How to Travel Internationally in Only a Carry-On

Tom Bihn.JPG

Packing for a trip can be both a burden and challenge. Most people when traveling for more than a week ultimately decide they need to check a bag; but I am here to tell you: you don’t have to! The last time I checked a bag was in 2006. Yes, over 12 years ago. And it was a dumb reason….because I thought I needed all these different outfit choices on a trip to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Looking back, it was a pretty ridiculous thing to do. I was lugging around this huge suitcase all over the city. 

After watching an amazing video from a flight attendant who only travels with a carry-on, I realized I needed to make a change. I decided to switch to a carry-on size suitcase and start traveling with only that. Which worked amazingly well. Until I flew from Paris to Venice and had to check my “carry-on” because American carry-on sizes are different than European budget airlines sizes. So, I smarted up and changed from a roller-bag carry-on to a backpack. And I never looked back!

The key to traveling with only a carry-on includes the following tips:

tom bihn.JPG

1.    Find a good travel backpack. I purchased a Tom Bihn one, which I love, but it’s a bit heavy. REI has a number of inexpensive ones, along with Eagle Creek, who has one that can change from a roller bag to a backpack. Look at a few, try them on and decide which one works best for you.

packing cubes.jpg

2.    Invest in Packing Cubes. Nothing has changed my travel life more than investing in 3 packing cubes. Get them from Amazon, Eagle Creek, etc. I have a small, medium and large sizes. Whether you roll your clothing (me) or fold it, these little guys organize your clothing perfectly! When I went to Paris and Italy, I organized by place (dresses in one cube for Italy; pants and long-sleeve shirts in another for Paris). Sometimes I will organize by clothing type (shirts and sweaters in one; undies and sleepwear in another and pants in the last one). 


3.    Pick a color scheme. This is another amazing tip, especially for the ladies out there who want to bring their entire closet with them. For starters, you should have a color scheme already in your closet; mine is navy, grey, green and black. Most of my clothes fall into those colors with a few additional items in different colors. When I am travelling, it’s fairly easy for me to put together 4-5 outfits that I can rotate over 2 weeks. Layout your outfits and figure out what can be worn twice without needing a wash. Also, never bring more than 2 pairs of shoes! 

Any tips you have to add in or questions on how to make this dream packing situation a reality?! Comment below!  And scroll to our footer and sign up for our emails to be auto entered for an amazing gift from us!  Thanks for reading and being part of our adventure crew.

Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Amy K and the Hashtag 59 Team

Travel with Carry-on.png