How to travel the world with only a carry on

Getting Around By Dear Alyne July 10, 2018

Dear Alyne is a World Citizen and has been to 72 countries around over the Globe. She is a WU customer and guest blogger who we’ve teamed up with. Follow along with her adventures, here:   

Oh man. We’ve all been there. At the airport. Unloading the car, dragging our heavy suitcases to find the right counter, getting the surprise “your bag will cost $50 to check!” message from the smiling desk agent, and wondering if it was worth it to have packed those 5 extra pairs of pants and 6 types of shoes for our trip. And then when we arrive at the location, no one wants to wait for their bag (if it even arrives), drag it to a bus, and then carry it up 5 floors of stairs, because apparently the apartment buildings in Europe don’t have elevators!

I’ve been traveling for 2 years now and visited over 70 countries, and luckily I’ve picked up a tip or two on how to pack light and still enjoy your vacation!

Know the rules

Airports require you to have all your liquids in 3oz containers or less. So your 4oz face lotion? Nope! That’s not gonna fly. Get some travel size containers and squeeze in those precious liquids.

Maximize your luggage

There are a few brands that make bags that are the perfect maximum size of bags allowed to be taken on planes as a carry on. Even bags that are a little too large you can sometimes slide by (like backpackers backpacks). If you’re worried your carry on is a little too heavy or large, keep it on the floor beside you while checking in so they don’t ask to weigh it. And you are also allowed 1 personal item. So I always take 1 “Carry on” bag, and one personal item, which is usually a school sized backpack stuffed to the brim. If your bags are too heavy and the airline tries to charge you a fee, an old travelers trick is to just throw on some of the clothes you packed and voila! Your bag is lighter.

Know what you need

I travel full time and never know where I’m headed, or what the weather will be. So…what do I pack? My favorite leggings, one pair of jeans (they take a lot of space!), 2 pairs of shoes (the bulkiest ones I wear on the plane), undergarments, socks, makeup bag, skincare bag, haircare, and an array of shirts. I try to only choose thin clothing because then you can fit much more in. And while I love structured clothing, it just doesn’t work when traveling long term and using only a carry on because of the space it takes.

Remember you can buy local

One trick that always helps me to pack less is to remember: almost everything you need, you can buy in the countries you are going to. And if you end up traveling long term, you can always give away some clothes to make way for new ones! I even have a few friends that mail home a box of their favorite things they’ve collected but don’t need every once in a while. Just don’t forget your medications, passports, and favorite clothing or grooming items!

Mix and Match

My favorite item to pack is my leggings and jeans, because for me, pants are the hardest thing to buy! So as long as I have basic bottoms, I can mix up my looks for photos by switching my tops. I also love to update my simple look with locally sourced accessories, like a scarf in morocco, earrings in India, and a gorgeous tailored shirt in Senegal!

Hopefully if you’re the type to over pack, this article can help you feel just a little bit safer about packing less on your next trip, When you start to worry, just think of me! I’ve been to 70 countries with usually only a carry on, and I’ve had a great time! No need for all the extras 🙂

Adios, me gusta!

XxDear Alyne

P.S. Watch my video here!