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4 Apr 2016

Packing Light - Flying Long Haul With Only A Carry On

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

Before we began our ten day trip to Cambodia and Thailand, Jarv broke the news to me. "I think we're going to have to do this trip with carry ons only." I stared at him blankly for a few seconds. Does not compute.

As it turned out, we had a couple of very short connection times (I'm talking one hour or just under). At first, I grimaced and shook my head. No. Way. I have shoes. Heels! They take up half a suitcase on their own. Then, I decided I would take it as a challenge. It's hot in South East Asia, I had that going for me at least. 

So, I did it. I made it work, it wasn't as exaggeratively difficult as I'd imagined and now I'm sharing my tips for packing light for a summer/warm country trip. Hand luggage only.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

1. Begin by choosing all the smallest/lightest essentials in your wardrobe. Undergarments and swimwear. These will be easy to stick inside shoes, purses, tight areas later on.

2. Pick your most basic pair of heels, the ones that will go with almost any colour or outfit. Choose one pair of shoes for the beach, one very comfortable pair for sightseeing (that you don't mind getting a little scuffed) and one for nice dinners (that aren't fancy enough to warrant heels). If you have a pair or two that covers more than one of the above, even better.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

3. Separate your clothing into 3 categories: tops, bottoms and dresses. Try to pick dresses that can double up as daytime or evening options, worn with heels or flats. Choose at least two neutral colours when it comes to tops/bottoms, so that you can mix and match easily. I went a little overboard with the neutral, as you can see...and ended up with a very monochromatic holiday wardrobe, haha.


Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

4. Next, toiletries. Use sample sized everything, buy travel sized containers from your local Boots or Amazon, and use these to take things such as makeup remover, night cream, vitamins, etc. The liquids shown above are ALL I took, I didn't pack anything extra (also switched out the 25 SPF sunscreen for a stronger and smaller travel sized one I bought after shooting this, just FYI). You really don't need or want to wear a lot of makeup when travelling to a hot country. Sweating off mascara is not a strong look.


Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on


5. Miscellaneous items. Personally, I have a checklist app on my phone that I use every time I pack. A prescription dive mask is one of my hot country essentials (well, hot country with an ocean I intend to swim in), as are sunglasses, a book, my chargers and wallet (the smallest one I own). I also like to throw in some healthier snacks in case I feel hungry whilst stuck in a car or on a boat during a dive trip (Nakd bars are currently my go-to; enough carbs to fill me up for a little while, but still all natural with no added sugar).


Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on


6. Now for the packing. Start by laying any narrower items down in between those ridges that most suitcases have. No room for any space wasting here. Next, lay out items on top in a neat fashion, as flat as possible. This means minimal folding. Items such as bras can be squeezed in around certain items to hold their cupped shape.



Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on


Extra tip: I also like to separate particular items into lightweight shoe bags or amenity kit bags collected from previous flights for easy access without messing up the entire contents of my suitcase during a short layover. I keep underwear in one, all medication and supplements in another, any face-related products that aren't in my liquids bag (dry makeup, cotton pads, brushes, etc.) in another.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

All that fit surprisingly easily into a Rimowa carry on suitcase, and I still had room for a laptop on top of everything, ready to easily be pulled out for security screenings along with the liquids bag (always kept on top, as well). I also packed an extra pair of leggings I forgot to photograph so that I could throw together a makeshift gym outfit. I had no trainers, but my slip-ons proved an acceptable  alternative (and for yoga, who needs shoes?).

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | packing light; flying long-haul with only a carry on

Full disclosure, I did also have a very small handbag, literally only big enough to carry my passport, cash, tickets, mobile phone, headphones and lip balm. 

Have you travelled long-haul with just one carry on bag? How did you find it?

32 comments :

  1. Great post and great tips!!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  2. hahaha I spy Nakd!!! Great tips babe! xxx

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    1. Haha, duh, always got a Nakd bar with me xx

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  3. Love this!! I always over pack, so this is a great reminder and tutorial for how to pack light! love your stuff.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I sometimes tend to, too...this was a matter of necessity, haha.

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  4. Great tips. I travel for business trips often and usually also only pack a carry on. The struggle is real :)

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  5. These are great tips! I love seeing how you packed everything! My goal is to only carry a carry-on next time we fly. It is so much easier!

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    1. Thanks, Logan! I hope this helps somewhat next time you fly ;)

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  6. I'm impressed with your packing skills! I go to Mexico this month, so I definitely need to up my packing game!

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    1. Haha I think I surprised even myself!

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  7. Great packing tips....I am a fashionista, so I don't think I would make it overseas with just a carry on!

    Valerie
    Fashion n Travel

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    1. Me too, but when you have no choice you find you can make it work after all! With a small sacrifice in style, haha.

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  8. Okay well first I've just got to point out how much I LOVE your suitcase! Secondly, I'm hugely impressed at how organised you are, I like your idea of separating clothing into categories and I'm at a loss as to why I'd never considered that before haha.

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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    1. Thanks, Gabrielle! Haha I have to pack according to category or I'll without doubt forget certain items. X

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  9. This is great, thank you for sharing <3
    xxx Kathi

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  10. You seriously pack like a pro! I just got a bunch of pack pouches from MUJI to help compartmentalize my baggage and now with this post, I'm extra excited to take my next trip!

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    1. Oh I love MUJI for organisational products. Thanks, Chelsea - good luck packing for your next trip!

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  11. Wow #travelgoals right there!! I can never imagine traveling with just a carry on, I know its the right way to travel but super hard, I tend to over pack haha. Its great you were able to fit everything into that small carry on.
    xx, Kusum | www.sveeteskapes.com

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    1. It's hard for me to picture doing often, too, but it really was so much faster and easier!

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  12. Kamara, thank you so much for such a useful post, beautiful! Seriously, I always tell myself that I would challenge myself with travelling light next time, but I never do. Probably because it requires more thinking, lol. Anyway, we are travelling to Greece this summer, and I will definitely try your packing method:)

    Yuliannova

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    1. Hi love - me too, I always set out with good intentions yet somehow find myself sitting on the suitcase, trying to zip it shut, haha. Turns out it's not that difficult after all! Hope this helps for your Greece trip :)

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  13. Amazing post! Thank you so much for these tips
    xoxo

    http://www.myinfinitystyle.com

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  14. These are such great tips! I have a tendency to overpack.. so travelling with just a carry-on is a challenge. i am definitely taking some pointers from this post for the next time I travel. I need to take items that can be used multiple times by mixing and matching. Thank you for sharing these tips. Hope you are having a great week :)

    Thanks,
    Monika | www.palateforstyle.com

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    1. It is quite a challenge, but a fun one :) Good luck next time you find yourself packing!

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  15. WOAH, you did amazing! I'm only going to Barcelona for 3 days this weekend and I'm freakin' out about having hand-luggage only haha!

    T xx

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    1. Haha you'll do fine - have an amazing time there! X

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  16. I always wondered how I could pack all my stuff into a carry on. But now that I've seen your post, I know I can definitely do it. Thanks for this motivation Kamara.

    Kia / KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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  17. Nice selection for this spring ;)

    xx

    Mónica Sors

    MES VOYAGES À PARIS

    NEW POST: ANOTHER ONE FROM THAILAND: PRINTED SKIRT

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  18. I love that suitcase, such a cool shape

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