If you can, try to only pack a carry-on (and perhaps a personal item) for your trip. No checked luggage. I know it sounds absurd to go on a 2 or 3-week trip with just a carry-on. However, not only is it possible but it will make travelling so much less stressful.
Here are a few advantages of one bag travel:
- Easier to pack.
- No need to check any bag at the airport.
- No need to wait for a checked bag at the destination.
- If the bag fits under your seat, there’s no stress for the overhead compartment space when boarding.
- Greater mobility on the go (buses, trains, walking…)
- No extra fees,
- Access to all your items at any time during the flight.
- Last but not least, NO LOST BAGGAGE! Trust me, this can ruin a trip really fast.
A few tips to help you one bag it:
- Be willing to spend 5 minutes here and there to wash a t-shirt or some underwear in your hotel sink or do a whole batch at a laundromat. I would rather wash a t-shirt every night than dealing with the pain of a lost luggage.
- Be honest when packing and leave the ”just in case” items at home. You don’t need a fancy outfit everyday for “date night”. You don’t need 5 different swimsuits. You don’t need 3 pairs of shoes.
- Find alternatives to the bigger bulkier items. Instead of an electric toothbrush, bring a regular one. Try to leave the 15-inch MacBook Pro at home and use an iPad. Leave the iPad and try to get by with just your phone. Big over the ear noise cancelling headphones? How about small in-ear ones.
- Chose the right materials for clothing. Jeans and cotton are heavy and bulky. Try some merino wool. It is not only breathable and fast drying but can be worn multiple times due to its natural antibacterial properties.
- Wear you bulkiest items on the plane. Hiking boots, jacket, jeans…
To sum it up, pack only what is essential and that you know you’ll need for sure. Obviously, many factors affect what you’ll pack. The climate, the different activities we’ll be doing, the purpose of the trip, travelling with kids or solo etc. Just be smart and don’t let fear guide your decisions.