On my first solo trip abroad, I overpacked big time. I was gone for two weeks and brought four pairs of shoes, a different outfit for every day, and full containers of just about
That is, until a taxi driver came to pick me up in Nepal. My host carried out my overstuffed bag and heaved it into the back of the car. Together, he and the taxi driver leaned against the door to get it to close around my bag. They exchanged annoyed glances and one mumbled to the other “…American.”
And that was the first time I felt ashamed to be American- to be known simply as a person that has too much stuff. I was so
So when it came time to pack for my three week trip to Central America- I had a goal: Only bring the necessities I could fit in a carry on sized bag. After successfully completing this goal, I became hooked.
There are so many advantages to packing
If you’re thinking of challenging yourself to pack for carry on only travel, I highly encourage you to try it! Take it from a recovering
Save Money on Airfare
So many airlines these days charge an extra fee to hold your larger luggage items in the baggage compartment. These fees for checked bags really add up, and are quite the annoyance. By only bringing a carry-on sized bag, you can often dodge these fees altogether.
Make sure and check with your airline, though, as some budget airlines also charge for a carry on! Even if they do, don’t let it discourage you! There are plenty more reasons to pack carry on only for travel.
Don’t Wait at the Airport
Don’t you just hate coming off a long plane ride, when you just want to get to your hotel, but you still have to wait 20 or more minutes for your luggage to be delivered? Everyone’s always so grumpy around the baggage carousel and you wait anxiously, hoping that
Can I just tell you, it’s one of the greatest feelings to walk by that dreary baggage carousel scene with all your belongings in a carry on bag, strolling straight to the exit. Nothing makes you feel like more of a winner than skipping past all those people waiting, while you make your way to your hotel and a hot shower.
No Risk of Losing Luggage
Have you ever been one of those unfortunate ones at the baggage carousel whose luggage never arrived? It’s a complete nightmare to learn that your bags did not arrive on your plane, and that perhaps even all your belongings are lost.
I’ve never had an airline lose my luggage. *knock on wood* With carry on travel, you are in control of your bag throughout the whole travel period. There’s no way an airline can lose your things if they never have control of them!
Get Creative With Packing
When packing your carry on luggage, you’ll learn to get very creative. You’ll learn about rolling clothes, storing things in shoes, and the magic of packing cubes. All those packing hack videos you’ve watched online will finally come in handy, and you’ll learn to pack your small bag perfectly!
Carry on travel doesn’t always come easily. I can tell you, it helps to practice your packing before you leave. This will help you prepare better for what you can and can’t fit, and will help you discover the best ways to organize your belongings inside your bag.
Less Likely to Leave Items Behind
When you have less stuff to keep track of, you are less likely to leave an item behind. If you’re one of those people who’s just chronically losing your things, I recommend giving carry on travel a try. When you pack your carry on bag, you’ll find a certain methodology where everything has its exact place. This helps you keep track of your things and whether or not they made it into your bag, in their spot.
Learn to Live With Less
Possibly one of my favorite things about carry on travel is that you begin to realize how little you really need to get by. You learn to leave all that “just in case” stuff at home and only bring what’s really necessary. After living for a few weeks out of a small bag, you’ll realize how little you really need.
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Smaller Bags Are Cheaper
Another great money saving opportunity with traveling carry on only comes when choosing your bag. Carry on sized bags are almost always cheaper than larger bags. I bought my carry on
Ditch The Porter and Luggage Cart
Wheeling around a large bag makes you a target for scammy porters. When I arrived in Kathmandu for the first time, my huge bag was instantly taken from me by an aggressive porter. Once we got to the car, he demanded payment and I ended up getting ripped off about $20. Not cool, man.
Easier Navigation and Mobility
I don’t know if I can stress this one enough. Having just a carry on bag makes you so much more mobile. There are so many places that are just not
Less Of A Target For Theft
Travelers who bring large bags are more noticeable to pickpocketers and thieves. They are easier to spot in airports, train stations, and while walking the streets. But if you just have a small carry on bag, you are more likely to go unnoticed. Thieves are also less likely to mess with carry on travelers because they know that bag is packed with only the essentials and you probably didn’t bring the valuable stuff they’re after like expensive jewelry, laptops, and other electronics. There are also a large number of anti-theft backpacks to add that extra layer of protection for carry-on travelers.
Helps Cut Down Souvenir Spending
If you often have issues overspending on souvenirs and gifts when you travel, then carry on travel is definitely for you! With limited space in your bags, there’s not much room to add more stuff. This helps you keep that spending under control and makes you think about what you really want from a place.
Fits in Hostel Lockers
Budget travelers who stay in hostels are definitely going to want to travel carry on only. Most hostel lockers are only big enough to store carry on sized bags. If your bag is bigger than that, you’ll have to unpack it and keep all your important stuff in the locker, while leaving everything else out in the room and open to potential theft. Traveling with just a carry on makes it easier to keep all your things safe inside a locked hostel locker.
Impress Your Friends and Family
This really shouldn’t be your main motivation for trying out the carry on
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