One Bag Travel: Minimize Your Packing, Maximize Your Fun

One Bag Travel Packing Tips

We travel for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious business. There are several steps you can take to avoid the hassles of lugging around heavy bags and having to pay extra fees for them.

The best way to do this is to One-Bag it, or just have one bag for all your essentials. This means that you could have all your stuff in your carry-on to avoid having to check any bags in.

Not only will you have all your things at hand, you can also dodge possible nightmare scenarios with a checked bag. I don’t know about you, but an airline has lost my bag on one of my recent trips.

One Bag Travel Packing Tips

I was so stressed out and had to be without my stuff for a night because they had to send it to my hotel the next day. I was already preparing myself to never see that bag again.

If you’re more of the adventurous type, you want to make sure that you’re free to go temple-hopping or hiking up scenic mountains without the added baggage.

There are some folks who take this to the next level by reducing even their essentials by going the disposable route or even mailing their stuff to their destination ahead of time.

That might be a little too extreme for most of us, but we’ve figured out 8 simple things you can do to pack light and still have everything you need .

Make a List

One-Bag Travel Fanatics

The key is not to rush. Take some time and make a list of everything you’re going to need. Reconsider everything down to the size and number of items you’re going to bring. Most of us dread packing because we’re doing it too late.

Have a Container for Everything

Even if you’re the most efficient and organized packer, it always helps to have separate containers for everything.

Not only does this make for easy access, it also flattens your stuff that tends to unravel or expand. There are a number of packing cubes that are out on the market right now that are ultralight and easy to arrange.

These will make sure that everything fits in your bag snugly without any wasted space. If you want to go the extra mile, you could use vacuum sealed bags to separate your things.

AND always follow the cardinal rule: Roll, don’t fold.

Think about Laundry

Some of us went backpacking during our gap year and were more than game to bring only one or two of everything and hand wash everything ourselves in gas station sinks in order to reuse them.

Well, if you’re like us, you’re over that by now.

Plan ahead and see if any of your destinations have a laundromat nearby. This is a way cheaper alternative to having to pay for a hotel laundering service. If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ll know that those fees can go up to insane amounts.

If you’re going to be renting a place through something like Airbnb, houses usually have washers and dryers. Just make sure that if you’re skipping from place to place, plan a time when you can do laundry ideally in the middle of your trip.

Plan a Versatile Wardrobe

Pack Light

Now isn’t the time to be ultra-picky about your outfits. You can’t bring this shirt that matches well with these shorts. You can’t bring this pair of shoes that only goes with these pants.

You want to be able to mix and match, so stay neutral and make sure you bring stuff that you can pair with almost anything. One-bag travel followers usually limit bringing their clothing to just three sets. It’s more than enough. Wear the first set on your way there, Wash it the next day then wear a new one and so on.

Also, make sure that you think about the place you’re traveling to. You’re not going to need that parka in Mexico, and you’re not going to need that bathing suit in Quebec.

Buy Travel-Sized Toiletries

There are mini options for just about anything, so we suggest you get a set of small toiletries to pack with you on your trip. Make sure you keep these in a sealable bag in case of spillage.

Also, if you’re not picky about the stuff that you use, hotels usually provide the basics like soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. So if you’re really trying to save up on space, this is always good to know.

For the ladies, there are travel-sized options for makeup too.

Your Phone Is Your Best Friend

Your smartphone is an all-in-one gadget can replace your travel books, maps and cameras. You can just download the digital versions of these beforehand, and you’re good to go.

Bestseller No. 1
The Magnolia Inn
Carolyn Brown - Montlake Romance - Kindle Edition
Bestseller No. 2
The Killer Collective
Barry Eisler - Thomas & Mercer - Kindle Edition

You can check Google Maps for places to eat at and museums to visit. Honestly, who even needs a tour guide anymore?

Plug In

Now that we’re on the subject of electronics and accessories, it’s smart to invest in a universal adaptor with USB inputs. Different countries have different kind of sockets and voltage outputs.

So instead of carrying around all sorts of adaptors, get one that’ll work for everywhere and every devices, so you can charge your laptop or phone on a layover or in your hotel room.

Get the Right Bag

Choosing Your Bag

So you’ve decided to one-bag it, then make sure that the bag you’re going to use is the right one.

Luggage companies have expanded and improved packing technology over the years, and we’re not stuck with bulky mountaineer-type backpacks anymore. You can definitely find one that’s more suited to your style.

You could go for something padded and chic-looking that has detachable straps. Shell out a little extra, and you could get one that’s theft-proof, slash-proof and water resistant.

If you’re on the lookout for the right bag, always, always check the weight of the bag itself. The lighter it is, the more stuff you can bring along.

Price last updated on 2019-01-19. Links & images are from Amazon Product Advertising API. Our editors independently research, test and recommend the best products and services. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you.

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