sleeved dress shirt
- A pair of slippers
- A short-sleeved dress shirt (if going to a cold climate, bring two)
- A sweater
- A swimsuit
- Pants: 1-2 pairs
- Shoes: A pair for “everyday” (sneakers, perhaps) and hiking boots or running shoes
- Shorts: 1-2 pairs
- Socks: 5-7 pairs
- T-shirts: 3-4 pieces
- Underwear: 5-7 pairs
Be Smart About Technology
It could be very tempting to bring your laptop, but if it’s unnecessary, stick to your smartphone and a tablet if you have one. Unless you’re a photographer with a dire need, the kit lens of your camera should do the trick. A few other must-haves to pack:
- Accessories that are vital (cords, USB stick, etc.)
- Chargers for devices, including one that’s portable and USB-ready
- Earbuds, earphones, or a headset
- Universal power adapter
In terms of personal items and toiletries, be sure any liquids (shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, etc) are compliant with TSA restrictions.
It is perfectly normal to feel like you need to be prepared for anything, especially if you’ll be gone for quite some time. However, there are certainly ways to go about this without weighing your luggage, or yourself, down. Stick to what’s important, and you won’t go wrong.
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