Last week’s Travel Tip Tuesday post listed five reasons why you should switch to carry-on only-and Facebook fans and commenters listed many more. After that post, I had a few FB comments and even an email or two asking me how I do it.
I’ve listed my general carry-on list before, but here are five tips to help you pack your carry on for an international trip.
1. Use Your Personal Item
With few (new) exceptions, you are allowed to board the plane with one personal item in addition to your carry on bag. Many women carry a purse, some people carry a laptop or briefcase, but whatever you use, make sure it is large enough to allow space for stashing extras like your camera, iPod, makeup or books.
2. … and Then One
Ok, so yes, I’m technically cheating here but how many times have you boarded the plane with your one carry on and personal item and seen people in front of you with a big shopping bag filled with their latest airport purchase? You know it happens … .
So, if I’m borderline on space, I pack my own shopping bag and use it to hold the items I’ll need in-flight, such as iPod, book, magazine, journal and my Ziploc bag of liquids. A bonus here is that I am always prepared when I board and don’t have to go through my zipped carry on to look for my essentials.
3. Use Extra Shoes
Sure, you can pack socks and underwear inside the space of your packed shoes, but you might also be able to squeeze in a hairbrush, PJs … undershirts. If it doesn’t need to be wrinkle-free, roll it up and stuff it inside. That’s just free space waiting to be used.
4. Always Cut
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? The easiest way to pack a carry on only suitcase for an international trip is to eliminate the amount of stuff you pack. Simple, non?
If you are having a hard time with this, then think back to the last two or three trips you took and remove any items you didn’t use. If you didn’t use it last time, you probably wouldn’t use it this time-and you will be thankful for the extra space for souvenirs.
5. Bundle Wrap
If you can’t seem to cut enough from your list, then consider bundle wrapping. There is an actual technique to it, so be sure to click that link and read up on it-and follow the diagrams-if you are interested.
I’ve used a similar technique of wrapping clothes around a main object and had great success, however, nine times out of ten, I’d rather eliminate the item than pack it.
I *never* pack a hairdryer-and with the unfortunate exception of my honeymoon-I’ve never missed it. What one item would you recommend people toss?
I’m sure Robin at My Melange would have something wise to say about this. Be sure to check out some of her travel tips today, too.
Until next time … Buon Viaggio.
Traveling south? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to Calabria or southern Italy.
Photo: Queen of Subtle.