I leave for Spain in three days and will being staying for six weeks. Let’s face it, traveling can be stressful.
Packing only carry-on luggage will take a lot of that stress off of your plate. You won’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost or retrieving your suitcase once you arrive at an airport that will probably feel like a different planet. Here are a few helpful packing tips that I found useful:
1. Roll Your Clothes
I’m so thankful that I came upon this useful tip; I would always fold my clothes and it takes up so much more room. I was able to fit ten outfits in my carry on suitcase and still have half of the bag left for other things. This is best if you are packing light clothing, so if you’re going in colder months it wouldn’t work as well.
2. Use Travel Size Toiletries
Besides the fact that this is all airports will allow for carry on bags, they also take up a very small amount of space. Unless you are very picky about what type of shampoo, lotion and face wash you use, save the space for something else and buy those necessities once you are abroad. My roommate and I have already decided on sharing and splitting the cost of shampoo and conditioner. I also plan on buying a cheap towel for the shower and beach.
3. Wear Your Heaviest Items
Bringing a coat? Sneakers? Jeans? All of these items are heavy and take up more space. You aren’t limited to what you wear on the plane, so if you’re comfortable with layers, I highly suggest it. I’m only bringing one pair of sneakers which I’ll be wearing when I depart.
You’re also allowed to bring a pillow with you on the plane which doesn’t count as an additional carry on item. I suggest the ones that wrap around your neck and have a clip.
4. Don’t Pack Anything You Don’t Already Use
You may think you’ll wear the new pair of heels you just bought, but a pretty pair of sandals will take up less room and is more comfortable. Don’t work out at home but think you might start while abroad? Probably not. This goes for things like books as well– if you’ve been meaning to read it for a year, don’t bring it, or anything else bulky that takes up extra room. You’ll be spending so much time exploring that you’ll probably forget about the novel you brought!
5. Plan to Check Your Carry-On Suitcase on the Way Home
It is possible to travel with only a carry on and backpack, but I plan on coming home with more than I left with. Try to make room for a small duffle bag in your carry on or backpack. If you don’t have room, buy a cheap one when abroad. Get one that has the name of where you are traveling on it, something you couldn’t find in the U.S., to make the purchase worth it. Doing this will allow you to relax about packing for your return, and bring home any souvenirs.