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8 Tips to Fly with Just a Carry-On

Posted by Kristen Creed on

I challenge you to travel light this summer. If you’re like me, this task seems daunting. (Over-packer, here!) But there are two things I like: a challenge and saving money. Checking a bag is just another charge to the travel card, (imagine spending that money elsewhere… like in your destination) and sometimes checked bags get lost — a true travel nightmare. Here are some quick and easy hacks to avoid both of those problems and skip right past baggage claim into vacay mode.

  1. Choose the perfect carry-on. One that’s the perfect size, a nice color, affordable, whatever you are going to be happy traveling with. And stick to the mentality that this one bag is what you have to work with.
  2. Don’t forget the personal item. Your personal item can easily be your purse, but if you need even more room for packing, think about carrying a small backpack or tote instead. Just check TSA standards to make sure your personal item is allowed and is within their limits.
  3. Make a list of everything you want to bring. I love lists, so this is super helpful for me. Once you have your packing list, you can decide which items must come with, and which ones can probably stay at home.
  4. Choose your outfits ahead of time and wear a couple extra accessories on the flight, like scarves or a hat, to save even room. Maintain a sense of organization by rolling your clothes and then packing them, rather than stuffing everything in.
  5. Be strategic when packing shoes. This is one of my favorite tips. You can obviously wear a pair on the plane, so that saves space. But if you pack another pair, say boots or sneakers, stuff things inside them! Socks, thin t-shirts or sports bras. Use that negative space wisely.
  6. Pack liquids in smaller containers. Travel bottles work, but often times, you use even less than the allowed 3.4 ounces of a product on vacation. Buy small cosmetic jars and bring just enough foundation, moisturizer or facial cleanser. Bonus tip: One of my favorite things to do is hold onto some of the mini shampoo and conditioner bottles I use at hotels — you could even refill those!
  7. Buy travel sized products that can’t necessarily be repackaged or that you’ll need plenty of, like toothpaste, biodegradable sunscreen or contact solution.
  8. Pack toiletries in a plastic quart or gallon-sized bag. It helps you stay organized before, during and after the trip and I, personally like everything to have a home in my suitcase.

Other things I make sure to pack before I jet off? Headphones, a magazine and lip balm on hand. Happy traveling!


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