Traveling with Carry-on Only

black carry on luggage in busy crowded place

With prices for baggage becoming more and more expensive and airlines limiting your carry on size even further, now is as important a time as ever to start traveling carry-on only.

Tips for Packing Light:

  • Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants, and wear the heavier items on the plane.
  • Don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. For longer trips, plan to do laundry along the way.
  • Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel wardrobe. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, leave it at home.
  • Swap your pile of paperbacks for an e-reader and forget about those “just in case” items you could easily buy in your destination.
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them — it minimizes wrinkles and maximizes space.
    …..Travelers, what advice would you add? Leave your best tips in the comments below.

What to expect with carry-on only:

  • You’ll need to be more cautious of the liquids that are going into your kit since they have to fall into the 3-1-1 rule which means: 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.
  • Expect potentially longer security checks. By going carry on only, you’ll have more stuff with you since you’re not checking things in another piece of luggage. Keep your belongings organized so there isn’t so much drama at security.
  • Instead of a smaller carry on bag that can go under your seat, you may need to get on the plane sooner so that precious overhead space is available.
  • You’ll wait less in lines that are mainly for checking your luggage, and you’ll wait less at the baggage carousel after a long flight.
  • Worry less about whether or not your luggage will actually be at your destination!
  • Check fewer bags, pay less cash.


Don’t Forget the Personal Item!

While it may be overwhelming to pack carry on only in one bag, don’t forget that you may also have a personal item. It’s easy to go overboard, but make sure it’s smaller than your carry on and can fit comfortably under your seat while still giving you foot room. Some airlines limit the size of your personal item and budget carriers don’t even allow you one. Do your research.