Packing Tips for Carry-On Travel

Gone are the days when I pack in excess. I use to think more options for attire the better. Now travel is so much more than that. It’s the experience of new cultures, meeting intriguing people, and learning the history of places as I wander the cobblestone streets. So, when I travel now, I travel with carry-on luggage. And on my last Europe trip I travelled with just a carry-on. For six weeks! So, I’ve put together some of the packing tips I use to ensure carry-on travel that gives you the freedom to just travel!

packing tips

Why Choose a Carry-On

As a solo traveller I loathe being burdened by excess luggage. With no one to watch my things, or help me carry my large suitcase up the narrow stairs, a carry-on is ideal.

Choosing to travel with just a carry-on, and a small purse, you have so much more freedom. Freedom. Less worry. And less back strain!

By travelling with just a carry-on you also save. You save money by not having to pay for checked luggage fees. You save time. Oh the time you’ll save! Forget about wasting time waiting for your checked luggage to tumble down the turnstile. And you’ll save time on trying to decide what to wear. Less luggage may equal less clothing, but it still doesn’t mean less style. (see packing tips below)

And forget about lost luggage, ever again!

Packing Tips

  • Use compression bags. You’ll be amazed by how much you can fit in a bag, and then how thin it becomes when you let out the air. You can get them in varying sizes too.
  • Roll clothing. This may be obvious for some, but for those who still fold, you’ll be surprised how much more you can fit in. Plus, it helps reduce wrinkles.
  • Wear your heaviest gear. Like your jacket, running shoes, and sweater.
  • Minimal clothing doesn’t equal NO style! Choose a colour scheme where all your pieces can work together, and add a couple pieces for pops of colour like a scarf, blazer, or cardigan.
  • Bring a laundry bag. Don’t forget you’re still able to wash your clothes while travelling. Most big cities, and some small ones, have laundromats. Or you can easily wash your clothing with travel-sized detergent or shampoo in your hotel sink or tub. And hang to dry over towel racks. To help with faster drying time try using the hotel hair dryer or heated towel racks. Or, choose to purchase clothing that is made of materials that are quick dry.
  • Put plastic wrap over your creams and gels, then place lid over, to save from spillage.
  • Hide emergency money or extra cash and change in various places either on your person – try the amazing Original Travel Bra – or in your luggage. Try folding bills in an empty sanitary wrap, or in empty chap stick containers.

CabinZero bag

Want to know what my favourite carry-on bag is right now? Check out my review of the Cabin Zero carry-on bag!

What’s your packing tips for carefree carry-on travel?

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Packing Tips for Carefree Carry-On Travel


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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12 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    Great tips!! 🙂

  2. Danielle says:

    Awesome tips! I just recently started to use space saver bags that you can roll the air out of and they are lifesavers!!

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Danielle! I agree, those bags are lifesavers, and I wish I had known about them earlier!

  3. Renee Hahnel says:

    These are great tips! I nearly always use compression sacks and zip-up bags to make more room in my bag. I also wear my boots and jackets on the plane to save room!

  4. I had no idea you did a full SIX WEEKS with just carry-on! Dayum girl, kudos!! I don’t know if I could manage that, but I feel you. Carry-on only is SO amazing. I honestly find myself packing more on a road-trip than a flight… just because I have more room

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks girl! It was interesting, but liberating. But boy do you ever appreciate a washing machine afterwards! lol And I agree, I definitely pack more for a road trip than a flight can I pack it all in my car!

  5. These tips are so useful and practical, Stephanie! Great one!

  6. Steven Rokes says:

    Great packing tips. Really helpful and awesome writing. a good Packing can make also good travel. keep up it dear.


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