Packing suitcases for a business trip or a vacation faces most of us at difficult decisions – what to take and what to leave? Taking too many things means you will not miss anything but you may end up with over-luggage. We are sure that each and everyone of you has packed a suitcase and bag more than once. And for many of us it seems that we can do this quickly and properly. But is it really so? Many people prefer to travel with only hand luggage. This saves time, nerves and money. Experienced travelers know that one does not need too many things on a trip. Let’s be honest, how many times you returned from a trip and realized that you did not wear half the clothing? So, let us give you some tips and tricks for compact luggage and help you pack everything you need in a relatively small suitcase!
Tips and tricks for compact luggage – understanding the basic principles
Why travel light with only hand luggage? What are the tricks for compact luggage? As you know, fleet professionals travel thousands of kilometers with only 5 kg of baggage so an ordinary tourist will certainly be able to pack his things for 4-7 days in hand luggage.
One of the main advantages of traveling light is that you save time. You will not have to queue for baggage check-in or lose time at the luggage carousel.
Another advantage is the fact that it is cheaper. Baggage fees of low cost airlines may double the price of your flight ticket.
A third plus of traveling with a compact luggage is that it is safer. Your belongings are with you all the time and will not fly away in another direction, a negligent loader will not drop them, and certainly no one will be able to rummage through your suitcase and steal something.
How many things will fit in hand luggage? You should check you’re the baggage allowance of your airline in advance and make sure that you do not carry any items prohibited for transportation. Usually passengers are allowed to take one bag weighing 8-10 kg and measuring 55 × 40 × 20 cm but size of hand luggage may vary for different airlines. Yes, this is a small suitcase but if you follow our tips and tricks for compact luggage you will be able to fit a lot of things inside it.
Most manufacturers produce “airplane hand luggage” models which are designed in accordance with the general requirements of low cost airlines size 55 × 40 × 20 cm. You can opt for a soft bag or backpack which offer the advantage of being lightweight, but it is best if you choose a model that is not only roomy, but retains its shape. If you prefer a bag or backpack, make sure that it is made of dense material and high-quality stitches. Of course, the choice between a suitcase, a bag or a backpack is individual and depends on the type of travel and luggage you need to take. For example, if you pack for a business trip you wouldn’t choose a soft bag for your suits and shirts, right?
Tips and tricks for compact luggage – basic rules and clever ideas
There are many useful and practical tips and tricks for compact luggage. One of the most important rules when packing that you need to know is the rule for the required minimum. What does this means? This means that you should take out the things you want to take with you so that you can see them all. In this way you will not forget something important and you can immediately remove all that is unnecessary.
Do not take too many things. Select your luggage in accordance with the principle of “I will not be able to do without this” and not according to the principle of “what if I need this”. Choose clothes in neutral colors that can be combined. A special tips for girls and women – you should not take a couple more blouses just because you really like them. When choosing clothes, try to create matching sets and pack them in the suitcase. For example, a sweater can be combined with jeans, skirts or shorts and with just one garment you will create the illusion of a varied look.
Think of functionality and focus on accessories. When you aim at packing a compact suitcase it is obvious that you need to take only the most necessary. We already mentioned the rule for the required minimum. Remember that it is the purpose of the trip that determines the clothing and not your ideas for the perfect vacation clothing and variety of outfits. Accessories will help you create a stylish image. A lady’s scarf can be used as a belt or a hairband. In addition, you can wear most accessories on board. It can be a hat, glasses, sunglasses, a handbag, a belt, watch, jewelry, etc. and your outfit can be assembled from a minimum of basic clothes that can be easily combined with each other.
Do not pack a coat or a jacket as they take too much space. This type of clothing is allowed to the plane free of charge. If you do not want to carry clothes in your hands, simply put them on during airport checks and boarding.
Be creative and use your suitcase wisely. If you travel for a short vacation, don’t feel obliged to fill it with clothing. You can use the free space for small gifts and souvenirs that you bought during your holiday.
Think about mini versions. Try to find travel models of the most necessary things, for example, a small comb or hair brush, a small nail file, a compact travel umbrella, thin hair bands, a small wallet, etc.
One of the best tricks for compact luggage is to wear clothes with pockets. There are special jackets with a lot of pockets and you can put your documents, phone or other gadgets in them.
What to pack in your hand luggage?
Most of us always take more things than we really need especially on short trips. We pack some clothes or an additional pair of shoes “just in case”. So what to pack in your hand luggage? Here is a list of the must-haves:
Documents – passport, driver’s license, insurance, cash reserves, bank cards, printouts of airline tickets and hotel reservations.
Appliances and chargers – The desire to take all your favorite gadgets with you is understandable, but you can easily limit yourself to an e-book or tablet (laptop), a small camera and charges for them.
Liquids – in hand luggage passengers are allowed to carry containers up to 100 ml which are packed in a transparent, resealable bag. This should not be a problem for anyone because you can buy toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo anywhere in the world.
Hygienic and decorative cosmetics – you need to think carefully how much of these products you need for the period of your trip. It is quite possible that you can buy the hygienic products upon arrival at a local supermarket or even on your hotel’s shelf. If you have to bring your own products, pour them into lighter 100 ml containers. As far as cosmetic products are concerned, try to decide which ones are most important to you and pack them in a small and thin cosmetic bag.
Medications – Most conventional medicines can be carried in hand luggage, and which ones to bring with you is an individual matter. A standard set that can be useful to the traveler never attracts the attention of airport security. If you have a chronic illness, take the drugs you need for the period of your trip.
Clothing and shoes – the usual list for a 4-7 day trip includes a sweater or a hoodie, 3-4 T-shirts / shirts, a pair of jeans/shorts/trousers, 1-2 skirts, 1 swimsuit, underwear and socks. As we already said, it makes sense to put on the heaviest clothes and shoes on the plane. Of course, this list depends on the season and will vary for each traveler. As far as footwear is concerned, it is unlikely that you will need more that two pairs of shoes on a short trip. One comfortable and one elegant pair of shoes, a pair of flip-flops (eventually) will be more than enough.
As you see, it is not a mission impossible to travel light with only hand luggage on a 7-day trip. All you need to do when packing your suitcase is follow the three main principles – an individual approach to yourself and your needs, practicality and functionality. Do not forget to check the rules of the airlines whose services you use.