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Pack Everything You Need into One Carry-on Bag – Here’s How

Often, people pack far more than they need for a vacation. Everyone’s been guilty of it at some point – carting outfit options around to various locales, only to bring them back home unused. Bringing three sunglass choices and four separate novels “just in case.” The fact is, you don’t need all that stuff.

It’s entirely possible to pack for a vacation – even a long vacation – with just one carry-on bag. Provided that you choose the right clothing, fold your garments correctly and follow a few other small tips, you’ll be just fine. As a bonus, you won’t have to pay those excessively high checked bag fees, nor will you have to lumber around your destination with a bulky suitcase.

Here’s how!

Choose the Right Clothing

Most people consider the way they pack their clothing, but few think about what they’re packing. That stiff polyester shirt that holds sweat and odours after only an hour in the sun is not a wise choice. Packing garments that need to be changed regularly means you will have to pack more of them. Instead, find garments that are:

  • Sweat-wicking
  • Odour-resistant
  • Quick-drying
  • Breathable and/or insulating
  • And aesthetically versatile

A material like merino wool, which ticks off all the above requirements, is a fantastic choice for travel clothing.

Know How to Fold Them

Once you have the right clothes (i.e. merino wool clothing,) it becomes a matter of fitting as many garments as possible into your carry-on bag. For regular clothing, like underwear, socks, t-shirts and jeans, go with the tried and tested roll method. Rolling the items like a tight cigar will allow you to decrease the surface area compared to merely folding.

For suits, things are a little trickier. You can’t simply roll a suit and expect to have a wearable outfit on the other end, so you need to take special care – follow this guide on how to fold a suit for travel for best results.

Get Creative with Space

Are you bringing anything hollow, like a water bottle, gift box or second pair of shoes? There’s an opportunity to fit small articles of clothing, like socks and underwear. (In the case of stuffing socks or underwear into a water bottle, make sure to give the bottle a good rinse at your destination!)

Layer When You Travel

Finally, if you want to reduce your luggage to a single carry-on, you may have to layer your travel wear. Instead of trying to fit that sweater and jacket in your carry-on bag, wear it on the plane, train or bus. Depending on the time of year, you may be hot at first, but once you’re settled into your seat, you can shed those layers, and either use them as a pillow or stow them in the overhead compartment.

With the right clothing, the right technique, a little creativity and a lot of layers, you can fit everything you need for your next vacation into a solitary carry-on bag. And with the money you save on checked bag fees, you can treat yourself to a fine meal at your destination!

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