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A Guide to Traveling Light: Packing Tips for Carry On Luggage

Updated: May 17, 2023


As I recount my travels, I cannot help but remember the challenges of traveling with only under seat luggage. Yet, amidst the troubles lies some clever ways to simplify your travels, avoiding the troublesome ordeal of checking in your bags, by following some simple packing tips for carry on luggage. A simple trick if you will - but one that requires adept planning and skilful packing. With some attention to detail, you can fit all you need for your travel into a compact bag that will easily fit under the seat in front of you.


Choose the right bag

The first step is to select the perfect bag - one that is sufficiently small to fit under the seat, but spacious enough to house all your essentials. Flexible soft-sided bags are preferable, as they can easily adapt to tight spaces and circumstances. I found the bag below on amazon, which complies with most airlines maximum under seat luggage measurements. It also works as both a backpack and an over shoulder bag, making it incredibly comfortable to carry for long periods.

travel backpack with badges

Plan your outfits and use packing cubes

Let us now turn our attention to your attire. Packing a suitable number of outfits can be daunting, but with some resourcefulness, you can simplify matters. Opt for a neutral color palette, mix and match clothing to create a versatile wardrobe, and employ packing cubes to neatly organize your garments. Additionally rolling clothes instead of folding can save space and prevent creasing. I found that picking a pair of shoes that works for both function and fashion to be useful, depending on the weather of your destination. I find a pair of flat waterproof boots work well, this way you minimise the number of pairs you need to take along on your travels.


Wear your bulkiest items and minimize your toiletries

Bulky items, such as coats and boots, can quickly consume valuable space. Fear not! Wear your bulkiest garments during your journey to save room in your bag. Additionally, decrease your toiletries, selecting travel-sized or solid items such as shampoo bars, stick deodorants and toothpaste tablets. Another useful tip is to purchase items you need at the airport after checking in.


Pack a foldable tote bag

Lastly, a good tip is to take a foldable tote bag in your luggage, which can easily carry any additional items you may require, like a book or some refreshments for the plane. Once you have arrived at your destination, you can fold your tote bag and store it in your luggage or coat pocket. And it may come in useful when shopping for groceries and souvenirs on your trips.


In conclusion, traveling with only under seat luggage can be a gruelling undertaking, but with packing tips for carry on luggage, it can be a rewarding one. Remember to plan ahead, pack thoughtfully, and embrace the challenge with enthusiasm. Bon voyage!

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