Did you know that one in five of us are hit with excess baggage charges? There’s nothing worse than lugging around super heavy bags that are full of ‘just in case’ items, so here’s a few tips on how to avoid over packing.
Four years ago, I was definitely that person who would try and fit their entire closet into their suitcase. I wanted every possible outfit combination, every beauty product and every gadget, in my bag. But time after time, I would return from my trips having used only fifty percent of what I packed. So I mastered my packing skills and now I only travel with a carry on.
Packing in just a carry on can seem restrictive, but in reality, it allows you to be more mobile and in doing so it not only saves you money (as you avoid paying for checked luggage), but it also gets you on your way quicker when you reach your destination.
So what’s in my carry on?
When it comes to my outfits I always check the weather of where I’m going. Packing with this in mind makes the task a lot easier. If there’s a possibility of rain, yes I might get a bit wet, but at the end of the day it’s just a bit of water, there’s no need for me to bring an entire rain outfit and an umbrella! I like lightweight items that I can layer if I get cold and that pack up small.
If I’m going on a trip any longer than a weekend I find it best to lay my chosen outfits out. This helps me to visually organise as well as see where I can mix and match items. If an item can double up its purpose then I pack it, if not, it stays behind!
I never travel without a few pieces of my favourite jewellery. It’s the easiest way to dress up my outfits, turning a day look into night. I just pack them in a small drawstring bag and I’m ready to go. For style tips on how to make the most of your accessories, click here
I bring my own products with me when I travel because I’m super fussy about what I put on my skin, but a lot of hotels will provide you with basic toiletries free of charge. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, shaving kits, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, nail care, even sewing kits! So you can get away with packing the bare minimum. For those of you who bring your own products like me, click here to read my blog post on how your hotel toiletries can help others. When it comes to medication I only pack for the number of days I’ll be away, opposed to full boxes of items.
Ah, the rolling technique. This technique is amazing, I can’t believe I ever packed differently! By rolling your items it compresses the clothing, making it easier to stack. And if you haven’t already tried packing cubes, then it’s time you do. They’re great for grouping alike items together and they take up minimal space in your bag.
When maximising your travel comfort it’s extremely important to choose the right shoes. We’ve all been there before, wearing shoes that look great but are not practical for walking around all day. Nobody wants that! As a lover of shoes, I always want to bring every pair with me, but I have found that limiting myself to three pairs max, is the best way to go. I love my converse as they match almost everything in my wardrobe and are small enough to put in my carry on when I need to switch shoes.
For everyone who prefers herbal tea to coffee, then this is for you! I love herbal tea, especially when it comes to travel. What I don’t love is that $5 price tag that comes with purchasing tea at airport cafes. A year ago I knew there had to be a way to make my tea obsession affordable whilst on the go – and there was! Most airport restaurants and in-flight services will give you a cup of hot water for free, so before I travel I make sure to stock up on my favourite blends and pack some tea bags in my carry on. My go to brand is T2 – I’m seriously obsessed!
Those who know me well, know that I love to read. An e-reader is generally better for travel, however call me old school, but I’m a paperback girl at heart. When I travel, my portable book cover is my best friend. This is one of my favourite travel items! As we all know books are heavy and can take up a lot of space in your bag, so whoever invented this carry case is a genius! It not only protects my book from getting damaged, but I can carry it in my hand with absolute ease. I’ve never once been asked to weight it or put it in my bag.
electronics & gadgets
Camera, phone, relevant chargers, portable phone charger, earphones and country specific adapter. Some flights, especially the budget ones, won’t have a charging point per seat, so that’s where my portable phone charger comes in handy. It’s also good to have whilst you’re on the go.
An extra pad lock – great for lockers and ensuring your backpack can’t be opened by thieves whilst in crowded areas. Duct tape – this is such a versatile item. I used it when my sandal strap broke and when I broke my toe in New Caledonia and had to use it as an emergency bandage! Zip lock bags – I separate my adapters and chargers into them and I also use them as a mini rubbish bag when I’m on the go. A pen and notebook – because they always come in handy. Purse – I like to have a mini purse for when I travel that holds only cash and essential cards. Passport – now you can’t go anywhere without that!
And yes, everything listed above fits into my Dakine backpack! It’s easier than you think to travel with just a carry on. I’ve done every season, longest trip being three weeks and I wouldn’t travel any other way.