Minimalist Travel: Carry-on Packing List

How many times have we thought of dumping our entire wardrobe in a suitcase for an upcoming vacation? Overthinking something we may or may not need? We’ve all been there.

My idea of a perfect vacation is carrying everything I need and still being able to travel light and care-free. Shams and I took 16 flights this year and we were able to travel with this carry on packing list for all our trips including going half-way across the world for 2.5 weeks.

Travel with a Carry-on

Read: How to get over a jet lag fast

The benefits 

Tugging along heavy suitcases wherever you are going is exhausting! The long lines at the airports are nightmares too. There is always a fear of airlines losing your luggage and you may have to pay additional for checked baggage with some airlines. But, traveling with this carry on packing list is hassle-free, it gives you the freedom of not checking luggage, and saves you time so you can travel stress-free. 

Read: How many days to spend in Switzerland

Choosing the right carry-on

By carry-on luggage, I mean a small bag or a backpack that you can keep in the overhead compartment and a purse or bag that can fit under the seat. Choosing the right carry-on when you are traveling for two weeks is a challenge. Look around for the right bag that can hold all your belongings, I saw a youtube blogger rave about this duffel bag until I tried it myself and got what the hype is about.

How to travel with a carry on – Some packing tips

When you know you have limited space you are bound to be more mindful of what you carry, even if it’s just an extra top, shorts or things that don’t take much room. Everything adds up, so packing with the right mind-set is extremely important. Go through your packing list and strike off all items that you ‘may’ need on the trip.

Lay everything out on your bed or your closet floor. Pick trousers in neutral colours that can be worn with different tops and tees to create new looks. Carry one dressy top, and one or two statement pieces. Versatile pieces like a black leather skirt, a white shirt, or beige pants will help you nail your holiday looks. The key is to pack outfit combinations that you can mix and match. My advice? Stick to neutrals, however a little pop of color here and there doesn’t hurt.

Be very realistic when packing your shoes, no matter how tempting it is to pack your favorite heels for a beach vacay- chances are you are never going to wear them. A pair of sandals, sneakers, and one pair of heels depending on the location you are visiting will be enough. If you are expecting to do a lot of walking or excursions at your travel destination, make sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes that you can reach for. I normally wear my sneakers on the plane just to save room in my carry-on.

Solid toiletries are a blessing for carry-on traveling. Pack the rest of the liquid items in sealed plastic bags. Always buy them in smaller bottles that will suffice for your trip.

Medicines can take up a lot of space so pack only the essentials. Unless you are visiting remote places, you don’t need to carry medicines for all potential issues you may have.

Be a smart packer. You don’t need bikinis in Nepal or hiking boots in Paris. 

Be ready to do your laundry on your vacation and you will need less underwear. I always carry a few packets of tide detergent on our trips. Once you get used to packing just a carry-on you will soon realize you don’t need 14 pairs of underwear for a 14 day trip.

Here are some of my favourite travel essentials:

Travel with a Carry-on

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