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How to Pack When Traveling with a Carry-on Only

When travelling it is a good idea to pack as light as possible. The less you must keep up with the more you can enjoy your vacation. Baggage claim can be a hassle and sometimes luggage gets lost when making connections on the way to your destination. Unless you are traveling for an extended period, such as a month or longer, you can easily pack for a trip with a carry-on bag only.

You will want to be strategic when packing your carry-on. Think about the season, the expected weather, and types of activities your trip entails. Some staples to take with you regardless include plenty of underwear and socks, a light jacket or sweater, and comfortable shoes. Conveniently, the jacket and shoes you can wear on the plane and save some space in your carry-on. It is smart to bring clothes that go well together so you can mix and match pieces, re-wearing pants when needed. When it comes to toiletries, be practical. Most hotels provide shampoo, soap and other bathroom necessities so it is not always crucial to bring these items with you.

For a 10 day trip these basics will fit in your carry-on:

Tops- 5 shirts/blouses

Bottoms- 3 pairs of pants/shorts/skirts

Shoes- 3 pairs maximum, including the shoes you wear on the plane

Underwear- 10 pairs

Socks- 5 pairs

Optional Items- Jacket/Sweater, Bathing Suit, Dress, etc.

Be resourceful when you pack, keep in mind how much space you need to fit everything in without over-stuffing your bag. A great way to keep your clothes as compact as possible is to roll each piece up like a newspaper and set them in your bag side by side. If you decide to take toiletries with you, make sure they are easily accessible at the top of your bag so you can quickly pull them out when going through airport security. If you have room left over, you can squeeze in a few other miscellaneous accessories, but it is best to leave most of your jewelry at home. Phone chargers, power adapters, and cameras are also things that you may want to allocate space for, luckily clothes make a great cushion to keep your electronics from getting damaged.

By getting down to the basics and lightening the amount of luggage to carry you can focus on enjoying every bit of your vacation. Packing light is a smart way to save you inconveniences and frustration when traveling, not to mention a lot less laundry when you return home.