Depending on where you fly, the price difference between a seat and checked bag and just a carry on can be significant.
There are many reasons travellers may board a plane with a carry on bag and nothing else. Maybe you don't want the hassle of checking a bag for just a few days away or can't face springing extra for a checked bag.
No matter the 'why', travelling with just a carry-on means space is limited and overpacking must be avoided.
The main reason travellers overpack is uncertainty according to professional packer Lydia Mansel told Travel + Leisure. If you feel unconfident or unsure about your trip, you're more likely to stuff your bag with various items to cover possible events or weather conditions.
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Aside from getting clear on what exactly your trip could involve (checking the weather, organising an itinerary, researching different dress codes), here are five things you should think twice about packing.
New or fancy shoes
These are probably the new or expensive ones that look fashionable but will make your feet blister, ache or bleed if worn for too long. As a heavy item, leaving behind nice shoes you'll only wear for short periods can greatly free up bag space, so it pays to be ruthless with what pairs you pack. A certain pair of heels or boots may look cute, but your carry on (and your feet) will thank you for choosing a more comfortable option.
A heavy-duty raincoat
Unless you're planning some great outdoor adventure or visiting a particularly rainy region, leave the raincoat behind. Chances are an umbrella will be far more useful when darting around a city, and takes up much less room in a bag. Otherwise, a lightweight rain poncho does the trick too.
A big neck pillow
Neck pillows may look luxurious but there are far better alternatives than having to lug one around large airports and foreign cities. Instead, opt for one that can be blown up or packed down to a small size.
Anything other than a universal adaptor
Like cell phones or laptops, adapters have come a long way from their old bulky versions. Don't waste precious bag space with individual outlet adaptors for international travels and instead get a super lightweight universal travel adapter. Not only do they take up minimal space but mean you're prepared for anywhere you want to go.
From sunscreen and toothpaste to moisturiser and soap, bathroom products can really add up – literally. Since most toiletries are pretty essential, it's tempting to think they're a non-negotiable, but take a moment to think before you pack. If you stay at a hotel or Airbnb, chances are basic products will be supplied. For other items, check in with your travel partner or group so you don't pack multiple bottles of sunscreen or insect repellent.