Pack for a Multi-week Vacation in a Carry-on

This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 17.


Maybe you’re going to Europe to enjoy hotels in London and other major cities on the culturally diverse continent. No matter where you’re headed, keeping your packing limited to a carry-on bag offers two benefits: You won’t have to pay any checked baggage fees on your flights, and you won’t have to lug around a huge bag from one city to the next. It might seem like an impossible goal, but you can live out of a carry-on bag for weeks when you follow these tips.

Make a List

It may seem obvious, but the simple action of making a list helps to solidify and consolidate essentials, even if it’s just in your own head. From there, it’s easier to then eliminate the items that can be purchased at your destination. For example, toiletries are often available at hotels or nearby convenience stores. Having a list available as you pack eliminates the haphazard guessing that leads to an overstuffed suitcase.

Wear Layers

Wear as many layers as possible to the airport, but be sure to leave yourself enough time to strip down to one layer when going through security. If you wear a shirt, sweater and coat plus your heaviest shoes, the largest pieces of your wardrobe won’t need to be packed. Wearing layers is especially helpful when you’re staying somewhere like Taj Palace Hotel in Dubai, a city where the temperature can drop over 20 degrees from day to night.

Ship It Before You Go

If you’re going on a long trip to just one city, mailing clothes before you set out on your trip can make sense – just be sure to do the math before you head to the post office to make sure it’s cheaper than checking a bag. This option makes the most sense when you travel to cities in North America; for example, those staying in a hotel like Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto may save money and time by shipping their clothes. Be sure to call the hotel prior to your trip so that they know a box is arriving for you.

Choose Lightweight Clothes

A sweater takes up a lot more space than a long-sleeved shirt, so opt for lightweight clothing when you’re packing. Neatly folding your clothing is one way to make the most of limited space; rolling clothing into a tight tube also works. Clothing also acts as an ideal base to cushion your electronics, chargers and shoes.

Checked luggage fees add to the cost of flying, and lugging bags from one location to the next during a long trip is no fun. Stick with a list, wear layers on your flight and consider mailing clothing to your destination to cut down on baggage, and you can brag to your friends about your extreme packing skills.

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