How to Be a Carry-on Only Traveler

There’s something liberating about hitting the road with one bag in your hand and the wind at your back.

If you’re planning on riding a bike, you’ll be grateful for every ounce of stuff you didn’t bring, and the space to pick up great souvenirs along your journey! Packing light is a skill that even the most heavy-handed luggage stuffer can master. Here are a few tricks to help you learn to lighten up on your next trip.


Capsule wardrobes are a strategic set of clothing items that coordinate, allowing you to swap out upwards of 2 weeks of "looks" with just 10-12 items in your bag. Yes, it can be done. If you need some guidance this handy article can help you hone your capsule.

Use a backpack as portable, compact carry-on luggage.

Pack Your Back

Challenge yourself to "carry-on only" travel by sticking to a single backpack. If you’ve ever hiked you’re probably already familiar with carrying a pack, backpack travel is much the same. Compartmentalized travel backpacks are a great tool for light travel. If you have a few extras, try a day pack with more room.

Roll, Don’t Fold

Rolling up your clothes instead of folding them is surprisingly space-efficient. It even helps prevent wrinkles! Start by packing the bulky or unfordable items like shoes at the bottom of your bag. Then place the rolled clothing up the spine of the bag, fill the spaces on the sides with the smallest rolled items.

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