Are you considering flying with only a carry-on bag? If you are, then this is a great article for you because I always, mostly always, now only fly with a carry-on bag. This is a new-ish thing for me though. I used to always fly with a carry-on AND check in a piece of luggage, whether I was flying short haul, long haul, two nights or seven, I would always take a carry-on and check in a piece of luggage, even if it was just a small case.
But then not too long ago I got chatting to a fellow jet setter who was telling me that she had switched to flying with just a carry-on and all the joys of doing so and she suggested that I should give it a whirl too and so I did. And well it's fair to say that I am too converted!
When I travel I'm all about organization and ease, I have this image in my mind that I will strut around the airport and board the plane with the grace and glamour of a Goddess. My reality? Well, lets say that's an image that I'm still working towards but its true to say that flying with a carry-on has me a little closer to my dreams.
Here are my top three reasons why I think you might consider flying with just a carry-on bag.....
- It will save you money!
Checking in luggage with most major airlines can really bump up the prices of your flight. Obviously prices vary between major airlines but in general they range between $15 - $25 per bag per flight. If you are a couple looking to fly a-round trip, you are potentially looking at an extra cost of $100 on your flight which I'm pretty sure we'll both agree that's $100 we'd rather keep for vacation spends!
- It will save you time!
You will save unnecessary wasted time waiting to collect your luggage at the conveyor belt. OK, it's not a great deal of time, or is it? I've wasted a whole hour before waiting for luggage at the conveyor belt and let's be honest it's never a nice experience. Everyone edging around this small space, watching the luggage move on past, and there's always that one person who stands right in front of you at the wrong time, or you stand yourself next to the family whose children have spent 5 hours on a plane and have no patience to wait around any further and who can blame them. I can definitely think of better ways to spend my time, and anyway do Goddesses wait for their luggage?! So yes, for me its Goodbye conveyor belt and Hello Pina Colada!
- It makes you pack smart and travel light!
The key to traveling successfully with just a carry-on bag is to make sure that you take the time to pack smart!
What does packing smart mean? Well it means learning the art to minimize and organize! Let's divulge:
MINIMIZE: The key to minimizing is to think in advance about what you are going to wear and how you can utilize each item of clothing that you're packing. I know this is obvious but do you do it?
Before your next trip take some time to sit and think about how many days and nights you're going away for and actually plan each outfit for each day and night. And then look at your outfits and think about how you can wear each item more than once. I know it sounds like a bit of an ordeal but actually it is quite fun to do and you'll be so pleased you did when you've less to pack and then of course less to wash, dry and iron when you get back.
ORGANIZE: My most favorite way to organize any travel bag is to pack with packing cubes. If you haven't used them before or even heard of them before then you are in for a treat. Packing cubes are independent bags, generally made of nylon and in the shape of a cube, hence the name. They are a great packing tool that will keep you super organized.The idea behind packing cubes is that they will keep your clothes compartmentalized so that you can find everything you need easily but they will also help you to maximize every inch of your bag because they will compress your garments creating more space in your case, which is exactly what we are striving for with our carry-ons.
They also make it easy to unpack because you can slip your packing cubes straight from your travel bag and into your drawers and then you can head straight to the pool, beach, mountain, restaurant or conference, whatever waits ahead for you.
I've found that I generally only need 3 packing cubes to fit into a carry-on bag, they come in sets of different sizes so you can determine which is best for you depending on which style of bag you travel with.
Switching from checking in a piece of luggage to just my carry-on was a relatively easy transition for my weekend getaways. It took a little more adjusting when it came to a 7 night break. I was just so used to packing in a certain way, which really translates to packing too much, but with a desire to give it a go and a little focus on packing smart, I'm pretty sure you will learn to love it just as much as I do.
Here's to traveling our beautiful planet with grace and glamour.