There are several reasons to leave that large luggage at home. The first is cost-savings: besides the exorbitant checked bag fees levied by airlines, travelling with a large suitcase often means taking taxis, tipping bellhops, etc.
The second reason is more philosophical. Travel should be about breaking free of the constraints and creature comforts of home – living as minimally as possible so you can see the world through fresh eyes. That’s tough to do when you’re lugging around your entire wardrobe.
And the last reason is a simple one. You should leave that large checked bag at home because you don’t need it. Travelling for a week-plus vacation (even months) is entirely possible with a single carry-on and personal item. This article explores three tips for minimally packing so you can save money and get the most from your next trip.
The Ultimate Clothing Hack: Merino Wool
The gurus of this type of “carry-on travel” are the posters and mods at Reddit’s r/onebag community. The subreddit is constantly churning out user-generated tips for travelling light. And their consensus on clothing is that merino wool is the way to go.
Merino wool is a powerhouse of versatility. It’s insulating in the cold, breathable in the heat, wrinkle-resistant in the bottom of a bag, and sweat-wicking for those muggy travel days. Crucially – and this is why so many travellers swear by it – the material is also anti-microbial, which makes it highly resistant to odours. You can wear a single pair of high-quality merino wool briefs for weeks (people have tested it) without any noticeable odours. Because these garments are so versatile and odour-resistant, you only need to pack a few items.
Space-Saving Techniques: Army Rolling, Stuffing and Layering
Merino clothes are a fantastic start, but you’ll still need to employ a few space-saving techniques to fit everything, especially if you pack toiletries and electronics in the same carry-on.
To economize space, try the following three tips: army rolling, stuffing and layering. Layering is relatively straightforward; it entails wearing your bulky outer layers in transit (on planes, trains, etc.) instead of wasting space in your bag. Stuffing involves capitalizing on any hollow spaces, like extra shoes or pockets, to fit smaller items like socks and underwear. And army rolling is a space-saving technique that cuts down on surface area by – you guessed it – rolling clothes instead of folding them. Check out the link above for how to roll clothes effectively.
The Rest: Capitalizing on Your Personal Item
Remember, you technically get two carry-on items: your primary carry-on (usually 22” by 14” by 9”) and a smaller personal item to fit underneath the seat in front of you.
This smaller personal item is an ideal candidate for electronics and basic toiletries. At the security check, you have to remove laptops and tablets anyways, so ensuring their accessibility in an over-the-shoulder personal item makes sense. Plus, if you can find a laptop bag or satchel with pockets, you can easily stow a bare-bones toiletries kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and razor (You can find everything else through your upcoming accommodation).
Enjoy your next trip without the literal and metaphorical burden on your shoulders. Follow the straightforward steps above to pack a lean, mean carry-on bag for your next trip.