Skip To Content

    14 Tips That Make Traveling With Just A Carry-On Doable, According To A Pro Travel Writer Who Never Checks A Suitcase

    There's no feeling more glorious than completely skipping the baggage claim at the end of a long flight.

    I'm Evie, and I've jet-setted all over the world as a travel writer. I like being light and mobile when I travel, which is why I always avoid checking a bag. In addition to saving money, it saves time. There's no feeling more glorious than gliding past the baggage claim at the end of a long flight.

    Woman rolls suitcase on a street in Japan

    Packing everything you need in a carry-on isn't always the easiest task, but I can confidently say I've mastered the art. Here's how I decide what to take, what to leave behind, and how I keep it all organized:

    1. Shoes are the enemy of carry-on luggage — so I wear the bulkiest pair on the plane.

    A carry-on suitcase with shoes on the side

    2. Same goes for sweaters and sweatshirts.

    3. Jeans take up more room than other bottoms, so I only pack a couple pairs and wear one on the plane.

    Suitcase packed with clothes

    4. Stick to solid color clothing that can work for multiple outfits.

    Person packing a suitcase

    5. Pack a few fun accessories that take up very little space like scarves, jewelry, and sunglasses.

    6. When traveling to a cold destination, bring a jacket that folds down into nothing.

    A couple in winter clothing holding a baby

    7. Limit yourself to just one dressy outfit.

    8. Pack like you're going away for a week and accept the fact that you might have to do laundry.

    A man doing the laundry

    9. Dress smartly to make airport security a breeze.

    A woman walking into airport security

    10. Traveling in something with pockets is clutch.

    11. If you have a long day of travel ahead of you, pack some clean clothes in a backpack.

    A woman walking through an airport

    12. Make sure everything in your carry-on suitcase is security proof.

    Feet and suitcase at the airport

    13. Keep those items you might need to remove at security in a separate backpack.

    A traveler holding a suitcase and backpack on her back

    14. Make sure to bring a refillable water bottle, but empty it before the security checkpoint.

    Woman refilling water bottle from a source of water in mountain

    Have any smart packing tips to share? Drop them in the comments below.