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How To Travel With Just A Carry On Bag?

What is the best way to travel with a carry-on bag?

So, you want to travel light and save money by not taking along your entire luggage? One of the best ways to do so is to use a carry-on luggage or a cabin baggage.

If you’ve only got the bare minimum of luggage, you will find that you can fit everything into one compact carry-on bag.

This means that you can take advantage of the fact that airlines now have size and weight restriction of carry-on bags to fit in overhead bins.

When travelling, you will find that you can save money, and even more so, you will save space.

One of the joys of travelling is that the less you bring, the more space you have for the things that really matter.

You want to be able to walk around with just minimalist packing and a carry-on bag, not a duffle bag stuffed with your clothes.

And you want to be able to keep your bag simple enough to throw in your suitcase if you need to.

But you don’t want to be limited by a few items either. There are a number of ways you can create a carry on bag that will allow you to travel light in style.

To travel with just a carry on bag, plan your trip well in advance. The best way to travel with just a carry-on bag is to pack smart.

Focus on the essentials and avoid unnecessary items that can get lost or add unnecessary weight.

Choose the best carry-on bag

It’s the perfect time of year to be thinking about packing for your next travel. But what bag should you use and is it the right time to get a new bag?

This essential guide will help you find the right bag, without breaking the bank, and making sure you’re prepared for your next trip.

There are a lot of options, but you should think about your lifestyle. To choose the best travel bag, you’ll need to consider your luggage’s purpose and your travel style.

The first thing to consider is the type of bag you’ll be traveling with. A typical travel bag will have multiple compartments so you can keep your personal belongings separate from the rest of your luggage.

For those of us who only want to travel light, here are some options you can consider to decide what carry-on bag to choose.


Carry-on backpack is a convenient way to carry a lot of stuff, and if you’re traveling with one, you’ll be able to carry a free carry-on bag on more planes. They are very convenient for carrying heavy items.

Backpack-type bags are useful for people who want to keep their hands free and have a lot of space.

When bringing a backpack, you can just walk and move around more easily without dragging a luggage/suitcase up the stairs or on a cobbled street.

Duffel bag

Duffel bag is a large bag with a base that can be folded and zipped, usually made of heavy-duty, water-resistant fabric.

Duffel bags are primarily used for their weight capacity and durability. They can be used as luggage and in different situations as well.

Duffel bags are very well designed for carrying luggage. It is comfortable to wear, and has a good storage space. It is also useful for carrying bulky items.

Suitcase or luggage

A suitcase is a large bag that is designed to carry a lot of things. It is made to be sturdy, durable, and easy to handle.

The most popular suitcase is the wheeled suitcase. It is pulled with the help of a handle.

The handle can be locked or unlocked. This enables the suitcase to be pulled or carried by one person.

Some of the advantages of suitcase as a carry-on bag include:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Less bulky than a traditional carry-on bag.
  • Keeps clothes and other belongings organized.
  • With trolley wheels, you can wheel the bag along more easily.
  • More space than a traditional carry-on bag.
  • Easier to store compared to a traditional bag.
  • More room for souvenirs: If you are going to buy souvenirs, you need to consider the size of your suitcase to make sure it won’t get too heavy.
  • Easier to retrieve items:  If you need to pull out one of your souvenirs, it is much easier to do so when you have wheels.

Benefits of a carry-on travel

Some of the benefits when you travel with only a carry-on bag are:

Saving your time at the airport

If you only have a carry-on bag for your travel, you can take advantage of the online check-in process.

By checking in online, you can avoid the long queues at the check-in counters and can go directly to the boarding gates to wait for your flight.

To check-in online, you just need to go to your airline’s website and fill out all the needed information. Once checked in, print or screenshot the generated boarding pass.

Cutting airline baggage cost

Bringing only a carry-on baggage will help you save money. If you are a budget traveler, you always aim to avoid additional airline expenses.

Airlines, mostly budget ones, charges fees for checking in baggage.

Convenient travel

A carry-on travel bag has a lightweight, compact construction. It is usually fitted with multiple compartments and has handles for convenient carrying.

Once you arrive at your destination, it will be more convenient if you are only carrying a piece of carry-on bag while walking around finding your hotel or going on public transport.

Less worry of lost or damaged baggage

Checking in a luggage may open a chance of damaging it or worse, losing it at your destination.

There are already cases of misrouted and unloaded baggage recorded in most airlines. There are also situations that baggage switching happens.

These are definitely a nightmare when you only want to enjoy your long-awaited travel.

So if you want to avoid this, having only a carry-on bag will always be a better choice.

Best on backpacking trips

Most travellers are on a backpacking trip with a spontaneous travel destinations and can stay in a destination for quite a long period.

When having a carry-on bag only, you get to pack up quickly and proceed to your next adventure.

Things to remember in packing a carry-on bag

Everyone has their own system for what they carry in their carry on bag. Some people will pack everything in their pockets, others will pack everything in a larger bag, and others will even pack all their stuff in a backpack.

If you want to get away from the big, bulky suitcases that nearly everyone else has and want to travel lightly (or even comfortably), then here are some cabin luggage packing tips that you should remember.

  • Prepare a travel packing list in order to not forget the important things.
  • Pack only the essentials and your important personal item/s.
  • Never forget your travel documents, especially when you are traveling international.
  • Pack in a small medical kit inside your carry-on bag. Make sure to carry bandages and/or band aids, dressings and/or small iodine bottle, and medicines (paracetamol, etc.).
  • Bring only small sized toiletries and place it altogether inside a zip lock bag. Solid toiletries, such as solid shampoo, are fine but for liquids and gels, make sure that each of them does not go beyond 100 ml.
  • You can bring disposable razors inside your carry-on bag as the blades are fixed and can not be removed from its head.
  • A hair straightener can also be placed inside your carry-on bag.
  • Beauty items such as creams and serums can also be placed inside your carry-on bag so long as each will not exceed to the allowable content.
  • Make sure to check your airline’s carry-on restrictions that can be found in your ticket.
  • Only pack light clothing items and your basic pieces if you are planning to bring 10-12 items.

Carry-on baggage dimension

For most five-star and even budget airlines, you can hand carry your 1 cabin baggage with the following carry-on weight/size:

  • Carry-on maximum size restrictions of 10 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (25 centimeters x 35 centimeters x 56 centimeters)
  • Carry-on maximum weight of 10kg (22 lbs.)

What not to pack in a carry-on bag

There is nothing more frustrating than being intercepted by the airport security because of bringing restricted items inside your carry-on bag.

So to prevent experiencing this, here is a carry on packing list you should avoid:

Large hard sided containers (like suitcases, backpacks, etc.)

Large hard sided bags are not allowed to be carried on board as these exceed the carry on size dimension.

These will be considered as check bags if you really wish to bring this kind of bag with you.

Sharp objects (like canes, nail scissors, broken glass, etc.)

Carrying sharp objects in the carry-on is a security risk. This is because sharp objects could potentially cut or injure another person or object.

If you still want to carry sharp objects, you can declare your baggage at the check in counter and have it checked in.

Aerosol containers or sprays

Aerosol containers or sprays can’t be carried on the plane. If necessary to bring, you can just check it in.

Guns and ammunition

Just like sharp objects, these items are also prohibited inside a carry-on bag because these are security restricted item.

These can be a major cause of anxiety for travellers and may cause potential harm to all passengers and crew, thus cannot be allowed.

Matches or lighters

Passengers are not allowed to carry-on Matches or lighters due to the dangers that these could cause a fire in their cabin.

Also, lighters and matches are not allowed to be taken on planes as they can be used to ignite flammable material and can cause an explosion.

Flammable liquids and gels

Flammable liquids and gels are totally not allowed on airplanes because they can cause a fire or explosion in the cabin and even inside the cargo hold.

Pressurized cylinders

Airlines are strict regarding any air pressure in your bag. This is because it could cause damage to the interior of the bag or the contents inside.

There have been many reported accidents due to leaks from pressurized cylinders.

Once it explodes, it can damage the aircraft and can harm the passengers and the crew aboard the flight. 

Compressed gas cylinders

Airlines prohibit compressed gas cylinders from being places in a carry on bag due to the risk of an explosion and its potential for spontaneous ignition.

Compressed gas cylinders must be shipped as cargo on the same aircraft that is carrying the passenger.

Self defense sprays

You carry-bag will go through a screening process at the airport. The screeners will be checking for weapons, pepper spray, and other potentially dangerous items.

If your bag contains pepper spray, you may be asked to take this item out, or you may be denied entry.

These items are not allowed inside your carry-on bag as these are security restricted items.

These can cause potential harm to everyone in the plane and can be used to inflict danger during the flight.

Biological/infectious materials

International regulations prohibit the carriage of biological or infectious materials in hand-luggage. This includes infectious diseases, biological agents, and pathological waste.

Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is not allowed to carry-on because it can pose a significant fire and explosion hazard if it’s accidentally exposed to the air.

Any glass bottles

The law bans all glass bottles due to the risk of breakage and can be used to pose harm to everyone aboard the flight.

Julien Beaubien

Julien Beaubien

Julien here. Traveller, a fan of leather bags and a blogger. Put all those together and you have I started the site as a medium for my ramblings. Over time, I grew to realise, people actually like them. So now, I am out to help and educate (while entertaining people!).

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