How to Travel for Two Weeks With One Carryon!
Traveling is expensive, especially when traveling abroad, so minimizing what you take along will help not just the pocketbook but our arms and backs as well! Since airlines are nickel-and-diming luggage, food, and legroom it's important to be space savvy when packing your bags. New TSA guidelines this year have changed the sizes of personal items and carry-ons, but that hasn't stopped us from being crafty with our travel skills. Let's go over some tips about how to travel for two weeks with just a carry-on; both alone and as a couple, because it can be done!
The most important thing to do is plan your trip. Know where your going, what you want to do and see. Are you hiking, going to the beach, attending a fancy dinner, or going to a dance club? What sort of accommodations are you booking? Staying in multiple places and traveling between? All these factors play into what you will want to carry with you as you go, but the biggest factor is if you're packing for one or two (or more).
Let's say you're traveling alone. The first consideration to make is about toiletries. You're allowed a one-quart re-sealable bag for liquids, gels, hairsprays, deodorants, etc.; and these must be 3.5 oz or less. So the first big question: What can you buy when you arrive at your destination, and can you find it at affordable prices? I typically buy hairspray, toothpaste, and deodorant at my destination, leaving more space for eye-contact solution, make-up, and the more expensive things to buy. Granted, this isn't a lot of space taken up but it is a vital thing to plan.
Next you'll want to find a personal item bag that fits right into the regulation size for your flight. Most flights require all personal items fit the 18 x 14 x 8 inches space underneath the seat in front of you. This is usually the size of a computer backpack and should be used to carry your important things, entertainment, books, and the immediate necessities (change of clothes, toiletries, money, etc.). When I travel to Las Vegas, I only take a computer backpack and have enough space to everything for a four-day trip. Granted, Las Vegas has everything you could need so the need to pack for longer duration needs the extra space.
The carry-on size regulations are marginally larger than the personal item, at 22 x 18 x 10 inches. Start with shoes: wear your heaviest/largest pair of shoes on the plane to leave more room for others in your bag. Try to limit the types you'll need by taking multi-functional pairs: sandals that double as nightwear, tennis shoes that work for hiking and walking around town. Then ask yourself if you'll be anywhere to be able to do laundry once while on vacation. This will help determine the number of undergarments needed. Take at least 8 sets for the two-week duration, with the intention of doing laundry at least once. Plan outfits that utilize a pair of pants, shorts, or skirt several times to minimize the bulkier garments. A little tip: take darker clothes to hide signs of daily use and use shirts in layers to help diversify outfits with fewer items. Take 8 shirts, several which can work together, a sweater, a nicer shirt, that one dress or outfit that works for evening or finer dinner wear. At this point, assess what space is still available and fill in with things you want.
Traveling for two with one carry on shifts the method to packing a little bit. With both of your personal items the space in the carry on should be utilized for all the bulky, heavier wear: pants, dresses, jackets, shoes, etc. Use the personal items for undergarments, shirts, and accessories; packing the liquids in with the backpack so you can take two one-quart baggies. This will also let you bring the toothpaste, deodorant and other 3.4 oz liquid/gels that would have otherwise been left to purchase on arrival. Again: stay focused on the clothing options you need for the places you go, and look forward to doing laundry one afternoon to minimize the amount you need to carry.
Overall, packing consciously can save a lot of money and energy. Plan ahead for your trip and make creative decisions with your wardrobe for every occasion! And make sure when you're traveling with someone else to discuss the uses of the space you have. You're going to be surprised with how much you can actually take.