how to travel internationally with a carry-on
As exciting as travelling can be, it can also bring its part of stress when it comes to packing and preparing all your necessities for an international flight. In the rush, we tend to overpack and bring items that we’ll never wear and missing out on the right stuff that can easily be packed into a single carry-on. It’s sometimes difficult to imagine what we’ll want to wear on the day but taking everything ‘just in case’ isn’t really the best decision.
Before an international trip, it’s good to really think about what to put in your suitcase. See the size limit as a chance to not throw in your whole wardrobe but be more thorough with your looks by making conscious decisions based on the activities planned on your trip, whether a gala dinner or a mountain hike. Here are a few tips to make your life easier and avoid wasting time while packing.
In the days leading to a weeklong international trip, make a plan of what you’ll be doing either mentally or write it down on a piece of paper. If you’re there for work and you know there will be a black tie dinner, make sure to pack a smart dress and a pair of heels, but if you also like a morning run then bring trainers and a single sport outfit that you can hand wash. You should prepare and lay down what you plan to wear for each event and stick to it – everything left over can be put back in your closet.
2. Bring full outfits
If you’ve followed the first step, you should have only packed specific outfits for each events and avoided taking random options. Of course, a pair of black pants can be worn over two days and paired with two different shirts so no need to plan a new outfit for every single day. It’s all about mixing pieces together so that your look feels fresh and to optimise the space in your carry-on. By pre-planning each outfit, you’ll end up with no clothing excess and zero uncertainty about what you’ll wear at certain events.
3. Switch to travel-size toiletries
When we pack last-minute, it happens that we suddenly realise our normal-size toiletries won’t go through security and end up buying new products once arrived at our final destination. To spare time and make the most of your carry-on, get empty travel-size bottles from the drugstore to fill with your favorite products and that are handy to use also on long-haul flights.
4. Stick to what you know
Travelling to faraway destinations can give us the desire to break our sartorial routine and experiment with extravagant prints and colours. But this shouldn’t affect the way you pack as you’ll end up with clothes that you won’t be comfortable wearing. Find a simple and functional uniform that can be adapted to the occasion and avoid packing clothes that you’ve never worn before or that have been collecting dust in your closet. You’ll be glad to wear your favorite suit during an important presentation rather than a skirt you didn’t realise was too short for you.
5. Roll your clothes
This tip is life changing if you’ve been nicely folding clothes into your carry-on until now. Rolling and sticking them together will free much more space in your suitcase and leave your garments with fewer wrinkles after a long flight. You can also wrap jewellery and delicate items in your rolled clothes so they stay protected from any turbulence. Pack your shoes in dust bags and place them at the bottom of the suitcase to avoid getting your clothes dirty, then place your toiletry bag on top for easy access and you’re ready to go!
FOR A BUSINESS TRIP
If you’re travelling for work, a good suit is a must-have and can be worn several times as long as you have a few clean, classic shirts with you to alternate. For after-work drinks or a dinner, a nice dress is an outfit on its own and won’t take much space in your suitcase. Pack heeled leather boots that are comfortable and go with everything, daytime to nighttime, and a few accessorise to add some sparkle to your evening outfit.
FOR AN ADVENTURE
If you’re planning outdoor activities to reconnect with nature on your trip, sweat-free and versatile looks are what you’re looking for. When not in your sports attire, try wide-leg trousers with a cashmere turtleneck and layer with bulkier knits to keep you warm while hanging out in your hotel or taking a walk in the woods. Combat boots have the advantage to be both stylish and comfortable but better to wear them on your flight and pack some lighter shoes to alternate.
FOR A CITY BREAK
If you’re sightseeing all day long, a good pair of denim will carry you from the museum to a trendy dinner in one fell and stylish swoop. Pair it with your favourite jumper that can be worn several days in a row over clean T-shirts, or a chic shirt dress that can also be styled with tights. Make sure to pack comfy sneakers to avoid any blisters and bring a hat and gloves if you’re planning on walking outside in the freezing cold.