Travel Packing Hacks - How to fit your travelling life into a carry-on bag

If you’ve landed here, you’re probably planning to travel. Great choice. So how can you maximise your packing potential to fit all your travelling life into one carry-on bag?

First of all, what you pack will depend greatly on the type of trip you are planning. But here is a general guide that can help you save space and pack smart.

  1. Check your airline’s regulations. In Australia, generally you are allowed one or two carry-on items up to around 7kg, though this is different across airlines around the world.
  2. Take a compact handbag and foldable light daypack. These can then be consolidated into your main bag when boarding.
  3. Consider, what do I REALLY need to bring? And cut back on what you first thought. Plan basic outfits with neutral colours so you can mix and match and think about layering.
  4. Plan shoes wisely. These can carry a lot of weight and take up space. If you are hiking, it is probably a good idea to wear your heavy hiking boots on the plane to save weight in your pack.
  5. Keep tech gear together. Use a clip or rolling technique to stop wires from tangling and keep them in a pouch.
  6. Downsize your toiletries. In general, it is a good idea to pop any liquids or creams into smaller containers – available in chemists and department stores – to save on space. International flights also place restrictions of around 100ml per container for carry on.
  7. Take smaller hair tools. If you can’t imagine travelling without them, you can find compact travel-sized hair tools or mini fold-out combs. Otherwise – embrace the ‘travel’ look!
  8. Carry a separate bag for dirty clothes. This can help keep them separate from clean clothes and makes the trip to the laundromat easier.
  9. Find a good hiding place for your spare credit, travel or debit card. Taking a spare card can be a good idea in case anything happens to your main card. Think about places within your bag where you could hide this (including in socks or a mint tin) and store your bag securely while you are out and about through the day.
  10. Look for a compact raincoat. This can be folded down to take up less space.
  11. Consider a travel towel. Small, highly-absorbent towels can reduce bulk in your pack.
  12. Pack some string. This could become a clothesline to help you clean on the go, meaning you can pack less clothing.
  13. Roll your clothes. This can help save space and potentially reduce creases.
  14. Stuff small items into shoes. These can include socks, underwear and anything else that fits.
  15. Consider packing cubes. These can be particularly handy for top-loading bags.
  16. Carry an empty water bottle. This can be filled up once you are past security and save you from buying water at the airport.
  17. Take photos of documents (where possible). This includes travel insurance details, itinerary and booking confirmations. When saving, make sure these are stored securely.
  18. Wear your bulkier items. This can save space in your bag, and a jacket can always double up as a pillow.

If you want more travel packing hacks to up your game, check out our video above.

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