10 tricks to maximise your carry-on space

Could you go on a holiday with only carry-on luggage?

10 tricks to 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.



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    1st Jun 2019
    I generally do - the ex, on the other hand, tends to take a lease on the cargo hold for the duration, and failure of that kitchen sink and fridge to arrive at the right destination can have dire consequences for the offending airline. I can pack one small bag with all the necessities and be gone in an instant...
    1st Jun 2019
    My wife and I went to New Zealand for a week with only a carry on each. Wasn't a hassle, although it was summer.
    casper dude
    1st Jun 2019
    It depends on how long the duration of your holiday is and what country and what season your arriving destination is. I will struggle to get enough stuff in my carry on for 9 weeks in the UK in July, even though it will be summer. If I travel interstate here for up to a week, I'm fine with a carry on. Definitely much easier. Good tips though on Life Choices.
    Qtr Horse
    1st Jun 2019
    I spent a couple of months travelling with carry on. Started in November heading over to New York. Then across to Belgium, through France, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungry, heading home in January. Travelled on trains and used hire cars. Did my washing once a week, just like home. Met some nice people in the laundromats. At the end of the trip there were items I found I didn’t wear so I’ll do better next time. So much easier walking off the plane and out of the airport. No hassles moving around on buses, trams and trains.
    1st Jun 2019
    And everything was less than 10kgs?
    1st Jun 2019
    Jetstar weigh everything. Weighing carry on at the gate including women's hand bags and laptop bags and anything over 7kg gets charged. 1 poor woman had 10kgs and got charged $60 extra and that was last Thursday so don't try it.

    2nd Jun 2019
    the weight of the case is the problem. These days they crack down on cabin bags...not worth the hassle in my opinion.

    If going on a cruise I want to take my nice clothes etc and there is no way my clothing is going to fit in a cabin bag. I am going on holidays after all and at my age I want to enjoy myself and not wear the same darn clothes every second day. I am entitled to take 20kg if I want on the plane but usually my bag only weight about 12kg anyway plus I have my cabin bag as well for anything else I want on board.

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