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There’s something extremely satisfying about traveling without luggage. No worries about lost bags, no waiting at baggage claim and not a worry in the world about increasingly sharp baggage fees. Unless you’re on a world tour with endless costume changes, going “carry on only” is easier than you think. Here’s how to make the most of what you got, and forget the rest…


Make the most out of what the airline allows. Invest in a quality carry on and maximize the space of your “small personal item“. This second bag could be a rucksack, duffel or tote bag, allowing you to squeeze in some extra items. As long as it fits under the seat in front of you you won’t get the evil eyes from your fellow travelers. Use your full sized carry on as “luggage” and your personal item for iPads, headphones and other things you may want to reach in flight. 

Hand Wash

Sure, it’s a bit of effort, but you can re use clothes while traveling fairly easily, without steep hotel laundry fees. A quick wash in the sink, hang up to dry on the heated towel rack and you won’t need to worry about running out of clothes. You can even find mini washing powders and detergents to give you the fresh “just like home” smell. 


Wear your largest and clunkiest items. If you need to take a coat, boots, chunky jumper, scarf, try to plan your outfit accordingly. Just don’t be like this guy. Any bulky items that take up a lot of space should be a part of your new airport outfit, even if it just means carrying them in hand. 


Don’t bring them! Toiletries take up a lot of room and weight. Most places you stay will provide shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, moisturizer, towels and sometimes even more by request. With that in mind, save space and weight by taking advantage of the freebies at your destination. Worst case, you can buy small versions of whatever you need on arrival. 


This may seem random – but it’s not. You want to find the most functionally flexible shoes. You know, the ones that are comfy to travel in, but look cool enough to go out in as well. Shoes are the clunkiest item in most carry ons, so eliminating the need for an extra pair can make all the difference.


Think bendable, posable. It’s scientifically proven that rolling your clothes can save space and prevent wrinkles. Start with big items, and then save the socks, undies and other things to maximize the tough to reach corners.  And of course, when it comes to shoes, do your best to find the right space. 


Let’s be honest – how many times have you come back from holiday and realized you didn’t wear 1/4 of the things you packed. It’s always nice to have options when you’re away but try and be realistic, only packing the things you truly need. Plus, if you’re going somewhere exciting, you may find something you’d love to buy, and you’ll have extra room to take it back. 


Some people are surprised to learn that many luggage forwarding companies exist. Essentially, they’ll send your bags anywhere in the world – ready for you when they get there. If you don’t mind shelling out, this can be a great way to take the hassle out of baggage, while enjoying a wardrobe fit for a king or queen.

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