How to Survive a Long-term Trip With Just One Carryon

So, you’re going on a trip. We’re happy for you! Now you want to know how you can enjoy that said trip without the hassle of taking too much stuff. We understand how unfathomable it is for people to just pack ONE carryon when travelling, especially for high-maintenance well-prepared individuals.

“Oh, I’m only going to bring three outfits… a casual one, a formal one and a flirty one. However, I need to pack another outfit just in case I stain outfit number three and meet the love of my life one serendipitous night while sailing Lake Como.” Stop. Right. There.

Packing for a trip can get from zero to crazy real quick, if you’re not careful. But don’t worry! We got you! Here are tried and tested tips on how to survive a long-term trip with just one carryon.


Necessities first.

Start with asking yourself, “What can I absolutely not live without on this trip?” No, I’m not talking about that extra outfit just in case you bump into someone cute. I’m talking about legit necessities that would render you helpless if you forgo them. Stuff like travel documents, money, medicine, smartphone, foreign power adapters, underwear and socks.

This could also include your camera and laptop. For your toiletries, you must remember to pack the travel-sized ones or just buy them at your destination. This way, you won’t have to worry about airport security taking them away when they exceed the limit.


Never be afraid to be basic.

Contrary to what online memes say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being basic. Opting for the basic T-shirt, little black dress, jeans, flats, boots or heels will get you a really long way. Packing neutral pieces will give you the option of mixing and matching them with other accessories. Lay them all out on the floor and try them on one by one before you decide which ones you like most, bearing in mind that if you only half-like something then it’s probably not worth bringing. This should be easy since key pieces can be recycled and nobody would be able to tell the difference. One caveat that you need to bear in mind is to never bring a new pair of shoes to “break in”, unless you’re ready for blisters.


Practicality over everything else.

Want to spend your extra cash on a delicious cocktail or meal instead of laundry services? Make sure to pack clothes that wash effortlessly and don’t require any ironing. The best part of it all is that you won’t waste too much of your time or put in any effort into looking presentable and just get on with enjoying your trip.


Roll it up.

Maximize your carryon’s space by rolling up your clothes, including your underwear and socks. This technique has proven to prevent wrinkles on clothes and is quite easy to do. And if this isn’t enough for you, try using compression bags or Ziplocs so you’ll have something to put your soiled clothes in afterwards.


Consider the weather.

You don’t have to pack for all types of weather. All you need to do is to research about your destination’s weather changes at certain periods so you can anticipate what type of clothes to bring. This will need great deduction, so think things through. And if your estimations are wrong, you can always buy a jacket abroad and just treat it as a souvenir.


Keep it light.

When deciding what type of carryon to bring on your trip, make sure that it meets carryon standards first in order to avoid paying fees for the extra weight in the future. Another thing to note is to treat every inch of space as valuable real-estate. This would require you to exercise ninja packing methods — careful to never leave any part empty. For example, socks should go inside shoes and an extra purse must also be utilized.

Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. This includes your chunkiest sweater or largest shoes. Not only does this method free up space in your carryon, this will also keep you warm and comfortable all throughout your flight.


Maximize on your personal item.

Apart from one carryon, very passenger is allowed to bring one personal item on their flight. Capitalize on this opportunity by bringing a large backpack or purse — basically anything that can fit under the seat in front of you. Your personal item must only be filled with your most important and most expensive belongings, such as your laptop, camera, wallet, travel documents or smart devices. You can also pack snacks and a water bottle, as long as the latter does not exceed 100mL.


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