How to travel wih only a carry on bag for any lenght of time
These are just a few tips that you can use when you’re packing. Can you add any other tips you use to pack light? The below ones will work if you’re going to a hot country, I haven’t yet discovered how to travel with a carry on in winter.
Most people’s luggage is filled 80% by their clothes. So my first and most important tip is, don’t take so many clothes. What you’ll need for any trip to a hot place is 2 pairs of shorts (I take one pair of denim shorts and one that I work out in), 2 sleeveless tops and one tops with short sleeves. Being a girl, I also take 2 simple, short dresses that I can wear for sightseeing and one that I would wear for a night out, that one is a tight black spaghetti strap one. You’ll also need a long piece of cloth, which is called a sarong. Now this is the most useful piece of clothing you’ll carry. You can use it to lie on it on the beach, as a towel, make a dress out of it, and a long skirt when you go to a religious site. You’ll also need one pair of long, thin trousers for the evenings to protect yourself from mosquitoes and a hooded jumper for those rainy days. Of course you’ll need your swim suit and some underwear. I usually take 4-5 pairs of panties, 3 pairs of socks (you’ll wear sandals most of the time anyway) and maybe one bra. Most of the time I don’t wear a bra anyway (hell, I don’t always wear undies when I travel) so this is just in case I’d one day feel like putting one on. The last piece of clothing I take with me is a workout bra (I always wear a workout bra when I work out). Yes you might have to do your washing more often this way, but is it not worth it, not having to carry 15 kg of clothes all the time? A hat (baseball or straw, whatever you prefer) is a necessity when travelling to a hot country to protect your head when you’re sightseeing under the sun all day.
Take one pair of comfortable sneakers that you can climb mountains in, go sightseeing, rumble through the jungle and work out in. The other pair shoes you’ll need are your sandals. I would advise against choosing flip flops, as you can very easily break a toe walking in those. In fact it happened to Peter once in Malaysia, he hit a curb with his toe and it broke. Flip flops don’t give your feet any protection whatsoever so choose some quality sandals before you set off. That said, I also usually have a pair of flip flops with me just to take showers in when we end up staying at a not so clean place or when the showers are common
3. PILLS AND FIRST AID KIT
I always take travel probiotics, those are a must when going to a foreign country. You’ll be eating foods unknown to your digestive system so there will be times when you’re thankful to have those. Make sure to choose travel ones, as regular probiotics usually need to be kept in the fridge.
Along those, I also have my enema for any trip longer than a week, just in case. I usually don’t have to use it, but it’s better to be safe. If you don’t know what an enema is, you can check it here
Our first aid kit contains paracetamol, diarrhoea relief pills, aspirin, antibacterial wipes and plasters.
Extra tip: Always check if the medicine you’re taking is legal in the countries you’re going to visit. I have recently read an article where a woman was jailed because she wanted to take a few strong pain killers through the Egyptian border.
One thing I got really good use out of is a cup and spiral water boiler. You just stick the spiral in your cup filled with water and it boils it. This way you can have coffee or tea anytime you want, which is a must for me in the morning. Usually we just get some yoghurt and rice cakes, and some milk along those the night before and we have coffee and breakfast in our hotel room. You can get these spiral travel boilers on Amazon or EBay.
I also have a good plastic spoon with me to eat whatever food we buy.
A very useful tool is a world travel adaptor. You’ll make very good use out of a quality one over the years if you travel a lot. I also have a battery charger (+ usb cables), which can be used when your phone is running low on steam and you need to charge it while you’re on the road.
The next thing are pair of earphones with me, which we usually share with Peter when watching movies on flights or at airports and when I listen to audiobooks.
We have a cheap tablet that we carry when traveling. Cheap is the key word here, as we really wanted something we wouldn’t really mind loosing. Sometimes you’ll need to leave your backpack in a hotel or a shop so you can go explore a new place and you wouldn’t want to do that of you had an expensive laptop sitting in your bag. We only use it for watching movies, writing up things in word for our blog, it’s not good for much else but it to us it serves it’s purpose.
Buy a dual SIM phone. This way you can keep your main SIM card in your phone and use the new number for internet in the country you’re traveling in. I have the One Plus 5 dual SIM phone.
5. TIPS FOR PACKING
A tool that I have just started using recently are packing cubes.
I honestly found that they save space and make me 100% more organised when traveling. I pack our underwear and socks in a smaller one, tops and bottoms in a bigger one and I have an extra one dirty clothes, another for cables, and our first aid kit. Packing cubes will make your life easier when you’re looking for something in your bag, your clothes will stay packed away neatly while you’re rummaging through the content of your backpack. I roll clothes instead of folding, it has been proven that rolling clothes does save space so try it out next time you’re packing.
I always use face cream in the morning and evening, I just make sure to have one that’s under 100ml and in a plastic bag so I can take it in a carry on. Lip balm i very important when you’re off to a hot country as the sun and salty water can make your lips dry and sore as I learned recently when I forgot mine at home.
I will also have some travel sized shampoo and conditioner, and a small hairbrush. Soap they will usually give you in a hotel.
I buy 100ml toothpaste and foldable toothbrushes so we don’t waste time having to look for those when we get off the plane.
As a girl I also have a few hygiene pads and tampons just in case there is an emergency, plus maybe you’ll want to throw in there your favourite brand of condoms too.
To make my nights more comfortable I always have earplugs with me. I use silicone ones, those are the best. Very necessary when you don’t know who your neighbours will be for the night.
7. A FEW EXTRAS
We have a Netflix account and I download a few TV shows and movies that we watch together while waiting for a plane or when we are flying. You can watch your movies in flight mode once you downloaded them on your phone. I also have an audible account to listen to audiobooks, those are indispensable on long and boring bus journeys when you’re sick of watching movies.
I always have a padlock with me. I use it when we go to the gym to lock our things away, which we do quite often when traveling. I also have a needle, not necessarily to sew anything but to get the sim card out of my phone. If we are in one country longer than 2-3 weeks then it’s worth getting a local sim card. You’ll save money on roaming costs and you can use google maps to get to places, research places to visit without having to find a place with a Wi-Fi connection.
A notepad and a pen are another two things I will have in my bag. I make notes in the evenings about what we did, where we went that day. I use these notes later to write posts on our blog.
A good pair of sunglasses – I don’t think you need any explanation here.
A small microfiber towel (it dries easily)- You won’t always have a towel in a cheap hotel so it’s good to have a small one with you. You can roll it up so it doesn’t take up much space.
A sink plug – I know, you have probably never heard of this one, but you know those times when you want to wash a few clothes in a hotel sink and the water goes down the drain because you can’t plug it up? That’s when you will use the sink plug. You can probably get one from a local plumbing shop easily, they usually have universal ones, or just take the one from home (if there isn’t anyone else who’ll need to plug up the sink while you’re gone).
Always have a printed copy of your passport with you and do not start your trip without buying travel insurance, that is the most important thing when you’re setting off to travel or on holiday. Don’t forget, you need to get your travel insurance while you’re still in your home country. I can recommend Insure and go if you’re looking for a reliable travel insurance company. (They paid my £5000 hospital bill in Thailand with no difficulties).
Store important documents (passport, travel insurance papers) on a cloud so you can access them from any computer.
Always tell your relatives where you’re going next and who with.
Have useful numbers saved in your phone, e.g. the number of your country’s, travel insurance company.
Learn one phone number by heart (preferably of a relative) to call them or leave a message if you loose your phone.
Install the ‘find my device’ feature on your phone.
9. WHAT NOT TO TAKE
A travel pillow: Sure, when I go on short trips where I know we’ll be travelling overnight I’ll take my travel pillow. In fact I have just bought this one recently but on long trips when you’re backpacking it will be difficult to carry it on your backpack. It will kepp dangling on it and get dirty when you put your bag on the ground. On most long howl flights they will give you a pillow anyway, even if it’s not the perfect travel pillow.
A waist bag: It will make you look like a tourist. You will be perfectly fine carrying your wallet in a shoulder bag, you won’t need a waist bag.
10. DO NOT FORGET to go to the bank before you set off on your journey.
Ok, these tips are not exactly related to packing light but they are important steps to make when you’re getting ready to travel.
Let your bank know that you’re going away. They might block your card if you don’t and they see that someone has tried to use it in Thailand.
Get a credit card. It’s good to have one as a backup option when you’re traveling.
Get an account at a bank that is known for low fees on ATM withdrawal abroad. I use Metro bank, they are the best in the UK. They don’t charge anything for withdrawal in Europe and only a minimal amount outside of it. This way we don’t have to worry about getting the local currency, I just use an ATM when we get to our destination and get some cash that way.
So there you go, this is how you can travel with a carry on backpack. This list might seem long but trust me you can fit them in a 20-25 liter backpack, that’s what we travel with. Below you can see my backpack that I use to travel with.
Can you add anymore tips you have been using when setting of to a journey into new places? Can you pack light in winter?