Before you pack your luggage, you should learn about the restrictions of the airline beforehand. Then, it is better to make a full list of the items you would like to take in your carry-on luggage

Here is what you should keep in mind:

Visualize everything you want to take

A great tip to pack your hand suitcase without carrying too much is to be very clear about what activities you are going to do at the destination (hiking, spending a night in the desert, sightseeing in a city, etc.), as well as the weather and the number of days you will be traveling. Also, try to choose versatile garments that you can use in different situations and places, both day and night.

Something that makes packing a carry-on bag much easier is to place on the bed or the table all the clothes you plan to take. Once you have everything in front of you, and if it’s a lot, try to reduce it as much as possible. What to remove? starts with the famous: “just in case”.

For example, if you are going to visit London for many days, having a pair of pants in your luggage plus the one you will wear on the plane is more than enough. Now add a T-shirt per day, because you won’t have time to wash them on the trip, and maybe a sweater or two. The footwear can be a unique one, the one you are wearing (sneakers or boots for example).

If the trip is longer, my recommendation is that you always pack for a week at most, and wash during the trip! Do not forget to add the footwear! Always prioritize comfort, and if you’re going to be wearing hiking boots or bulky, heavy shoes, it’s best to bring them along for the ride.

Other things that you can add are all the other things that you want to bring. In this way, you can get an idea of the volume and weight of all the luggage. For example, add a camera and charger, book/tablet, medical kit, toiletry bag, etc.


Rolling is better than folding

Now that you know what you are going to take on your trip, one of the best ways to put it in your suitcase and/or backpack is to roll up your clothes (except jackets, which tend to wrinkle).

This technique will not only make your clothes take up less space, but if you do it right the clothes will remain almost wrinkle-free. One technique that I use is to group several items to roll them up: for example, I roll 3 t-shirts together, or a t-shirt and a sweater, etc.

I always prefer footwear wrapped in plastic bags and separated from each other, filling the interior with smaller items, such as socks.

In this way, I am creating a Tetris of clothes and footwear to make the suitcase or backpack as homogeneous and compact as possible.

Tip: don’t forget to always carry an empty waterproof bag in your luggage for dirty clothes.

Travel bag

This is another of the moments in which we tend to get out of hand and throw everything in, sometimes forgetting weight, space… and airport limitations! I will never forget the first time I traveled (it was a backpacking trip for a year), when I took several perfumes, three bottles of face cream, and even a makeup box with more than 25 eyeshadows.

When making the cosmetic bag for your carry-on suitcase, the first thing you should take into account is airport restrictions. For example, you cannot carry more than 100ml (of liquids in total), and you cannot carry scissors, razor blades, etc.

My recommendation is that to optimize space, you opt for shampoo, softener, and body soap in bars instead of the typical little bottles. In this way you are not only helping the planet, but you also avoid carrying unnecessary liquids. The same goes for toothpaste, you can take a small one (if you travel for a long time then you buy another one),

To carry creams for the face, it is best to carry a small jar. The same goes for body cream. Don’t forget the sunscreen!


First aid medical kit

When taking the medical kit you have to take into account three things: the duration of the trip, the destination and the activities that you are going to carry out.

If you go for a weekend to a city or urban area with access to pharmacies and medical centers, a few basics will suffice (pain relievers, for example, in case you have a headache, ovaries, etc.) and some band-aids will help.

On the other hand, if you go away for a few days and you plan to go hiking, you should take into account the most common injuries of that activity and perhaps take a bandage and something for pain in case you hurt yourself.

On the contrary, if you are going on a long-term trip, I recommend that you first check the drug restrictions of the country or countries you are going to (there are countries that do not allow you to take certain types of drugs). Also find out what access to medicine you could have in that country (for example, in many countries, including Spain, antibiotics are not freely available in pharmacies).

If you require specific medication due to your personal medical condition, make sure you bring enough for every day of your trip.

In any case, I will always emphasize how important it is to travel with good travel insurance. Not only one that covers delays or cancellations of your trips, the loss of luggage, etc., but also covers you in case of illness and/or accident and even due to COVID.

Airport restrictions

Remember that if you only travel with hand luggage there are many restrictions, including liquids and the size and weight of the hand luggage allowed by airlines.

According to the current regulations, the permitted liquids are those in individual containers with a capacity not exceeding 100 ml, contained in a transparent plastic bag with an opening/closing system, and with a capacity not exceeding 1 liter (bag of approximately 20 x 20 cm.). Only one bag per passenger can be carried in the cabin, including children.

There are many more objects that we CANNOT bring, including sharp or cutting objects (such as razor blades, cutters, scissors, etc.) or flammable materials such as matches.


Finally, another thing that we should not forget in our carry-on suitcase is the necessary documentation to travel: passport or ID, visa if necessary, credit and/or debit cards, and travel insurance information, among others.

In addition to carrying everything in your hand luggage, don’t forget to make a digital copy and save it in the cloud. If you lose the documentation you always have a digital copy.

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