Last Summer the whole family and I went on a week long vacation to beautiful Monterey, California. It was an amazing trip, but it was the last time I will ever check my bags on any airline. When we were getting seated on the flight home, my 9 year old commented on how rough the guys were being while loading our bags. Sure enough, in a matter of minutes numerous passengers were watching and commenting on this aweful scene. I even tweeted the airline a video. At that point, I had already mentally prepared myself for damaged luggage when we landed. Unfortunately, we ended up having NO luggage upon arrival home. A few days later we did eventually get our luggage returned, but what I learned is that the airline has zero responsibility when it comes to your personal belongings. They are not liable for damages or replacing items if they can’t be recovered.
Enter my mission to master packing light. “But I never know what I’ll need or be in the mood for,” used to be my go to excuse for overpacking. However, I am here to tell you it is possible to exclusively pack carry on friendly. “But what about all my liquid products?” You don’t need them. Not on vacation. You can get practically anything from the concierge at most hotels and their products are typically good quality. If there’s a specific high end brand you must bring, move it into a smaller bottle (you can get reusable travel sized bottles at the convenience store). If your must have liquid product is drug store brand, research to find a drug store at your destination and make a pit stop when you arrive. Do yourself a favor though and still buy travel size (you probably won’t use a full size bottle before heading home).
Now let’s talk gear. I didn’t spend a whole lot of my rolling carry on bag. I did however invest in well structured larger sized handbags. In my handbag I keep a small make up bag, small toiletry bag, charging cables and any entertainment I’ll need for the flight (typically only one book and my iPad). Literally all space in my suitcase is freed up for clothes. Speaking of clothes, yes you can wear jeans more than once and layers are your best friend while traveling. Wear your bulky clothes to free up even more space in your carry on and be sure to wear some kind of easy on-and-off shoes for security. Bonus tip for traveling families: check out The Traveling Baby Company. You can have any baby gear from cribs, high chairs, and even toys delivered (and picked up) from your hotel or vacation house!
Perhaps the best part of being #TeamCarryOn is that it has helped me 1) pack lighter on road trips and 2) worry less and vacation more! If travel stresses you out, I hope these tips can help you on your next trip. If you’re a travel pro yourself, what tips would you add?