Photos by Pam Lau, @pamelaloud
There’s something incredibly liberating when it comes to packing a carry on only bag. I learned this when planning a number of quick overnighter trips that didn’t make sense to pay for check-in bags and waiting for them at the other end. Sometimes you just want to get on with your trip without too much baggage (pun intended). I learned this the hard way when traveling in Japan and New York (I still shudder at the thought of all those stairs).
Not an easy feat, for anyone, but here are a few tricks to get you in one fancy little carry on packing session, wherever you go:
1. Essentials, Only!
Only bring what you need – sounds simple, but really isn’t. Before you end up getting your duffle so stuffed that you’re filled with deep regret (and a book you probably don’t need), make a list of only the essentials for your trip. If you’re realistically not going to work out, maybe skip the shoes. Not sure you’ll need a bubble vest? Skip it, and make sure you have things you can layer with instead.
2. Small Toiletries
TSA, TSA, TSA…it’s hard to pack toiletries in general. If you don’t already have travel sized items, then either go out and get them, or find little bottles that you can label. Pack ’em into a zip lock or something that is spill proof / easy to clean, and then you’re good to go. PS – check you limits before you fly, ’cause otherwise you’ll end up pouring out good things frantically before your security check.
3. Double Up
Are there things that you can bring which can be used for multiple wears? I find leggings, chokers, and other standard items that are in black or white are really easy to wear at the airport and many any other scenarios. Multi-use items = gold.
4. Comfy Shirts
I always forget to bring a sleep shirt when traveling. Sleeping is important!
5. Carry On Cocktail Kits
Fancy a cocktail when in the air or on the go? Carry On Cocktails like Gin & Tonic, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule (fancy) are easily assembled with a little shot of the right alcohol, wherever you go. Mix up two cocktails with TSA-friendly portions and classic design.
6. Smaller Appliances
While they don’t always work the same as the full size, travel sized
7. A Ball Cap
Hats are such a versatile piece – shielding yourself from the sun in style or protecting your head from drizzle is the best. Pick up fun shades, faux suedes, or a conversation-piece hat to throw on in the morning.
Something that keeps me calm when traveling is tea. A few little baggies packed away properly (caffeine and non caffeine) give you a sense of normalcy when away. They’re extremely portable, there’s lots of varieties that you can bring, and it’s easy to make a cup of tea anywhere you go (hotel, AirBnB a friend’s place).
Wherever you’re headed next, pack light and aim to travel more often. See you out there.