6 Steps for Traveling with One Bag

With all the size and weight restrictions airlines impose today, it’s more important than ever to learn the art of traveling with one bag unless you want to pay steep fees. Even if you chronically overpack, there are some simple tips you can follow to fit everything you need for travel into one bag.

Start With a Small Bag

one bag

Image via Flickr by jepoirrier

First, start with a bag that fits into the overhead bin on an airplane. It’s impossible to overpack when you’re forced to work with the space you’re given. Plus, knowing exactly how much room you have available makes you carefully consider every item you want to pack. Make sure you use every available corner and pocket in your suitcase.

Just as the size of the bag you take is important, the type of bag you use matters as well. Some suitcases start as a rolling bag but convert into a backpack. This is ideal for times when you’re rushing to catch your connecting flight or you’re in a building that doesn’t have an elevator.

Choose Your Clothing Carefully

When you’re picking out the clothing you want to pack, select neutral color items that will easily mix and match with everything. For instance, if you pack two pants and three shirts you’ll be able to create six different outfits. Many hotels offer on-site laundry and will provide detergent, so you can wash your clothing while you’re traveling and you don’t need to take laundry detergent with you.

Pack to Take Up Less Space

As you’re packing your clothing, keep in mind that folded clothing takes up less room than wadded clothing, and clothing that is folded then rolled takes up even less room. If you’re traveling to a cold climate and you need to take large sweaters, consider a compression sac that expels air from clothing through a one-way valve. These bags can shrink bulky items down in size considerably. Finally, remember that if your clothing takes up more than one-third of your suitcase, then you’re trying to take too much with you.

Make Your Shoes Work for You

Shoes will take up a lot of room in your suitcase, so it’s important to select the right pairs to take with you. Ideally, you will have one pair of shoes that are good for hiking and exploring and one pair that will work for any occasions when you need something fancier. Wear the larger all-purpose ones, and since you’ll have the other pair in your suitcase, don’t forget to use the empty space inside of them. Ball up your socks and underwear and stuff them inside these shoes, giving you a little more space.

Take the Minimum Number of Toiletries

When it comes to packing toiletries, trim down your list to the absolute essentials. Plenty of hotels still offer free soap and shampoo. In case they don’t, you can still pack a cleanser that is both shampoo and body wash in one. Small containers and samples are usually a perfect size for traveling. Also, don’t forget that many of the places you plan on visiting have convenience stores where you can pick up extra toothpaste or deodorant if you happen to run out.

Go for Multi-Purpose Items

One way to get everything you need into one bag is to pack items that serve multiple purposes. For example, zip-off pants start out as long pants for when the temperatures are cooler. However, if it starts to warm up during the day, you can unzip the legs and turn them into shorts.

Or, to make sure you can still connect with family and friends while you’re traveling, pack one of the best 2-in-1 laptops from Lenovo. With a device like this you can watch movies while waiting for your flight, pull up a map to make sure you don’t get lost, or play games to relax before you go to bed.

Traveling with one bag offers plenty of advantages. Not only can you avoid extra fees from the airlines, you don’t run the risk of having them lose your luggage, and you can easily tote your own load.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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