Travelling With Hand Luggage Only | What To Look For In A Carry On Pack
May 14, 2017 Jordan Abrahams
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By now I am sure you have heard of the trend of travelling with only a carry on backpack.
If you are like me you have probably felt intrigued and possibly more than a little envious at the freedom of traveling light.
So how do you make traveling with only a carry on pack work for you?
There are tons of advantages in travelling this way. Many airlines are now charging hefty fees on top of your fare to check in baggage. Being able to forego those fees is a major bonus and money saver (money saved on boring things means more money to be spent on adventures!).
Not having carry-on can also make check-in faster as you don’t have to bag drop and sometimes you can check in online and go straight to the gate. You’ll also save time at the other end when you don’t have to wait forever for your bag to show up on the luggage carousel.
Travel backpacks make it a lot easier to get around; with nothing but a pack on your back you are able to easily navigate around transport, crowds, narrow streets and stairways and this allows you to be super flexible and spontaneous with your plans. Backpacking means no destination is out of reach and no rolling your luggage down uneven streets or getting stuck at stairs or mud puddles!
For travellers who are adventurous, budget savvy and want to be streamlined and fuss free the carry on travel pack is the perfect choice.
By now you’re convinced that this is the type of bag you should be travelling with (if you weren’t already!), but how do you find the right carry-on travel backpack for you?
We compiled a few basic things that you should look for below:
- Size: You want a bag that goes right to the maximum of luggage size allowances, so you can use every possible centimetre of space. While these differ slightly from airline to airline, the most widely accepted maximum dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9” (56 x 36 x 23cm)
- Weight: you generally have to keep your carry on under 7-15kg total, so you don’t want to be using half of that weight allowance up with just the bag. The most ideal weight is 1-2kg!
- Harness: a lot of companies ditch the harness when it comes to carry on sized backpacks – they offer minimal or no padding on the shoulder straps, and often no hip straps. The hip belt is vital as it is actually your hips that should take most of the weight of the bag, lessening the strain on the shoulders. Look for a bag that has some padding on the shoulders and a hip strap.
- Pockets: having a few external and internal pockets is always handy to keep things organised and accessible. Pockets on the hip belts are very useful for keeping valuables close!
- Front loading: being able to open your backpack like a suitcase is a must. If the bag only has a top opening it can make it hard to find things.
- Zip away straps and an attachable shoulder strap: When you are boarding and disembarking the plane it can be a nightmare to have straps getting caught on everything – so it’s important that your bag’s straps can be zipped away. When the harness straps are zipped away it’s also very helpful to have a shoulder strap you can attach, turning your bag into an instant duffel!
For a bag that has all of these things and more see here.
Shoulder straps are excellent to turn your bag into a duffel!
Some final tips:
Check out our folding backpacks!
- Because you will be short on space, we can’t recommend enough using packing cells! These are great to compress your luggage down saving you space and they’re also excellent for organisation!
- You will have to consider what liquids you are taking as most airlines only allow up to 100ml per bottle when flying internationally. One option is to put your liquids into refillable travel bottles so they meet the size limit.
- We also suggest you invest in a folding backpack. These are essential for day trips when you want to leave your bag at your accommodation and just head out with a few things!
Do you swear by using carry-on backpacks? Or are you still convinced that you need that extra space?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!