We individually evaluate all products and services we recommend. If you click on links on our website, we may earn a commission.

Carry On Only Travel Hacks – Packing Tips And Tricks

Carry On Only Travel Hacks feature

“Carry on travel hacks?” Hmm, you wonder. You’ve heard of those who can go on a weekend or a 4-day trip with only a carry-on. It’s clear you’re on a mission to streamline your travel and make every inch of that carry-on count.

The struggle of juggling multiple bags, the dread of lost luggage, and the ever-annoying baggage fees can make any traveler wish for a simpler way.

Having trotted the globe with just my trusty carry-on, I’ve honed the art of packing light. Over the years, I’ve collected a set of hacks that have transformed my travel experience, and I’m eager to share them with you.

What Are Some Carry On Only Travel Hacks

Well, the first thing is to make a list. After you have your list throw out all bulky clothes, use packing cubes and use your shoes to pack small things to save space. Also, pack every space and just pack less. Please read on to learn more.

Whether you’re a business traveler tired of baggage claim waits or a vacationer hoping to hop off the plane straight into adventure, this guide is your ticket to a hassle-free journey.

I get it; traveling can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But with the right “Carry On Only Travel Hacks” up your sleeve, you’ll be navigating airports and destinations with ease and flair. Ready to revolutionize your travel game? Let’s embark on this packing adventure together!

What Are The TSA And Airline Rules For Carry On?

Let’s start with the TSA’s 3-1-1- liquids rule. You can pack liquids or gels following this rule which means a maximum of 3.4 ounces of any liquid or gel per container. Then you can shove as many of these as possible into a 1-quart, clear, zip-top plastic bag. But only one (1) bag per passenger.

Your 3-1-1 bag must be in the front pocket of your carry on so you can easily remove them at the TSA security checkpoint. In addition, large electronic devices must be on the top layer of your carry on for screening accessibility.

Of course, even if you know some carry on only travel hacks, please be mindful of a few things. Some things you cannot pack in your carry on, such as firearms, sharp objects, flammables, household tools, sporting and camping gear, etc.

Keep in mind that rules vary per airline. But generally, their guidelines are more about carry on luggage size and weight restrictions. So, ensure your carry-on luggage size complies with their rules. As to the contents of your carry on, if you follow the TSA rules, you’re good.

Carry On Only Travel Hacks 2

Make A Packing List For Your Carry On Luggage

Yes, traveling with just a carry on is doable if you know some carry on only travel hacks that will allow you to have what you need for your trip. At this point, it will determine what are essentials and what you can leave behind for the journey. A packing list of what you must bring for the trip will help.

Another critical factor is choosing the proper carry on luggage. Airlines have size and weight restrictions for carry on, so a lightweight bag is important and will allow more packing flexibility.

Carry On Only Travel Hacks

Check out these carry on only travel hacks for your next trip.

Bulky Clothes And Footwear Are Out

You can free up space in your carry on bag if you wear bulky and heavy stuff. For example, wear your parka, sweater, sweatshirt, hiking boots, or the bulkiest sneakers to the airport. Of course, aboard the plane, you can always take the parka or sweatshirt off to be more comfortable.

Wearing the bulkiest clothes and footwear will give you more space for packing other stuff. Other carry on only travel hacks will not apply if these items already take up all of the compartment space in your carry on.

Keep Them Compact – Compression Bags Help

Rolling your clothes will free up additional space. However, using compression bags will take the air out and reduce the volume of your wardrobe, making it more compact. Trying one of the simple carry on only travel hacks like this will also keep your stuff organized.

Two-Shoe Packing Rule

By being selective with your footwear, you avoid bringing shoes you will not wear. Wear one pair – the bulkiest, on the plane and pack up to two more pairs of sandals, flip-flops, or leather shoes if you plan formal events. In other words, your planned activities will determine the type of footwear you pack, but packing up to two pairs will save room.

Follow the two-shoe packing rule for carry-on-only travel hacks and leave all the other shoes behind.

Skip Toiletries

Simple carry on only travel hacks like this will go a long way. For example, wherever your destination is, there is undoubtedly a shop to buy your travel-size toiletries. I’m sure you can find enough to sustain you for your stay. So instead of packing your 3-1-1, plan to buy them — shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. to last the length of your stay. Then you can use the space for other items.

If it will take you a day or two to go to a shop to buy your toiletries because of your busy schedule, consider packing small soap bars – body wash, shampoo, or laundry detergent.

Carry On Only Travel Hacks 1

Pack A Capsule Closet

Consider your luggage your capsule closet, where you can find and get what you need to wear for any occasion. Pack a few pieces of clothing, but ensure you can mix and match them to suit the event or occasion. For example, bring a shirt that you can wear with a pair of jeans one day or under a blazer, a sweater the next day, or with formal slacks another day.

Decide on a color motif for your clothes and shoes for the trip to make mixing and matching for different events easy.

Pack Less, Do Laundry

While you would prefer to pack a set of clothes per day of travel, you can only fit a few of them in your carry on luggage. Pack the basics that will last you for two to three days, and if you must stay longer than three days, plan to do laundry at your destination.

Pick an accommodation with an on-site laundry facility so you can do your laundry. Then, you can have fresh clothes for your extended stay.

Fill Space Gaps With Odd-Shaped Items

Packing your electronic accessories in a pouch will look neat and organized. But there are some space gaps in the luggage that you can fill using these accessories individually. For example, insert a small phone charger inside your packed leather shoes. You may then use the space you free up for the accessories pouch or cube for other items.

FAQs About Carry On Only Travel Hacks

Here are a few frequently asked questions about carry on only travel hacks.

Do I need to check in at the airport if I only have carry-on?

It’s not necessary to go to the ticket counter. If you only have a carry on bag, head straight to a check-in kiosk for your boarding pass and then to the TSA security checkpoint.

How do airports check carry-on bags?

TSA security officers will ask you to remove electronic devices, such as your cell phone – laptop, tablet, or handheld game consoles, from your carry on and put them in a collection bin for X-ray screening. In addition, if you are not TSA PreCheck, you must remove your liquids for the scanners.

What is a packing hack?

Packing hacks are simply suggestions and tips to help you pack. When you pack for a trip, some carry on only travel hacks are a great way to free up space in your luggage. Packing hacks will help you determine what you need to bring and what you can leave at home to free up space.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on Luggage, here are some additional posts about Luggage:

Carry On Only Travel Hacks – Conclusion

For your next trip, try these carry on only travel hacks to save space and time with only one carry on bag. It’s practical, and you can save extra bucks with no checked baggage fee. Once you master these travel hacks, there is no going back to flying with checked baggage.

Photo of author

Laura Fuller

Hello, I am a luggage and travel fanatic. With a vast knowledge of TSA regulations, I am here to assist you on your journey. Please join me, and together, we will navigate the world of travel. From TSA and air to cruising the high seas, we will explore the best accessories and tips for smooth travel.

Leave a Comment