One bag travel takes extra planning

man travelling with one bagone bag travel

Photo by Joshawa Earle

One bag travel forces you to limit what you take on your trip.

If you are going for a two day business trip this will be very easy. It will take a bit of forethought if you are going on a week vacation or longer.

If you are not checking it then it even takes more planning.

I travel with one bag; however,  as a carry on only, is not usually the way I go.

Many people are doing this for various reasons.

It makes it easier at check in, get out of the airport as you do not have to wait for your bag to come down the conveyor belt and there is less chance of loosing it. 

I mostly travel with one bag but I check it whenever I can.

Sometimes I have to do a carry-on only, with one bag travel, if for instance I am going to more than one destination on a trip. Having to get on and off trains or buses, you will want to pack very light, so that you can handle your own bag and be able to carry it on board.

You will still need to go over your basic wardrobe, your destination and the weather. It will become even more important to mix and match and color co-ordinate your clothes with one bag travel.

I find that wearing a vest with lots of pockets gives you an extra carry on bag if you are going for more than about 4 days you may need to think of this. It can hold things like your camera, glasses, ipod and travel documents.

Your toiletry bag and makeup kit will also have to consist of regulation size bottles only. If you run out then you can always go to the local pharmacy or department store to get what you need.

Also remember if you take wheeled luggage it adds weight.

Make sure if you do go with one bag travel, unchecked, that you are strong enough to handle it yourself. It may not fit under the seat so you will have to put it in the overhead bin.

The stewardess has every right to refuse to help you if it is heavy and she might.

It also becomes very important to organize anything that you may need on the plane into a travel purse or bag hence you can grab it before you store your one bag and put it in under your seat or in the pouch in front of you.

The following is an example of what will fit in the largest carry on allowed.

This would usually be a 22 inch. Make sure you check your airline for your flight as it could be 20 inches or as small as 19 inches.

Dark cloths

  • 1 slack
  • I skirt
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 tank top
  • 1blouse

Light clothes

  • 1 blouse
  • 1 tank top

Colored clothes

  • 1 tank top
  • 1 blouse

You will also need

  • Sleep shirt, t shirt, cover up combo-men it could be a t shirt and pyjama bottoms
  • Shawl
  • Bathing suit (depending on the type of trip)
  • Nylons (if a business trip or some formal event)
  • Flip fops for beach or hotel room or even to wear out
  • A couple of pieces of versatile costume jewellery
  • Men a tie if needed
  • A Blazer if needed (wear it on board)
  • Underwear 1 per day up to 7 max
  • 3 pairs of socks like cool max
  • one black and one nude colored bra
  • Take a travel purse that is versatile enough to be used at your destination and also for an evening out.
  • you can wear your jacket, coat or sweater.
  • Make sure that what you wear on the plane can be washed out at your destination and coordinates with what you packed
  • Wear your shawl or scarf.
  •  A lot of times a three or four day trip is on a holiday like Easter but do not attempt to take gifts with you unless they are small and can fit in your purse or if you go one bag travel with only carryon  (don't wrap them). The best thing is to shop at home, order the gifts and have them shipped to your destination.

what not to pack with one bag travel

  • A blow drier. If you are going with a carry-on with one bag travel make do with what is available in your destination hotel or apartment.
  • Do not pack a dress. (Your skirt and a top of the same colour will look like a dress and is more versatile)
  • Do not pack gifts.
  • Do not pack anything that you will not need like nylons if a beach vacation etc.
  • If staying with a friend or relative you can use there shampoo and body wash. Most hotels supply these also so no need to pack them.

  • Remember-only regulation size products are allowed on board.

    A good resource for this is travel toiletry kit they pack regulation size products in a perfect 1 quart zip lock plastic bag. You can order what you want and they will ship it to you or ( your destination if it is in the U.S. )

    Keep in mind if you are packing things like a nail kit check the regulations. You are usually allowed manicure scissors but no points and less than ¼ inch. Take Emory boards and plastic cuticle tools etc.

    Last but not least-make sure that you are prepared to check it if this is required.

    There are reasons that this may happen.

    If security is red alert especially when traveling through the U.S. they may insist that you check it.

    If you have made a mistake and packed something not allowed they will give you the choice of throwing the item out or checking your bag.

    Another reason may be that you miscalculated the weight. Sometimes if you are one of the latest to board there is just no more room in the overhead storage.

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