Packing For Carry-on
Do you have a business trip, boozy bachelor party or weekend getaway coming up? Well good for you, all I have to look forward to is a bloggers networking conference in Istanbul so I’m jealous.
However, whatever the occasion, the unifying factor is that packing for any kind of short break can be a little confusing. I mean you don’t want to fill up an entire suitcase as that’s plain ridiculous but you do need to make sure you have all that you need. For a short trip, the way to go is undoubtedly a carry on bag which carries all kinds of concerns of its own.
Fortunately for you, help is at hand. I will invite you into my bedroom and talk you through my personal packing list for my upcoming conference. You can then adapt and use this as your own “Packing For Carry On Guide!”
Let’s start at the start. If you get this right then the rest will simply fall into place, get it wrong and you will end compromising, jettisoning things and you also risk having to check you bag in which is both annoying and expensive.
When packing for Carry-on I use the Standard Luggage Co 3 in 1 carry on bag. It has a generous 45l litre capacity, a separate laptop compartment and can be wheeled on the floor or worn on the back and shoulder. It is rain proof, hard wearing, oh and custom designed to fit all airline regulations (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 in when zipped and 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 when expanded) so they can’t try hit you an oversized bag fee (those fees can literally double the cost of low cost flights).
Once you have your bag lay it down flat and prepare to fill it.
Unless you’re going somewhere very hot with no public decency laws you’re going to need some clothes. However when packing for Carry-on you really do not want to bring too many
First up, you need a pair of light, all purpose shoes. I go for, clean, white Converse All Star Hi Tops because they are comfortable to walk in, can be worn casually with shorts or can be worn “dressed up” with chino’s or nice jeans. I have never been turned away from a club or restaurant in these and that’s without even playing the “do you know I am?” card.
The trick is to wear these to the airport so that you have enough bag space to take x 1 alternative pair of shoes which in case is my running trainers as I will want to hit the gym or go for a jog at some point. If you have a formal occasion bring some shiny pointy shoes or Girls if you must, put some high heels in.
For my conference I will be wearing chino’s as they are both smart enough to meet clients in and casual enough to get drunk in afterwards. This frees me to throw a pair of trekking pants in my luggage which I can wear when I go out exploring the city, if I get to the beach, the mountains and even for the gym because they are breathable and quick drying. The ones I plump for are Northface and have a drawstring so they can be worn as ¾ length shorts. They work for me.
Then take 1 x T-shirt, 1 x vest and 1 x shirt or blouse. Again go for “all purpose” ones that are kind of smart (no offensive images or slogans) but easy to iron.
Normally I change my underwear at least daily but on the road that reduces to bi-daily so divide the duration of your trip by 2 and pack that number. Stop judging me and start doing the same.
Remember, as we are packing for Carry-on only we are limited to the mini toiletry packs. Hit your local discount toiletry store and get yourself a Hobbit sized deodorant can and a baby toothpaste pack. You can normally find or steal shampoo and soap from either a hotel or even a hostel so I don’t advocate bringing this. The hair wax I use only comes in big round tins so what I do is get a chunk of it and wrap it up in cling film; it looks weird but it does the job. Girls (which according to Google Analytics 40% of you are), you will need to extend this for other items but don’t worry, I have factored this in and left you sufficient room.
Also be sure to bring a little toiletry bag to put these in as it’s not nice when things explode on your clothes.
I need my laptop for work and there is an ever increasing chance that so do you. When I am packing for Carry-on I take my HP notebook as it’s small and light. It’s not a powerful as a Mac but is more than enough for a shortish trip and I can save movie editing and hacking the Pentagon for when I get back. It also fits perfectly into my Standard Luggage Co bag and can be accessed from there very easily as it has a separate compartment – perfect for whipping it out in the departure lounge.
For pictures, I generally use my phone camera as its ideal for most city and beach occasions. The only exception is when I am going up a mountain and know I will regret not bringing the big old Lumix. Oh and I also travel with a hairdryer as experience has taught me that most hostels don’t have them…it’s a small one though.
Even though we get E-tickets now you still need to bring your passport and, for some reason, print your boarding card as the airline will fine you if you don’t (so much for Saving The Trees Mr Ryanair). I also bring a map (obtained easily from a popular search engine) of my hostel or hotel as frustratingly, a lot of the world’s taxi drivers are not fluent in English.
Some people travel with all kinds of crazy shit such as Teddy Bear’s and Star Wars figures and these will also fit in the Standard Luggage 3 in 1. Personally, I just make sure I have a few bags of Yorkshire tea and a book (but not a heavy one) to help me unwind before I go to bed.
However if you feel like you’re missing something, check out these basics all backpackers should have...
Right guys that’s my list. I’ll race you to immigration and as I’m packed so lightly I’l win! See you in Istanbul?