Unsupported Browser

Your web browser appears to be outdated. Our website may not look quite right in it.

Please consider updating your browser to enjoy an optimal experience.

Skip to main content

02 Aug 2017

You’ve gone through your travel checklist: flights, accommodation, and travel insurance, but now it’s time to start thinking about packing for your trip. Even if you’re a month or two away from travelling, it’s always good to be ultra-prepared before you travel overseas. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, packing for a trip is a fine art. No joke, a well packed carry-on bag can literally change your travelling experience. It certainly pays to travel light sometimes, and we’re going to show you how!

The Benefits of Travelling With a Carry-On

If you’re used to travelling with luggage that let you fit in the 20-23Kg that most airlines allow, it’s going to be hard for you to consider travelling with just a carry-on bag. Travelling with lots of bags means that you take more with you and shop til you drop while you’re overseas. We get it! But, you’re giving up a lot of time and freedom that way. Just have a look at the benefits of travelling with a carry-on and you’ll be a convert before you know it!

1. Save Money: That’s right – the less space you have in your bags means the less money you’ll waste on unnecessary shopping. Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying fees for extra baggage if you go over the limit…that is if you pack your hand luggage correctly!

2. Save Time: Spend your precious time checking out the sights on your holiday, not waiting for your bags that might not show up anyway!

3. Save Your Sanity: The airline can’t lose your luggage if you don’t check any in the first place! You can be the first person off the plane and off sight-seeing with a carry-on.

4. Save Your Strength: There’s nothing worse than lugging heavy luggage around, and it can put a strain on your physical well-being too. Carrying a light carry-on will help you avoid any joint problems that can occur from dealing with heavy bags while you travel

Embrace Your Inner Minimalist

Travelling light is not only good for ease and mobility, but it’s also good for the soul. Globetrotting takes a certain kind of lightness and agility to do it well – you don’t want to be dragging around bags of “stuff” everywhere you go! But seriously, to pack lightly you have to be comfortable with travelling with less. You don’t have to necessarily give up all of the creature comforts that you’re used to living with though! You just need to accept that your holiday is also a vacation away from your everyday possessions – bet you feel lighter already!

The travel industry itself has embraced the mantra of “Less is More” with more and more travel goods designed to be lightweight enabling modern travellers to do their thing without being weighed down by kilos of luggage.

The Bag Matters

And speaking of luggage, the kind of bag you travel with makes a real difference to how much carry-on you can get on board while staying within the weight limits. Investing some money in a lighter than air bag means that you’ll still be able to travel with everything you need, plus you’ll have room leftover for a few treats while you’re overseas.

New lines of luggage are carry-on traveller friendly – some of these bags only weigh a few pounds! That keeps you well within your 7kg limit. The best carry-on bags come with removable skate board wheels and multiple straps so you can convert the bag into a tote, or even a back pack. The flexibility these kinds of carry-ons allow is amazing, and they can easily be stored away in your overhead compartment without any fuss or strain. Shop wisely for a carry-on and transform the way you travel. Of course, how you pack your carry-on luggage is just as vital.

Pack It Up Pack It In

The best way to pack your carry-on luggage is to pare your must-have list down to the bare necessities. For instance, if you’re staying at a hotel you know you’ll be supplied with shampoo, conditioner and even body lotions and soap, therefore, you don’t need to pack any! If you have to travel with your fave brands, then carry enough to last you the trip and no more.

When it comes to clothing, light-weight, wrinkle free pieces that can either be dressed up or down are the way to go. Do you need 10 shirts for a 10 day trip? You know the answer! Jeans are heavy and take up a lot of precious space in your carry-on. If you absolutely must travel with your jeans, wear them on the flight with any other bulkier pieces so that you can save the space in your carry-on. Easy to clean fabrics are a wise investment at you can wash these items in the sink in your hotel room or Air BnB.

Whatever you do, before you start packing your carry-on have a list at the ready to keep you in line. Here’s a sample list of items to pack in your bag for a weeklong trip:

  • 3 shirts
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear2 pairs of pants
  • 1 bathing suit (if you’re going somewhere warm or the hotel has a pool)
  • 1 jacket, preferably waterproof
  • 1 pair of smart shoes
  • 1 pair of casual walking shoes
  • iPad or laptop
  • iPhone or Smartphone
  • Chargers and any necessary power adapters
  • Headphones
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (under 100ml for liquids and gels

Liquids 101

When it comes to packing your carry-on for the perfect overseas holiday, you’ve got to follow the rules and regulations set by the aviation authorities. Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, you’re only allowed certain items in your carry-on. While this can be irritating to travellers, these regulations exist to keep you and other travellers safe from harm.

Travellers are still allowed to bring liquids on-board via carry-ons, but they must be in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) or less per item. In addition to sticking to the right sizes, you also have to keep these containers in a small Ziploc bag to help with the screening process. If you absolutely must bring vast amounts of creams or liquids, you’ll have to pack them in your checked baggage. There are, of course, exemptions to this rule. If you have any medication, or infant formulas or breast milk, you can carry these in your carry-on.

With regards to duty-free, you can carry your duty free liquids in quantities over 100ml if you keep the receipt showing that the purchase was made within 48 hours, and have them packed in secure, transparent bags that haven’t been visibly tampered with.

It’s worth noting that none of the following can be found either in your carry-on bags or on your person when travelling:

  • Sharp objects such as knives, box cutters, letter openers, scissors, tradesman’s tools, screwdrivers or darts
  • Sporting goods such as baseball bats, pool cues, golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, ski poles, brass knuckles, hammers, or boomerangs
  • Lighters or matches

It’s all pretty straightforward, but sometimes you can forget about a lighter in your pocket and then things get real during the screening process! Just be sure to check all the pockets of your carry-on to make sure that you’re not packing any prohibited materials. Better safe than sorry

Size Matters

When it comes to the size of your carry-on, size really does matter. All airlines have the same size restrictions, and a place to measure your bag at the airport in case you’re not sure about dimensions. Here are some of the most common dimensions:




48cm (19in)

+ 34cm (13in)

+23cm (9in)

56cm (22in)

+ 36 cm (14in)

+ 23cm (9in)

60cm (24in)

+ 114cm (45in)

+11cm (4in)

85cm (34in)

+34cm (13in)

+23cm (9in)

While airlines have strict limits for carry-on luggage, you’re also allowed to travel with a small personal item like a satchel for your laptop computer, a handbag, and a coat. The maximum weight is 7kg or 15lbs. You really can’t go over this limit, but if you insist on packing as many souvenirs as you can in there, you’ll have to pay extra to check it in.

Travel with ease

Sometimes there’s no getting around travelling with multiple bags, especially if you’re planning on being gone for longer than a few weeks. Travelling light definitely makes travelling easier, but so does the right kind of bag, a packing assistant via great apps, and the right travel insurance. You’ll be happy to know you won’t need to fit it the policy in with the rest of the stuff in your carry-on!

Talk to us today and invest in peace of mind while you’re off gallivanting overseas.