Author Topic: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag  (Read 6400 times)

foodguy

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Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« on: March 09, 2012, 08:42:35 PM »
So I'm headed out of town for a quick four day trip and I'm required to travel in "business attire."  (Translation: Uncomfortable)  The attire at my destination is casual for the four days with ample time for a workout. (Translation: Very comfortable)  However, I am only allowed to bring a "small carry-on" bag for the rest of my clothes for the trip. 

I've been using this website for several years and thought others might enjoy it.  It fits into the "Mustachian" way of doing things, which I define as minimalistic (and therefore frugal) but highly effective.  In short, the site explains how to pack for any length of trip in a carry-on bag, and include every item possibly needed during that trip.  It is more than just a packing list, which is helpful in and of itself, but also a change in mindset from "pack everything I possibly own" to "pack only what I absolutely need," and explains why.

www.onebag.com

I'm set with just a backpack for the four days, monkey suit and casual clothes all.  While airline travel sucks anyways, it becomes a bit more tolerable when you aren't lugging around a bunch of shit, or paying the airline to lose your shit for you.

Sunflower

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 01:29:59 AM »
I'm set with just a backpack for the four days, monkey suit and casual clothes all.  While airline travel sucks anyways, it becomes a bit more tolerable when you aren't lugging around a bunch of shit, or paying the airline to lose your shit for you.

Good for you! I'm currently in Europe on a five week research trip and this is the first time that I've packed anything larger than a cary-on. I've never owned a suitcase larger than a cary-on and had to borrow this one from my SO. I felt completely ridiculous walking around the airport and to my flat here with this huge suitcase!

I did only have 72 notice for the trip and last time I was here there were several food items that I had a really hard time finding (I have dietary restrictions) so I brought enough homemade cereal and some other food items to last for the trip which was the main reason I upgraded my suitcase. Of course, the upgrade meant I had a little extra room and so I threw in too many little extras like....several more t-shirts....a second sweater which I haven't worn yet....a second hat (haven't worn either)....and after a few more of these things, suddenly I was over the weight limit, oops! Next time I'm going back to small and light!

arebelspy

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 03:55:53 AM »
The wife and I did just over two months in Europe backpacking around in 09 with a backpack each.

Fairly small ones (28L IIRC), not giant camping ones.  Definitely made the trip more enjoyable.

We never pack more than a carry-on each, not least because checked baggage fees are ridiculous.  And I hate waiting for luggage at baggage claim.

I haven't done the luggage thing since trips with the family before I moved out at 18.  May have to once we have kids, but even then I'll try to hold out.
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velocistar237

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 07:29:17 AM »
www.onebag.com

This is my favorite travel site. On business trips, I typically take a laptop bag and pack everything in it. I only got into trouble once, when I left a warm day in a typically cold climate and ended up in a cold spell in a typically warm climate. I had just one sweater, and I was freezing.

I haven't done the luggage thing since trips with the family before I moved out at 18.  May have to once we have kids, but even then I'll try to hold out.

It's not that hard, even with kids! Just resist the temptation to take everything with you. There are usually car seats and cribs to be borrowed on the other end. When kids turn 2, you have to buy a plane ticket for them, and with the seat, they get their own carry-on bag. My wife and I packed two carry-on bags for a trip home for Christmas. When we were packing the presents for the trip back, we realized that our 2-year-old could have her own carry-on bag, so we were able to take everything home without checking any bags. As she gets older, she'll be able to carry more and more of her own stuff.

mm1970

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 08:26:27 AM »
It's not that hard, even with kids! Just resist the temptation to take everything with you. There are usually car seats and cribs to be borrowed on the other end. When kids turn 2, you have to buy a plane ticket for them, and with the seat, they get their own carry-on bag. My wife and I packed two carry-on bags for a trip home for Christmas. When we were packing the presents for the trip back, we realized that our 2-year-old could have her own carry-on bag, so we were able to take everything home without checking any bags. As she gets older, she'll be able to carry more and more of her own stuff.

Okay, I am very impressed.  We still have not mastered this with kid.  We always have to check at least one bag.  We're getting better.  We don't generally use strollers.  We always buy our kid a ticket (even when he was under 2), so we get the extra carryon.  But that also means we carry on the carseat (for safety).  So with 5 carryons (3 carryons plus baby plus carseat)...we have gotten much better.  We only had one checked bag at Christmas.


velocistar237

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 09:02:47 AM »
I admit that we don't take a car seat on the plane. I suppose that if we were more safety conscious, we would look into the CARES.

My wife just reminded me that we had my parents mail us a big box of Christmas presents that year (it had a child-sized teddy bear in it, plus some other things). That probably cost about as much as a checked bag. Isn't selective memory great?

Melissa

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 09:12:31 AM »
We have three children, but rarely even use the five carryons that we are allowed. Then again we usually rent a condo/apt/house to stay in and those usually have a washer. I do laundry mid week so we don't have to carry as much stuff

chrissyo

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 11:10:31 AM »
ITA that packing light really enhances the trip. I can't help thinking how miserable  the tourists in London look hauling gigantic suitcases up and down escalators, stairs and through cobbled streets. DH and I recently shared a 22" rolling case for a 2 week vacation, and I consider myself relatively high maintenance when it comes to hair and makeup :)

IME the trick is limiting the number of shoes you take, and picking outfits that work around the same neutral palette with a handful of accessories. I'll usually pack a spare pair of jeans and a variety of shirts/sweaters that work around the pair of shoes and jacket I'm wearing on the plane. I'll often do a load of washing mid-way through the trip, just because I don't like dirty socks/underthings sitting in a bag for too long, too, but I just re-wear shirts and jeans throughout the trip without washing.

Parizade

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 12:44:17 PM »
One carry-on is always my goal, but I've never seen this site before. Great resource, thanks for posting it!

jd

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 10:18:07 PM »
+1 for onebag.com.  Depending on where you're going and what you're doing, you may be able to get by with even less than the packing list suggested on that site.

One variation I used when traveling with my wife was to take one small backpack and one larger, but squishable, backpack.  We didn't fill up both packs--the smaller one could fit inside the big one for traveling on trains, between hotels, etc.  For air travel, we rebalanced the packs to stay within the size/weight restrictions.  And the small pack was perfect for going out for day trips.

velocistar237

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 06:17:14 AM »
One variation I used when traveling with my wife was to take one small backpack and one larger, but squishable, backpack.  We didn't fill up both packs--the smaller one could fit inside the big one for traveling on trains, between hotels, etc.  For air travel, we rebalanced the packs to stay within the size/weight restrictions.  And the small pack was perfect for going out for day trips.

I splurged and bought a Patagonia lightweight travel courier on sale as my second, packable bag. I think it wouldn't be too hard to make one. It fits a medium-sized laptop, and it's only 8oz.

vern

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Re: Packing for any trip in a carry-on bag
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 11:23:39 PM »
I haven't checked a bag in 7 years.  (Just got back from Singapore!)  I also love the onebag site.  Washing as you go is the key.  Running shirts are great for this as they dry in about 4 hours.  I also love the Exofficio underwear.  Same deal.

I like to travel with two sportcoats so I wear one and fold the other like this site recommends to avoid taking a garment bag...

http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Travel/easy_packing_tips_for_trips.htm

One thing I've noticed is that the customs agents get a little suspicious if you only have one bag with you..."That's all your luggage for a two week trip?"

"Yep."

« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 11:25:34 PM by vern »

 

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