My Top Tips For Traveling With A Carry-On Only


Sometime last year, I decided to take more advantage out of living in Europe in terms of being able to travel to so many neighbouring countries in a matter of only a couple of hours and for the most part pretty affordable plane tickets!

That resulted in an exciting list of countries and cities to visit, more short trips and a lot of carry-on luggage only travelling! I think I have been quite successful so far, having been to Italy, London and Morocco ever since and having trips to Malta, Croatia and Montenegro planned for the (very) near future!

While packing only a carry-on for your trip gives off a feeling of flexibility and a taste of adventure, it's also quite tricky, especially if you are travelling to a country that has substantial differences from your home countrie or you are trying to cram a week's worth of outfits into a backpack.

That is why I have cummulated this little list of my top five tips for travelling with carry-on luggage only!

#1: Streamlining is key 
 When travelling with less luggage, it is very important to truly consider the amount of stuff you want to take with you. And to be completely honest here, most of the time the things we use in our daily life are even too much! A prime example for me is always my makeup bag: I do streamline my "everyday essentials" makeup down A LOT for travelling. I pack no jewelry except for the pieces I am wearing on the day of travel and I really, really try my hardest to not over-pack in terms of clothing and to only bring what I really need and will wear - no exceptions here! Another example is skincare. Even though I find skincare to be extremely necessary, I most of the time leave any "extra" products, like peelings, toners, serums, self-tanner, at home. Try this approach for every category of things you are packing and you will see, you probably end up with only half of what you would have initially chucked in a suitcase.

#2: Outfit planning
This is probably the tip that I am actually the worst at haha, but honestly, planning your outfits in advance is the number one thing that will keep you from over-packing and making travelling for a week with handluggage only no problem at all. While my boyfriends throws three T-shirts and two pants into his suitcase and is good to go, I do not always want to sacrifice my personal style completely for travelling. That is why I always roughly map out which outfits I want to wear on the trip. Things I always look out for when doing that: versatility - I pack clothes that go well with everything else in my closet and always, always pick a shirt and skirt over a dress just to have more possibilities to combine outfits. I don't particularly enjoy outfit planning, admittedly it really stresses me out, but trust me, it provides you with a lot more piece of mind while being on the go! 

#3: Downsizing
Travel size beauty products are not only super adorable, but also great for saving space and weight while travelling and also to meet airlines standards for carrying liquids in your handluggage (these are universal for the most part by now, but just check your airlines website to be completely sure) - and yes, things like mascara, liquid concealer and lipgloss also have to be singled out and put into a clear ziplock bag! I have now accummulated a stack of my essential beauty products in travel size, which I just grab when going on a trip, which is super helpful! Alternatively, you can buy clear containers (again, check the allowed sizes beforehand!) and fill those with your beauty products - that works especially well for things like haircare, SPF and body wash. You could also substitute some liquids with solid products, for example a solid shampoo or even toothpaste tabelts (yes, that's a thing!) to save on room for other liquids you might want to take. Apart from the obvious, also think about things like your hair brush, hair dryer and other tools you might need and get them in a travel size to save some room in your luggage.

#4: Consider country-specific particularities
The most obvious thing that comes to mind here is checking the weather forecast of course! ;) Nothing worse than NOT having appropriately packed for a rainy weekend trip or a week away that is hotter than expected. Of course, the weather can always take a turn and surprise you, but better save than sorry, am I right? But it doesn't stop there. In terms of clothing, some countries might have a certain "dresscode" you would want to consider, which could for example be packing clothing pieces that cover your shoulders and your knees for visiting religious sights in Marrakesh. No short trip is the same, so travelling is much more enjoyable if you know beforehand to definitely having an umbrella on hand for a weekend in London in December and some extra SPF for a week in Malta in the summer, haha! Adapters for your tech stuff is another thing to be considerate about. Just spending a few minutes googling the country you are visiting and reading some travel guides will save you any inconveniences while being on the go.

#5: Pack smart
Another thing that is easier said than done! Packing smart in terms of saving room but also consider convenience and accessability of items, is some sort of art in my personal opinion haha! And it gets consecutively harder to keep up especially if you re-locate during your travel. However, thinking about a helpful and easy packing system will enable you to get the most out of your handluggage and save you some precious time while on your trip. To save room, you should always roll your clothes instead of folding them (also helps to prevent wrinkles!). Keep smaller things like accessories, chargers or important things like travel documents, any print outs of reservations or bookings you might have as well as medication in seperate, small pouches that you are able to tell apart and keeps things more organized. Have you ever heard of traveler towels? It's a super light-weight and fast drying type of towel - not the most luxurious feeling, but it saves sooo much space compaired to conventional towels. If you travel with a backpack: always, always pack the heaviest pieces on the bottom and keep the items you need to access regularly, like your toothbrush, in seperate compartments.



I really hope these little tips are somewhat helpful! Please leave any packing trips you have in the comments below, as I would love to read them and learn from you!

What are your upcoming travel plans?


Thanks for stopping by and reading.

xx Janine 

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