A Guide to Traveling with Carry-On Only

man running up stairs

Figuring out what to take with you on a trip can be the most demanding part of planning a trip. It used to be this way for me for a long time. But as I have mentioned countless times before, you are probably packing way too much. If you pack less you can even fly with carry-on baggage only which will save you money on your flight and make travel less of a hassle in general.

Why Would I Want to Travel Only with Carry-On Luggage?

There are various reasons why traveling with carry-on is “better” than with a big suitcase.

Save Money on Airfares

Last year I flew to Amsterdam and Prague for 100 CHF. I flew with KLM and Swiss which both have cheap fares with the condition that you don’t bring any baggage with you. Since both were rather short trips I didn’t even have to pack really “smart” to bring everything along.

Skip Baggage Claim

baggage claim at airport

This is presumably my favorite thing about traveling light. Getting out of an airplane and just walk out of the airport is wonderful. You are so much more agile and fast if you only carry one small bag.

The Airline Can’t Lose Your Bag

Nothing is more bothersome than arriving at your destination with none of your bags. With carry-on, you can keep an eye on your bag at all time and you will be less worried.

Pack Less

Obviously the first step towards being able to fly with carry-on only is to pack less things. This might sound hard at first, but it is really straightforward. Most things that you think you’ll need you just won’t need. Think about what you are really going to need and only pack the essentials.

Pack Smart

packing cubes

You can save a great deal of space in your backpack if you pack your bag right. There are many guides on the internet on how to pack “the right way”. My favorite is to roll all my clothes in the bag. I’m not saying that this is the best way but it is just the way I do it. In addition to rolling your clothes, using packing organisers can help you a lot with packing. I wrote about them here before.

What About Cold Climates?

Packing less is nice when you are traveling to places with a warmer climate but what if you’re traveling to Europe in the winter for example? Even that can be done with carry-on only. Kristin from Be My Travel Muse made a great guide about traveling to Europe in the winter with carry-on baggage. This guide is obviously applicable to other places where it’s cold. I definitely recommend having a look if you are planning to travel light to a cold place.

What are your experiences with flying with carry-on only? Let me know in the comments!

photo credit: TheeErin Tis the season via photopin (license)

photo credit: Anne Worner 3x2x1 via photopin (license)

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