It amazes me that I am back to do a blog post in such quick succession! #proudmoment ! So I recently went on a 10 day trip to Europe and I did it with a just a carry on and like all bloggers do, I had to be extra and blog about it! So here we are!
So the decision to go light came out of two things :
- Reading about so many people in recent times losing their luggage and
- When I started packing I realized all the things I didn’t actually need!
Here are some points, pictures and tips on how you can go about packing for up to 15 days in a just a cabin suitcase.
- First things first, by carry on I mean a suitcase, which fits the aircraft size restrictions plus a backpack. I could not have done this efficient packing if I didn’t use a backpack as my “1 personal item”. The suitcase I have is this one and the backpack I use is this one.
- Aircraft rules about size and dimensions of bags change and its best to pack based on the most restrictive aircraft rules. I was allowed up to 10kgs of cabin baggage for some airlines but one allowed only 8kgs and so I packed only 8.3 kgs (:P) JUST COULDN’T further reduce the 0.3kgs – that’s when you bully your husband (or whoever your co-traveler may be) to pack a little lighter so they will let you through and it worked!!!
- Now this is an IMPORTANT point! Often times, its not as much the weight as is the size of the luggage that matter to airlines. If the dimensions are within limit, airlines usually let you get away with packing up to a couple of kgs more than their limit. This ended up being a problem for me because my carry-on was bought to match the Emirates’ carry-on dimension which happens to be bigger than all other regular flights and so after all this planning, on one short flight I had to check-in my bag because the size was just too big to fit the upper luggage space 😦 If you think I have cheated by writing this post though I was not 100% able to go check-in free, you might want to stop reading here because it is what it is! 😦
- PACKING CUBES – This was a recent discovery and it revolutionized our packing game! We bought our cubes off of Amazon and it was such a boon! I always fold my clothes and take them in suitcases, but if you are like my husband who bundles clothes up and then finds it hard to stuff them into your suitcase, packing cubes are your answer to everything!
- Re-think EVERY piece of clothing you are planning to take. I often used to take extremely uncomfortable dresses, back-ups for these extremely uncomfortable dresses and so on. I scrapped all of that. Only clothes which I knew I could spend whole days in, without feeling uncomfortable in were the ones which made it with me on the trip. I took just one extra outfit with me which was for a by-chance requirement. This came back unworn!
- Wear the heaviest clothes on the plane – This is a no-brainer but since it is such a useful tip I had to add it! On all of my six flights, my outfit was a t-shirt, jeans, belt, shoes, and a sweater. The jeans, belt, shoes and sweater are my heaviest items of clothing and them being on me meant they were not taking away precious kgs inside my luggage. It might be slightly uncomfortable but we have to deal with it.
- I have been known to carry at least 3 pairs of footwear on 3 day trips (4 pairs in total if you add the pair I wear!) So bringing it down to one pair of shoes to wear on the flight and one pair of rubber crocs to wear to all the pebble beaches I visited was a big downsizing for me. Not all outfits look nice with shoes so you might want to consider that when choosing your outfits. I forgot about that this time and had to live with those consequences!
- The advantage of living in Airbnbs is having a washer/dryer most of the times! Dont be lazy! Make use of these facilities. I was able to re-wear so many of my clothes is various combinations thanks to choosing Airbnbs which offered us washers and dryers.
- These were the essentials I carried in my backpack. Note that the personal item’s weight is usually ignored most of the times because this gets stowed under your seat or the seat in front of you.
- File with Important documents
- Headbands and hairbands / hair ties if you have long hair
- Lets the good times roll face cleanser
- Face masked ( I masked on three flights I loved it!)
- Face wipes
- Wet wipes for toilets (flight toilet appear on top of my list of nightmares)
- Toilet and make up bag (no frills absolutely, only essentials, plus all liquids under 100 ml. Dont bother to carry shampoo and body wash. These days literally every hotel and BnB place have them)
- Charger, headphones (iphone and bluetooth)
- Eye mask
- Tablets and pills
- A pair of clean socks
- iPad – No laptop!
- Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket – served as a raincoat as well
- Universal adapter / converter
- Hand sanitizer (finished a whole bottle and repurchased one! :/)
- Not in the picture: Cap, Umbrella , Sunscreen, External Charger for phone/tablet – My husband is spending an additional week there and these things are now with him.
Doing up to half a month in a carry-on is not really hard once you plan right! It gives you so much peace of mind that the planning becomes worth it! Trust me. Hope this post was useful in some small ways for those who wish to pack light for long trips! Did you learn any new tips? I was apprehensive about writing this post because this is a topic which is so done and dusted. But since many of you asked for it I decided to do it anyway. Until next time then! 🙂