Going on a ten day vacay with only carry-on luggage? Getting that sweet, sweet flight discount? It’s not just a backpacker’s fantasy – if you know how to pack light, that is.
Step one: know the size and weight restrictions, and invest in a suitcase that matches it perfectly. The bigger the bag, the less compromising you when you get to packing. You just have to be prepared to piss off a few other passengers in your battle for overhead storage space.
If you’re going to commit to the minimalist way of life, you absolute cannot leave it til the morning of your flight to pack. Heathens who do a mad dash to the airport can leave now. This task requires time to strategise, and the zen of any day that isn’t the one you’re getting in a giant sky cylinder.
The real key to packing light is outfit planning. Know what you’re going to wear each day of your trip and only pack that much. Worst case scenario, you have to do a mid-week dash to the laundrette. And make sure you check the weather. If you’re going to Saudi Arabia, don’t take a raincoat.
It’s not just clothes either, you’ve got to be self-critical about how much you need in your beauty bag. If you’re travelling for influencer purposes only then there’s not much I can do for you, friend.
Unless you’re really roughing it when it comes to accommodation, most hotels will have hairdryers, and sometimes straighteners too – try to call ahead. Obviously carry-on only means you have to abide by the 100ml-or-less lifestyle, so be prepared to buy all your shower goodies when you get there.
Once you get past the prep stage, you need to have a strategy for cramming it all in. Fold your items carefully and stack them in a way that minimises empty space. Marie Kondo’s methods seem like a good place to start. You could also grab some vacuum-seal bags to keep it all airtight and shipshape.
And last but not least, use every available inch of space – handbag and pockets included. Each airline has slightly different rules, but Qantas’ carry-on restrictions for example permit each passenger to have a 7kg piece of luggage, plus a smaller, lighter ‘personal item’ such as a handbag. I am unashamed to say I have worn cargo shorts on a flight to help carry my overflow, and look, it works. They are also very comfy.
Sunnies on, seat reclined, hakuna matata.