HomeTravelTips and ResourcesMaximise your carry-on space

Maximise your carry-on space

The advantages of travelling with only carry-on luggage are endless. Save yourself time waiting for bags once the plane has landed and decrease the environmental impact of your travel by reducing fuel use. Save yourself from having to lug around larger, heavier baggage that you could go without. Here are our top 10 tips on how to fit a whole holiday’s worth of gear into one carry-on bag.

Roll your clothing
Rolling as opposed to folding clothes saves space and also decreases the risk of wrinkles. Fold your clothes in half longways, then roll tightly and neatly from one end to the other.

Know what to pack
Don’t leave it until the morning of your flight to pack. The chances are you’ll be rushing, not know what to bring and overpack as a result. Write a list of what you need to bring, planned outfit by outfit, and have your luggage packed the night before your flight.

Wear your bulky items
Jackets, bulky pants or heavy shoes, I once pretended to wear a towel as a scarf to save myself from stow-away fees. This will save space in your suitcase for smaller, lighter items and means you won’t get cold on the flight.

Use an old glasses case
Efficiently store small items without the fear of misplacing them. Pack items such as tweezers, earphones, cotton buds, jewellery or small toiletries into an old glasses case. It will keep them both compact and safe.   

Select your shoes wisely
Shoes are among the bulkiest and most awkward items you’ll pack. When packing shoes, try to take no more than two pairs. One for formal occasions like dinners, and another more comfortable pair for everyday use. In addition you may also choose to bring a pair of thongs for showering.

Store your shoes wisely
Don’t be afraid to use your shoes as extra storage space. Stuffing socks into them can free up some space elsewhere and help them hold their shape while in transit. Pack your shoes at the bottom of your carry on, closest to the wheels, this will help balance your luggage, making it easier to carry.

Forget the tech
As much as we may like the idea of having a laptop handy while we travel, do you really want to be absorbed in a screen while on holiday? People who travel with their phone, laptop, bulky headphones or even multiple cameras may not realise just how much space and weight this tech takes up. Do you really need to bring both cameras? Can your bookings be managed from your mobile?

Do washing
While many of you may holiday to try and escape domestic duties, keep doing your washing. Bringing a fresh outfit for each day you’re away may take up more space than you’d thought, and simply being prepared to have some of your clothes washed could save you having to lug around carry-on.

Wear pockets
Yes, it may provoke imagery of clowns pulling endless scarves from their pockets, but this is a simple travel hack. If there are small items or even a book that you can’t quite seem to fit inside your suitcase being able to store them temporarily in your jacket or pant pocket is a huge advantage.

Make the most of your extra bag
Most airlines will allow customers to take a personal bag, such as a handbag or laptop bag with them in addition to their carry-on. Use it! We recommend a flexible bag that could carry a few extra items of clothing, books or even a pair of shoes if required. Just don’t go so big that you draw attention to yourself!

Would you holiday with only carry-on luggage? Have we missed any space-saving tips? Let us know in the comment section below.

Related articles:
Wrinkle-free packing tips
Travel packing essentials
Packing secrets to save you money

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Liv Gardiner
Liv Gardiner
Writer and editor with interests in travel, lifestyle, health, wellbeing, astrology and the enivornment.
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