Today I want to talk to you about how it is possible to travel alone with hand luggage even for long periods. Traveling light has become very important in several aspects: for a net economic saving but also for a matter of comfort.
In recent times, low cost airlines have imposed very strict restrictions on the weight and size of luggage, in addition the major flag carriers are promoting the so-called "Light fare", which are very advantageous offers. , which are very advantageous offers for those who decide to leave with carry-on luggage only.
Precisely for this reason, I too have decided since a few years ago to abandon heavy suitcases and avoid paying additional costs for checked luggage.
You might think that traveling for 2/3 weeks or even several months with a small backpack is difficult or impossible, but it is not so; you can also face long trips without exaggerating with the suitcases, the important thing is to optimize the spaces and bring what is really essential!
However, it is also good to know what you are allowed to put in your hand luggage to avoid problems during the controls.
In this guide we look at everything related to hand luggage: the benefits, some important tips and the best travel backpack.
Why travel with carry-on luggage: all the advantages
First let's see why it is really important to start light and with the minimum, let's find out what are the advantages of traveling with hand luggage.
The first big advantage is undoubtedly the economic one, making a trip with a few suitcases will make you save on the cost of airline tickets, in fact, more and more airlines do not include free checked luggage. The cost of sending luggage varies depending on the airline, usually from about 20/30 € each way, but in some cases the surcharge can be much higher.
In addition to saving money, you can also save time.
In fact, if you decide not to check your luggage, you will not have to queue at check-in, but simply go directly to the gate, and once you land you will not be forced to wait for your bags on the walking belt. This is not to be underestimated, as at some airports the wait can be very long.
But above all, you do not run the risk of losing your luggage or any damage, thus avoiding further loss of time and unavoidable stress.
Traveling light is also comfortable, leaving with a small backpack is best for moving easily on foot but also when taking buses, ferries or other particularly busy means.
Tips for traveling alone with carry-on luggage
Tackling a trip that lasts a few weeks or a few months starting with a simple carry-on may seem like a difficult challenge. Let's look at some suggestions for preparing the perfect suitcase!
Type of luggage
The type of luggage depends very much on the type of trip, particularly if it is a stationary stay or, on the contrary, an itinerary that includes several stages and several trips.
In the first case, the classic cabin trolley may be fine. In the case of an itinerant trip, the best solution is a large backpack that respects the measurements allowed in the cabin. This will make it even easier to move around.
I also noticed that when you travel with a backpack on your shoulder, the boarding controls are not so scrupulous and you can often pack even if the weight is slightly more than the allowed kg.
In any case, it is always best to choose a particularly light backpack, so that you can put as many things as possible.
Often, when you pack, you put a little bit of everything, even things you will never use during the trip. Therefore, it is important to make a detailed list of what you really need to bring.
Organize everything on the bed to make a quick inventory and evaluate even better if everything is really necessary.
I recommend you to think about the last few trips and what has not been useful to you.
The important thing is not to overpack and not to bring too many changes, you can always wash your clothes during your stay, in many countries the laundry service is particularly economical.
Obviously, if the destination is a hot country it is even easier, otherwise you can always use vacuum bags that allow you to reduce the bulk of even heavier shirts.
Tip: on the day of departure, dress in heavier or bulky clothes, such as sweatshirts, long pants and shoes, to gain more and more space in your hand luggage.
At the beginning I also made a big mistake, I took and put everything in the luggage without too much attention, then one day my partner seeing me packing my suitcase literally hit me with his eyes and explained to me a fabulous technique to sort everything to perfection!
In particular, I learned the method taught by Marie Kondo, author of the book "The magic power of tidying", in practice by rolling the clothes and taking advantage of every little space you can optimize the space and fill the suitcase in an orderly manner.
Luggage weight and size limits
Carry-on or checked baggage rules change depending on the airline, so it is not easy to find a suitable backpack for all carriers.
First of all, it is essential to check the size and weight limits imposed by the airline you decide to fly with, as well as the amount of carry-on baggage that can be taken into the cabin. For example, some low-cost airlines allow you to carry one large and one small bag (to be placed under the seat), also known as a "laptop bag".
Generally, the standard dimensions for the large bag are 55x40x20 while for the small backpack are 16x33x43. But as I said, they change, if only by a few centimeters, from one company to another.
Weight limits are also variable, usually ranging between 7 and 10 kg for both bags.
The best travel backpack for carry-on luggage
After a lot of research I found what I personally think is the best backpack for carry-on travel, I used it for a 2 week trip to Canada and a 6 month trip to Asia. I am talking about the Cabin Max Equator 2.0, I completely fell in love with this backpack.
The Cabin Max Equator measures 54x36x23cm, dimensions suitable for most airlines, weighs 1.3kg and has a capacity of 45 liters in the main compartment. There are several pockets, one also padded for the laptop and a secret document holder.
The integrated rain cover is also excellent.
The nice thing is that the backpack opens completely like a suitcase, plus the main compartment has an internal divider.
The only thing a little tricky are the drawstrings attached to the zipper tabs that come off easily, but be careful and open the zippers by pulling the tabs straight out.
Overall, it was a great buy, roomy, bright and very comfortable.
Ryan Air carry-on luggage
Ryan Air currently allows you to bring only one small bag (40x20x25 cm) at no additional cost.
If you are going away for a few days you can bring with you a backpack of about 20 liters that respects these measures. The best is the Max Metz Cabin, it is not very big but unfortunately this is the allowed size.
Useful accessories for traveling with hand luggage
Finally, to organize your luggage even better, there are some very useful accessories that I recommend buying:
To organize everything perfectly, there are the so-called travel organizers, or cases of various sizes that serve to separate clothes or objects to take on vacation.
As you know, liquids in packets of up to 100 ml are allowed in hand luggage, for a total of 1 liter. Your best option would be to buy most things while traveling. In any case, to carry the minimum necessary or for products that are hard to find, I recommend using the special bags with vials for liquids.
For those like me who travel with many electronic devices, such as camera, GoPro, smartphone, laptop, drone etc., it is best to buy a cable bag, where to insert chargers, cables, hard drive, memory cards, headphones, etc.
Bathrobe and Towels
Instead of bringing a bathrobe or bulky towel, it is preferable to buy a microfiber towel, which is also useful for the beach.
Bringing more than one paper book is not the best option if you decide to go with carry-on luggage. Fortunately, there are Kindle readers in which you can carry as many books as you want and they take up very little space, less than an iPad.
We have seen how advantageous it is to travel with little luggage, and above all how simple it is. If you need more information or have any other advice to give, comment on the article. Now you can pack your bags, have a good trip!