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How to travel the world with carry-on only

By Tribune Travel

September 14, 2021

A friend of mine was recently very annoyed saying it was not possible for me to travel to Chile and Brazil with a carry-on only for two weeks. But after several trips to Europe and South America with carry-on only, I can assure it is indeed possible and very convenient and liberating. If I can do it, you can as well! However, take into consideration that I flew from Puerto Vallarta via Mexico City. Available carriers play a role here.

The benefits:

  • Not having to pay for a checked bag
  • It makes it easier to get around without carrying a ton of luggage
  • Not worrying about lost luggage
  • Not losing precious time waiting at baggage carousels
  • Having one bag makes it easier to keep an eye on it, at the airport or when you are walking


carry-on only

Top tips to fly with carry-on only

1.- Make a list of basic needs according to activities and weather

  • Write a clothing itinerary
  • Pack items of clothing you can wear several times and for different purposes. For example, a silk scarf is also useful as a sarong for the beach.

2.- Read the airline’s carry-on policy

Most airlines allow a small suitcase or backpack that goes in the overhead compartment, plus a “personal item” (a purse, briefcase, diaper bag) that must fit under the seat in front of you. Sometimes it is also allowed to bring an additional item such a jacket, an umbrella, a book. Some low cost airlines only allow one carry-on item.

3.- Choose the perfect suitcase

I find it useful to have lots of separate compartments. Use the pocket in the carry-on to fill it with things that you might need easily accessible.

4.- Wear the heavier and bulkier items on the plane

The bulkier stuff such as boots, jacket and jeans, you can wear them on the plane, so they don´t take space in your carry-on.

5.- Make the most of every inch of space in your suitcase

Roll your clothes and stuff socks or underwear inside shoes.

Bon voyage!







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