How to travel with only hand luggage | Tech US News

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The air travel chaos of summer 2022 brought massive cancellations, crushing lines and mounds of lost luggage at airports around the world. Although departure times and crowds are out of the passenger’s control, many travelers have decided to take action on the baggage loss front, vowing never to check a bag again.

“I only check a bag if absolutely necessary,” Phil Dengler, co-founder of The Vacationer, told HuffPost. “I avoid checking in a suitcase because it is often more expensive and the risk of it being lost or delayed is too high. This strategy saves me money and reduces my stress when flying.”

If you’re traveling on a ticket that allows you to take one carry-on bag and one personal item, that’s the easiest way to get your stuff to your destination.

“Personally, I prefer to travel with only carry-on luggage to save time and avoid lugging around a huge suitcase,” said Casey Brogan, consumer travel expert at Tripadvisor. “When I arrive at a vacation destination, the last thing I want to do is wait at the airport.”

Fitting everything into your carry-on may seem easier said than done for some people. Still, there are practical ways to make it happen. Below, find 15 carry-on tips from Dengler, Brogan and other travel experts.

Wear your largest shoe on the flight

Be strategic with your airplane clothes. What you choose to bring can free up precious space in your carry-on, especially when it comes to shoes.

“You should always fly in your shoe that takes up the most space,” Dengler said. “Some shoes, boots and other shoes can take up a lot of space in your suitcase and most cannot be folded.”

He also advised limiting the footwear you pack to what you absolutely need for the trip.

Keep a color scheme

“The smartest thing you can do to minimize your risk of overpacking is to make sure you pack everything you bring,” said Gabby Beckford, a self-proclaimed “carry-on queen” and founder of the aptly named travel site Packs. light “I always try to pack with a color scheme in mind. With pieces in the same color scheme, you can mix and match whatever you need.”

As you select your outfit for the trip, try to visualize how each piece could work with many other pieces to create a variety of cohesive outfits. You can mix things up with well-placed accessories that don’t take up as much space in a suitcase.

“I recommend packing clothes with neutral colors that can make a variety of different outfits,” Dengler said. “This allows you to pack less and still not wear the same uniform every day.”

Roll up the clothes

“Rolling clothes is the best way to maximize carry-on space,” Dengler said. “Also, your clothes will probably be less wrinkled than if you had them folded.”

She also suggested wrapping your rolled-up clothes with rubber bands to help keep things more organized and secure in your suitcase.

Choose accommodations with access to a washer and dryer

Before you get to the stage of packing before a trip, you can make sure that you will only need carry-on luggage with your chosen accommodation.

“Staying at a hotel or Airbnb with a washer and dryer allows you to pack much lighter than you would otherwise,” Dengler said. “While many people don’t want to do laundry on vacation, it allows you to take a potentially long trip with just one carry-on.”

TripSavvy Senior Editorial Director Laura Ratliff swears by stain remover wipes to freshen up clothes she wears again while traveling. It also recommends washing clothes or leaving clothes during a trip.

“In many places, especially internationally, laundry services are incredibly cheap, so for longer trips, plan a day where you can leave your dirty laundry behind and enjoy clean, pressed clothes by dinnertime,” she explained.

Make wise choices about the items you pack and how to place them in your suitcase.

Carol Yepes via Getty Images

Make wise choices about the items you pack and how to place them in your suitcase.

Take advantage of your personal article

In addition to baggage that goes in the overhead bin, major airlines typically allow passengers to travel with a “personal item” that must fit under the seat in front of them. This presents another opportunity to take advantage of the extra space.

“I use a standard backpack as my personal item, and it’s essential so I don’t have to check a bag,” Dengler said. “I often use it to store extra pairs of shoes, as well as snacks and toiletries. That allows me to focus on clothes for my carry-on.”

Paul Jacobs, general manager and vice president of Kayak North America, also recommended taking advantage of your personal item allowance.

“I use a laptop bag that has a sizable midsection,” he noted. “A sweater or light jacket and my toiletries can usually fit in there and save space in my carry-on. My wife also puts her purse inside a backpack to limit it to just one personal item.

Use packing cubes

“For travelers who want to join #TeamCarryOnOnly, I recommend standard packing cubes,” Beckford said. “People recommend them all the time because they really work.”

Packing cubes bring a sense of order and organization to your suitcase, which helps prevent over-packing as there’s less temptation to mindlessly throw away items you don’t really need.

Try vacuum sealed bags

“If you want to take it a step further [than packing cubes], there are vacuum-sealed packing bags that you can use,” explained Beckford. “Put your fluffier items in them and use the hand pump to get all the air out. Compress your clothes so you can fit twice as much. Just make sure you’re ready to do the same on the way home.”

Many people living in tiny homes use vacuum-sealed bags to store winter clothes or other bulky items during the off-season, so it only makes sense that the same technology could help travelers maximize limited carry-on space.

Make sure your bags are carry-on compatible

It’s a terrible feeling to go through the process of packing what you think is carry-on only to find out at the airport that you’re required to check it.

“The allowable sizes of luggage and personal items vary by airline, so check if your bags meet when you book your ticket,” Dengler said. “In many cases, it is more expensive to add carry-on and additional checked baggage after booking, so you should find this out during the booking process.”

Choose lightweight fabrics

Instead of packing bulky sweaters and fuzzy socks, consider how many more items you can fit in if you choose clothes made from thinner fabrics. You’ll also be better prepared for temperature fluctuations at your destination.

“Avoid packing heavy or bulky materials and instead opt for items you can place,” said Brogan. “Also, pack clothes that allow you to mix and match so you can reuse items.”

Change full size items to smaller versions

“Instead of a heavy laptop, I travel with a mini tablet,” said Marek Bron, travel blogger at Indie Traveler. “Even though it’s small, it’s perfect for entertainment or reading e-books.”

With Transportation Security Administration limits on carry-on liquids, many travelers are opting for smaller versions of their toiletries and other personal items.

“For toiletries, I fill 100ml travel containers, or use products like solid shampoo, which can always get through security,” Bron noted.

Separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves

“The key to travel carry-on luggage is to go light,” emphasized Bron. “I pack only the essentials and not the pleasant ones.”

Before you start packing your suitcase, take the time to carefully consider each item. Ask yourself, “Will I use this enough to justify taking it all this way with me?” Removal may require some difficult choices.

“Pack less than you think you need,” Brogan advised. “Follow it and then put it back between 30% and 40%.”

Pack small items inside the shoes

As you place items in your suitcase, keep an eye out for any empty containers, which can mean wasted space. Then place smaller items inside.

Jacobs recommended doing this with your footwear (assuming it doesn’t smell too bad, of course).

“Electric shavers, watches, pairs of socks, they can all fit inside the shoes you’ve packed,” he said.

Wear your coat

Like footwear, outerwear has the potential to make the difference between carry-on and checked baggage.

“Even small jackets take up a lot of space,” Dengler said. “Take your coat or jacket on the plane even if it doesn’t make sense in terms of temperature. In some cases, there will be enough space in the overhead bin for this, but I recommend waiting until everyone has had a chance to put their hand luggage in a bin first “.

If there is no space available in the overhead bin, simply remove the jacket and place it behind you for the duration of the flight.

Plan to buy toiletries at your destination

“For toiletries, consider buying items like shampoo and conditioner, lotions and toothpaste once you arrive at your destination to save space in your suitcase,” said Brogan.

This may not be the most economical option, but if the bag space situation is really desperate, you might want to get rid of your toiletries and plan to buy new ones at a drugstore after you arrive.

Choose luggage that is light

In addition to size limits, hand luggage is also subject to weight limits. Even if you think it’s unlikely that they’ll weigh your bag, no one likes to carry a really heavy bag to and from the airport and back.

“I make sure my luggage is light,” said Bron. “A backpack or lightweight carry-on can easily be 1 to 5 pounds lighter than typical luggage, giving you more of your carry-on weight to use for clothing or other items. Considering how much you can save on fees of check-in, a light luggage is a good investment.

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