Get Everything into a Carry On – Simplified Packing Tips

Checking a bag is a hassle. You have to wait in line at the airport, get your bag weighed, and then pray that it makes it to your final destination in one piece. Then once you finally arrive after hours of traveling, you have to stand around and wait for your bag to appear. And if your luck is anything like mine, your bag is usually the last out on the carousel. And on top of all of that – you have to pay at least $50 round trip to get your bag to and from your destination.

So not worth it.

I vowed to never check a bag again and gave away all of my luggage (which wasn’t a heart breaker since the airlines had already ruined most pieces.) Now I travel with a carry on and backpack as my personal item. If you have the physical ability, I would recommend investing into a backpackers bag. They are larger than a roller bag carry-on and can fit more stuff. Plus, I’ve never had an airline tell me it was too large. However, I do see people with roller bags get turned away for the size of their carry on.

If all you have is a carry on, how do fit all of your stuff? First of all, keep in mind that most people bring way too much stuff on a trip that they don’t really need. Did you wear all four pairs of shoes your brought? Probably not. Did you need to bring 3 outfits for each day? Definitely not.

Here is what I packed in one single carry on and my personal bag for our 8 day trip to Belize:

  • flip flops
  • 2 swim suits
  • 4 tank tops
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 tshirt
  • 1 sleep short
  • fins, mask and snorkel
  • SLR camera with extra lens
  • phone
  • Kindle
  • beach bag
  • towel
  • 3 oz bottles of: shampoo, conditioner, bug spray and suntan lotion
  • snacks

I wore my Keen sandals to the airport along with linen pants, a sweatshirt and additional tshirt. Because our trip didn’t have any planned “fancy/dress up” events or meals, that’s all I needed. It’s easy to travel with only a carry on and take everything you actually need. Plus, if you’re staying in a place or area with a laundromat, you can quickly wash and re-wear clothing.

backpacking back pack

This is the bag that I use for a carry on. I got it as a Christmas gift but I know she purchased it from Walmart for only $30! You can use the side pockets and straps to attach items you don’t put inside your bag – and the airlines don’t stop you from still bringing it as a carry on! (This is no guarantee, maybe I’ve gotten lucky but you should go for it!)




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