Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.
It’s cheaper and more convenient since you don’t have to pay for extra baggage fees
There are some really great benefits when you’re traveling with just a carry on bag. It’s cheaper and more convenient since you don’t have to pay for extra baggage fees or worry about dragging big and heavy suitcases along with you.
And even if you have gold status or priority check-in, not having a checked bag allows you to practice social distancing and lessen your risk of catching the coronavirus. You get to avoid long lines and big crowds at check-in counters or baggage claim areas.
We’ve listed down 15 travel packing hacks for “carry on traveling” to help you save money, time, and possibly your life on your next adventures.
1. Bring A Mini First Aid Kit With You
Traveling with just a carry on doesn’t mean that you’re not going to bring a first-aid kit with you. You get to administer initial care to yourself in cases where it’s going to take time before you get to a hospital.
Sure, a first-aid kit may take up a lot of space but you can try to squeeze it in your bag by just bringing the things that you need or the things you might need depending on the place you’re traveling to.
For example, if you’re going on a camping trip, it makes sense to bring a mosquito repellent instead of a sunscreen.
Here are some examples of what a basic first-aid kit may contain
- skin rash cream
- antiseptic cream
- pain killers
- sterile eyewash
- cough medicine
- plasters, gauze pads, bandages, and cleansing wipes
As much as you want to keep your carry on luggage small and light, it’s never a good idea not to bring a first-aid kit.
2. Choose The Right Luggage
A backpack or a wheeled suitcase are the two options that you have when picking a carry on bag. It’s all about preference and knowing what works for you but take note that each type has its pros and cons.
Backpacks are very versatile since they can fit in most spaces and they’re not too bulky to travel around with but it’s quite hard to organize your stuff in them since they don’t have a lot of compartments.
Wheeled suitcase on the other hand, especially the hard-shelled ones, allow you to organize your stuff properly and can keep your fragile items safe. Not to mention, it will take off some pressure of your back especially if you have heavy items with you. However, they don’t fit well in the overhead bins, and most of the time, they’re just way more expensive compared to backpacks.
3. Wear Your Bulky Items On Board
One of the genius travel packing hacks that will really save you a lot of space on your bags. If you’re having a hard time packing bulky clothes like jackets, coats, scarves, and boots, then don’t pack them but wear them instead.
It’ll give you more bag space when you’re traveling with just a carry on and eventually save you more money on extra baggage fees. Remember that airline companies won’t charge you for the clothes you wear.
4. Use Solids Instead Of Liquids
There are lots of companies that offer solid alternatives for shampoo, soap, and even perfume. It’ll help you save the trouble when you’re going through security since liquids are always mistaken for dangerous substances.
You’re limited to under 100 ml per liquid bottle anyway so it’s better to have solids instead, especially if you’re traveling for many days. Plus, you get to lessen the use of plastic bottles and help save mother earth!
But if you can’t really find solid products in your local area, you can use those sampler bottles that you get at department stores instead. You can refill them with shampoo, body wash, lotion, soap, and etc.
5. Use Packing and Compression Cubes
Remember that time when you took that one tiny thing out of your bag and you ended messing everything up? That’s where packing and compression cubes can come in handy.
They’re small, lightweight bags that help you compress, separate, and organize items in your bag. For example, if you want to take out your charger, you can just grab your “gadgets cube” and you don’t have to mess up your other stuff.
Read More: What Happens If You Violate Quarantine Rules While Traveling
6. Take A Collapsible Tote Bag With You
Once you make it past security, you can take out some of the things that you want easy access to and put them in your tote bag. You can also use it to store food packs, water bottles, and other consumables.
You can even use it to store items when you want to go beaching, camping, or even shopping.
7. Use The Fold And Roll Strategy
Most people would suggest that rolling clothes is always the best way to save space. That’s true, but the thing is, rolling tends to cause a lot of wrinkles to your clothes so you might want to use the folding strategy as well.
What you want to do is to roll clothes with thick and heavy material such as jeans, jackets, and trousers to save space. Meanwhile, you can fold clothes composed of light material such as shirts, scarfs, dresses, and fitness clothes.
The key is to tightly pack them together so it doesn’t move a lot in your bag and cause wrinkles.
8. Only Bring Two Pairs Of Footwear
It’s tempting to bring lots of footwear when you travel but don’t do it – put them back. All you need is just a pair of sneakers that you can use for casual and semi-formal situations and a pair of rubber flip fops for outdoor situations.
You can’t really compress footwear inside your bags so it’s best to just bring the ones that you really need.
9. Don’t Every Bring “Just In Case” Items With You
If you think you’re going to need it, you’re not. Some people think that they need 4 sets of towels, a hair iron, or a mini blender and tend to bring these with them even if they’re traveling with just a carry-on.
Sure, there’s a possibility that you might use them but it’s probably just once or twice since you’re going to be busy with your activities.
Read More: Free Points & Travel Hacking Video That’s Worth Your Time
10. Bring Multi-purpose Items With You
A jacket can also be used as a pillow while scarf can be used as a blanket. There are lots of items that are multi-purpose so think carefully before you pack.
11. Store Jewelry In Medicine Containers
A piece of advice, never bring expensive jewelry with you when traveling. However, if you really need to bring them along because you’re attending a wedding, a graduation, or any formal even event, put them in medicine containers.
It helps you organize your jewelry in the different compartments and it’s lightweight compared to traditional jewelry boxes.
12. Make Use Of Every Little Space
Look for hidden spaces where you can still fit stuff. For example, you can pack your socks inside your shoes or store little items inside your jacket pockets.
In fact, it’s best to wear clothes with multiple pockets where you can keep items like chargers, food, water bottles, and etc. You’ll even have easy access to them in case you need them.
13. Plan Your Outfits
Bring clothes that have the same color scheme. It helps you mix and match your outfit easily even if you only brought a few pairs of clothese.
This is one of those travel packing hacks that everyone probably knows but it deserves a spot on this list especially for those who don’t have a sense of fashion.
14. Keep Chords Organized With A Binder
It’s frustrating having to untangle your headphones, chargers, and other chords when you unpack your carry-on bag. In order to solve this problem, make sure that you use binders such as a twist tie or a paper clip to keep them from unwrapping while they’re inside your bag.
15. Prepare Your Things In Advance
You can’t pack well if you’re in a rush and that’s a fact. When you’re doing some last-minute packing, you tend to just squish in things inside your bag or take unecessary stuff with you.
Make a checklist of the things that you need and pack your things at least 24 hours before your flight.
PointsPanda Deal of the Week!
Looking for the best flight deals? Each week we'll send you updates with the best deals on flights and hotels both using points and cash.
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.