If you can pack a carry-on for 10 days, that means no waiting to check bags in or having to pay extra for luggage – plus, you won’t have to fret about losing it to the airline lottery. Being able to travel with your backpack on you also means you won’t be suffering under loads of luggage. Traveling with fewer pieces of luggage frees you up to explore in between destinations without having to stash your stuff somewhere.
The key on how to pack a carry-on for 10 days is getting creative and packing the right items. While packing, ask yourself: “Do I really need this? Will I be using it more than once, at least?” We’ve compiled a list of travel essentials so you know how to pack a carry-on for 10 days, leaving you to enjoy up to two weeks of travel unencumbered by excessive luggage.
Choose the right carry-on backpack
A good carry-on backpack should have multiple compartments where you can divide your belongings into smaller sections. This makes it easier to access everything without digging around in your bag. Backpacks with a padded hip belt, padded back and padded shoulder straps will help distribute the weight evenly, preventing strain on your back and making your load more comfortable to carry. This extra-large travel laptop backpack is available on Amazon for just $30 and has amazing reviews.
Bring appropriate footwear
Carrying the right pair of shoes is necessary. The pros say that just two pairs should do the trick. One comfortable pair should be for walking or hiking, and the second pair can be flip-flops or sandals. A nice pair of sandals can even go from day-casual to a dressier evening look. The key is to bring shoes that are both versatile and comfortable. Don’t pack brand-new shoes – nothing is worse than getting blisters during your travel. Vacation is not the time to break in a new pair, trust us. Wear the bulkier shoes on the plane to save room in your backpack. Also, don’t forget to pack first aid for your feet just in case.
Save space with versatile clothing
It’s important to make sure you’re comfortable wearing the clothes you pack. You can easily figure out what layers you’ll need once you research the climate of your destination. For adventure travel or unpredictable weather conditions, find a multipurpose layer. One of the best ways to keep your bag light is to choose clothes that can play multiple roles – i.e., clothes that mix and match with each other. Essential, basic pieces like a black tee and fitted jeans can go from day to night – consider dressing up your evening looks with smaller items like jewelry or accessories.
If you’re traveling for just a couple of days, you can easily fit your clothes into a carry-on. However, to pack enough clothing for 10 days might be more challenging. A good rule from travel experts is to pack one week’s worth of clothing. Doing laundry while traveling isn’t as tedious as it seems. Plenty of Airbnb options these days include a washer and/or dryer on site. Or, it’s usually easy to find a laundry service to wash your clothes instead. If you don’t want to spend money on laundry services, all you really need is a hotel sink or shower. Of course, choosing fabrics that dry quickly really helps in that case.
Lastly, roll, don’t fold. Rolling your clothes takes up less space and minimizes wrinkles. You can also look into purchasing travel cubes or vacuum-bags to save even more space by compressing your clothes before packing them.
Don’t pack toiletries
You’ll already be limited with toiletries in your carry-on because of liquid restrictions on planes. If you’re staying in a hotel, then using the provided shampoo, conditioner and lotion is no sweat. Most hotels also provide toothpaste, sanitary pads, razors and shaving cream for free if you ask at the reception desk. Another trick is to bring solid toiletries like solid soap, sunblock, cologne bars and laundry detergent, which are usually compact in size. If you’re really tight on space, just leave the toiletries behind – you can purchase any basic items once you arrive at your destination.
Be prepared with a travel kit
It’s best to always carry a small first aid kit wherever you travel. Some of the essentials include pain relievers, iodine, travel sickness tablets, Band-Aids, indigestion and diarrhea tablets, supplements and vitamins and most importantly during a pandemic – sanitizers and extra masks. A travel sewing kit can also come in handy in case you need to quickly repair one of your essential garments while traveling.
Plan for shopping
Packing your bag to the brim and then bumping into a souvenir you’d love to buy but can’t make the space for is no fun. To make the most of your limited space, consider buying items with strings or cords attached so you can tie them to the outside of the backpack. Also, small but unique trinkets can act as memorable souvenirs for friends and family without taking up a lot of space.
Wear what you can while checking in
One of the biggest space-saving carry-on tips is to wear as much as you can while flying. By wearing your heaviest jacket and bulkiest shoes, you can free up tons of space in your backpack – plus, you can always peel it all off once onboard. A jacket is nice to have as a temporary blanket if you like to sleep during the flight. You can also free up more space by stashing smaller, personal items like sunglasses, notebook and phone chargers in your coat pockets.
Only bring necessary electronics
If you wish to carry a camera or laptop, you may have to carry an extra bag. This is where you can also take advantage of the airline’s personal item allowance. Most airlines allow you to bring a smaller, personal item on board along with your main carry-on bag. Don’t forget to pack your phone charger, headphones and a power bank along with the camera and laptop chargers. Also, consider using your smartphone’s camera if you can – most devices these days have powerful cameras that can take photos just as well as a dedicated camera.
Packing efficiently will give you more enjoyable, stress-free travel. If you’ve traveled often, you’ve likely noticed that overpacking is easy to do, and you’ll be annoyed knowing you didn’t even use an item or an outfit that you had to carry around for the duration of your trip. The planning that comes with considering how to pack a carry-on for 10 days also means you’ll feel more prepared for your trip – with less stress on your mind, you can really take in the sights and relax.
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