How To Pack For Only Carry-On Travel For The Holidays

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By Jesselle Maminta | December 18, 2013 6:50 PM EST

Waiting for your luggage at the airport's baggage carousel is a waste of time when one could have zoomed out to check in to the hotel or do more sightseeing. Plus all the excess baggage fees can do more damage to the pocket. Not to mention the hassle of moving around with more than one piece of luggage in tow. (cobblestone roads, anyone?)

Preparing for a handheld-luggage only travel should be easier for the weekend traveler or those who do not carry much when traveling. Even notorious overpackers can travel with a carry-on. Here are some tips to make handheld-luggage only travel a success applicable for both men and women.

1. Plan Ahead

Consider the weather of your destination, itinerary and the activities during your travel. This will help you plan for the outfits that you will wear and the items to pack. When traveling to cold-climate destinations, consider doing layers instead of carrying a heavy coat. Not only it lightens your luggage, it also gives you more clothing options. 

2. Consider Using Packing Cubes

Overpackers can now pack more in the tiny space that is the handheld luggage. The solution is packing cubes, which maximizes luggage space through compression. These nifty items are available in travel stores such as Flight 001 in Surrey Hills in Sydney, which also makes its own packing system called Spacepak. 

3. Mind the Toiletries

There is a standard international rule in carrying toiletries during air travel, which requires carrying travel-sized versions (less than 3 oz) placed in a quart-sized transparent plastic bag, and only one bag is allowed per passenger. Remember this 3:1:1 rule when packing toiletries, but bear in mind that such rule may change depending on your destination. 

4. Do the Weight Check

Airlines have different weight restrictions for handheld luggage so check with their official site to be sure. For the spirit of packing light in handheld-luggage only travel, weigh your luggage to check if it's beyond the weight restriction. If it does, take out the excess, especially those just-in-case items or wear the heaviest item when you leave for your destination.

Bonus tip: If you're a couple, pack half-and-half. Half of the luggage contains your clothes and the other half has your partner's clothes. Through this, in case your luggage gets lost, both of you have clothes to wear instead of one of you suffering from the lost luggage.  

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