Why one-bag travel is the best way to take a trip

November 6, 2014

Want to avoid the hassle of checking a bag? Use these tips to travel with just a carry-on and enjoy the smoothest trip possible.

As if airport customs and travel policies weren't already daunting enough, few airlines will even let you check a piece of luggage for free. Even with highly-rated international airlines that include the apparent luxury of checking a bag in the price of a ticket, sometimes things go wrong: baggage gets lost or damaged or turns up late. Could one-bag travel be the solution for you?

Why one-bag travel is the best way to take a trip

Choose a sturdy backpack

Not every bag is up to the challenge of becoming your one and only piece of luggage on a trip. Cheap, improperly reinforced bags can rip open at the seams and pop their zippers before you even make it to the airport.

Don't choose your travel bag hastily. Look over the seams and zippers carefully. Check for any fragile threads and thin fabrics. Even if you're not going to be filling it with bricks, the bag should be able to handle a full load easily.

Pack light

This sounds obvious, but most people don't understand how to pack appropriately for the duration of their trip. What's the secret to proportionate packing? Think about the items you really need, and disregard anything else.

For a week-long trip, you may need two pairs of jeans, five shirts and several pairs of socks and underwear. Remember the outfit you wear to the airport counts as a significant part of the week's clothing. Also consider whether you might be able to find a way to do laundry halfway through your trip.

Prepare your toiletries carefully

It's ideal to bring a small amount of shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothpaste with you. This is especially true if you're travelling on a strict budget or suffer from skin allergies. The standard amount of liquid or gel you can bring with you into the cabin of the plane is 100 mL per container.

You can shop for travel-sized toiletries beforehand at most pharmacies or reuse empty cosmetics bottles at home. Label and measure your items carefully and pack them together in a clear plastic bag.

Remember the constant mantra of the traveller: passport, tickets, money. Keep these three things safe and your backpack filled with only the basics: clothing, medicine and toiletries. Then relax and enjoy your considerably lighter trip.

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