How To Travel With A Carry On Only | - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

How To Travel With A Carry On Only

How To Travel With A Carry On Only

I was not a carry-on person for a longest time. It never even crossed my mind that it was an option. Not until I moved to the U.S. and the airlines started charging you for checking-in everything down to your underwear. Being on a  budget and yet loving to travel inspired me to explore carry-on only. Best decision ever! The only time I check-in my bag is when the trip is longer than a week and/or I am going back home! 

I cannot recommend this travel style enough. Seriously, it will change your life. No more worrying about lost luggage, waiting for hours at baggage carousels or having to lug around big, heavy suitcases once you reach your destination. Traveling with just a carry-on is a savior and can actually be quite easy. 

Below are a few ways in which you too can give it a shot, if you haven't already: 

Tip 1: Less Is More

The only way to make things work without checking your bag is to channel your inner minimalist. Really think about what your plan is each day and pack accordingly. I like to write down what I am going to wear each day on a note pad and plan my outfits in advance, which applying mix and match

Many of us are guilty of bringing along pieces that we never wear at home in the hopes that a beach or new city may be just the inspiration we need to finally break it in. But let’s be real, that’s not going to happen.
  • Create a clothing itinerary that works through what you will wear each day and night of your trip. 
  • Pack pieces that can be layered or worn multiple times (without ruining your pictures) and only give yourself maybe one or two extra options total – just in case. 
  • Stick to a similar colour palette so that pieces can be mixed up if unexpected weather or occasions arise. 
Remember, if you end up needing something more, it’s a perfect excuse to do a little retail sight-seeing. Checking in a bag on your flight back is way less stressful than having a checked bag for your entire trip.

Tip 2: Be Minimalist with your toiletries 

Not being able to squeeze all of your liquids into that tiny plastic baggie is the reason most people give up and opt to check a bag. Ask yourself: do you really need all those liquids? There’s a reason beauty brands have made an industry out of creating mini-versions of their most popular products.

Pull together all of your liquid necessities so you can see what you’re dealing with. If you’re staying at a hotel, you likely don’t need shampoo, conditioner or body lotion (tip: hotels often list complimentary room toiletries on their website so check here before you start packing)

See if you can get a mini version or invest in some of those handy travel containers where you can transfer just enough liquid to get you through your trip. If you’re going on a beach vacation and are worried that one travel-sized container won’t be enough for your sunscreen, pack multiples. 

You can swap out any liquids for alternatives. For example, moist wipes often don’t qualify as liquids and can be used instead of makeup remover or face wash. 

Tip 3: Two pairs of shoes are enough

When it comes to shoes, the type of trip matter. If it is a city travel, or work travel then often two is the magic number - One dressy and one casual walking-friendly pair. The only time you might need a third pair is if you will be hiking, skiing, etc. which requires a specific type else two is plenty. 

Tip 4: Roll & Cube

Rolling your clothes will not only maximize the space in your carry-on but it also helps keep wrinkles at bay. I like to roll a heavy item (like jeans) with a light item (like tees) and roll them together and create outfits in advance and pack in a packing cube. Not only helps you get the most out of the space also makes unpacking, or living out of the suitcase convenient.  

Tip 5: Pick your elecronics wisely

Nowadays, everyone travels with a tablet, smartphone, GoPro, DSLR, multiple lenses, and batteries and chargers to go along with it! think about what you will actually need. In the end turns out you used your smartphone for everything, purely out of the convenience. 

Unless it is a photography related trip or you work in travel industry, may be just invest in small accessories for your phone, like a waterproof case or specialty lenses that clip on and that will take up no space in your suitcase and give you more bang for your buck.

Tip 6: Invest in a good quality carry-on

Not all carry-on bags are created equally. I will admit I own several. They all have different purposes. Do a bit of research to find the perfect bag to suit your needs. Most airlines will allow a carry-on that measures around 9 by 15.5 by 21.5 inches (including handle and wheels) so pick a bag that maximizes on that. Some people find it useful to have lots of separate compartments while others prefer one big open space. Try out a few options in store to see what works best for you.

How To Travel With A Carry On Only

However, rolling suitcases isn't the most convenient when exploring busy cities. I was recently introduced to the Outbreaker Backpack which is an ideal carry-on backpack that has the ergonomics and portability of a backpack with the obsessive organization and easy packing of a suitcase. You have an organized place for everything in the Outbreaker Backpack. Made with X-Pac waterproof sailcloth, the Outbreaker is carry-on sized, height adjustable, has thick, soft padding for comfort, a removable hip belt, laptop and tablet sleeves, and is weather resistant. You will be tempted to overpack because everything you need really fits in there!

The Outbreaker Backpack features include: slots for your computer & tablet, external pockets, internal organizational pockets, padded shoulder straps, a height-adjustable suspension system for optimal fit, and a padded, removable hip belt to make carrying your belongings more comfortable. They really thought about everything with this bag! 

Not only does it hold a ton, but it also is carryon sized so you don't need to check a bag! The Outbreaker Backpack packs like a suitcase and carries like a backpack, which makes packing and unpacking easier and enables a more enjoyable, hands-free travel experience, no matter where you are.

How To Travel With A Carry On Only Tanvii.comHow To Travel With A Carry On Only  How To Travel With A Carry On Only 
How To Travel With A Carry On Only
How To Travel With A Carry On Only
Location: Union Station, D.C.

Shirt - Target // Similar
Jeans - Rag & Bone // Similar
Flats - TJ Maxx // Similar
Bag - Kate Spade // Similar
Backpack - Tortuga // Same 

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Tortuga bag for review purposes. 
All opinions mentioned are my own.


  1. Team carry-on only! I totally agree that it's the only way to travel!

    Ashlee |

  2. These are great tips! I'm learning to try to utilize carry-on only!

  3. Ahhh so hard to travel with a carry on! I could never do it, props to you for making it work!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  4. Wow you have really great tips, packing only a carry on is usually a challenge but you make it look super easy, rolling clothes and cubes is such a smart idea :D

  5. Yes the best and only way to travel. I try so hard to only do a carry on, but it never works that way.

  6. Great tips lady! Definitely love only bringing a carry on. So helpful and less to worry about!

    xo Laura Leigh

  7. You've got so many great tips! I've never really traveled anywhere less than a week - and I have such an intense skincare/beauty routine that I always check bags, BUT if I get the chance to start traveling more for lesser amounts of time, I'll definitely be coming back to this post for your suggestions!

  8. I never check in my bags! I was spent a week in Germany with just my carry on! Great tips on how to make me more efficient!

  9. I like to fold my clothes KonMari style and put in the packing cubes. It was easier to do carry on before kids, but I'm looking forward to the day where they can haul their own stuff and we can save $$$

  10. LOVE these tips! I always feel way less stressed when I only have a carry on!!

  11. Carry on's are the best. Honestly, I can't be bothered with lugging around huge suitcases and waiting for them to be off loaded on the carousel. It's so much easier just getting off the plane and walking out of the airport. Love you tip about rolling up your outfits together. That makes so much sense

  12. traveling with a carry on is seriously the easiest to check in any bags.

  13. That backpack seems like a game changer for carry-on only travel. I took a traditional backpacking backpack on my three-week Peru trip, and it was obnoxious to have to constantly repack it because I needed something at the bottom of the bag. I love how your bag gives you the mobility of a backpack with the organization of a suitcase. Great tips in this post, too!

  14. These are great tips!Speaking of shopping a great idea is to leave some space if you know you might be shopping! You will have space to bring home new stuff!

  15. Hey, these tips are really helpful. I travel a lot and it is not always easy to decided what to wear and to combine for three days in advance.

    Love, Esther

  16. For me it's just impossible to take so few things with me ... my bags are always overloaded. I'll try to make use of your tips next time I travel. :)

  17. My fella is a huge believer in carry-on only traveling. I totally join in as long as the trip is a week or less. Any more than that and I still tend to check a bag, but I know that I could improve!

  18. I've recently transitioned to carry on only and it was such a good change! It saves so much time at the airport!

  19. Thanks for these tips babe!

    Mónica Sors

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. WOW!!
    Nice Post.
    Keep sharing more post . I used to buy stuff from Nykaa & get amazing deals.

  22. Great tips! I try very hard to be a minimalist when I travel. I also learned rolling my clothes gives me so much room.

  23. Great tips lady! You sound like a packing pro!

  24. Rolling your clothes is huge! It save so much space. I will have to remember these when my husband and I go to New York next summer.

  25. Nice tips,
    Yes the best and only way to travel. I try so hard to only do a carry on, but it never works that way.

  26. I love traveling with a carry on! It makes life so much easier! such a great post!

    Sarah Lindner

  27. Shoes are my weakness and they definitely take up the most room in my bags. I'm such a horrible packer and blogging has just made it worse, lol. I need to get better!

    xo, Kristina

  28. Great tips!! I have done this before and am always surprised at how much that I can fit in a carryon!


  29. omg, i must say that it just impossible to take so few things with me ... i carry a big bag and my bags are always overloaded. bdw, nice tips


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