I’m getting towards the end of my four month, hand luggage only trip.
Over the course of this trip I’ve written about:
- Finding the perfect cabin bag to take with me
- The two biggest frustrations in travelling long term with hand luggage only
- What happened the one time I was forced to check a bag in
I get loads of questions from people I meet or catch up with as I travel regarding my luggage on this trip — the first question is usually — ‘where’s the rest of it?!’
There’s loads of packing lists and other packing tutorials floating around the web — they’re all great and everyone has their own secret trick to packing.
My tips and experiences may not work for everyone but other than the minor grumbles above, four months of HLO has been a dream.
Some people swear by rolling clothes to fit more in — I have tried that but found that I ended up with several giant rolls of clothes that didn’t fit neatly into my bag — maybe I was rolling too many clothes together? I don’t have the energy to roll everything separately every few days!
For clothes I would fold or roll them together — that wasn’t a problem and I would keep them all in the same place.
But all the small, non clothes items were always getting lost or falling down to the bottom of my bag and I couldn’t easily find them when on board a plane or in an airport lounge.
I’d be digging through my bag as it was either on a seat or in an overhead bin, and could never find what I was looking for. I’m talking things like earbud headphones, charging cables, ear plugs, adaptors, sunglasses, etc.
So here’s a tip I mentioned briefly when I started my trip, but it’s worth explaining properly.
I’ve discovered that keeping these items in a couple of separately categorised old (otherwise empty) similar sized airline amenity kits has been the perfect way to transport them.
They never go missing, won’t break, and best of all can be found in seconds.
I have been carrying three similar sized kit bags with me on this trip – one from a Qantas flight and two from Virgin Atlantic flights. It’s important to me that these kits are different designs or colours so you immediately know which one to grab and unzip.
Let me run you through how I’ve organised them.
Kit #1 – Cords and charging cables
- Laptop charger
- Phone/tablet charger
- Kindle charger
- Audio cable (for where bluetooth doesn’t work)
- Headphone splitter, so two of us can listen to something on a plane at the same time
- Google chrome to stream from my laptop onto different hotel and Airbnb televisions
Kit #2 – Small electronics
- Cordless mouse (for writing these articles!)
- Travel speaker
- Electric shaver
- Power bank battery
- Universal adaptor
- Fast charger
Kit #3 -All other small incidentals
- Lip balm, so I have as much space in my liquids bag as possible
- Eye mask
- Any medications
- Spare coins, as they keep falling out of my passport wallet
- Sunglasses (in a soft case, with cleaning cloth)
- An extra pen
Think about it — how quickly could you fish out a pair of earplugs from your luggage if, say, a crying baby is next to you on a flight or a train?
Some of you may do this already, so apologies if I’m late to the party on this.
But this has made travelling so much easier on this trip – if I need to find any of these items I instantly know which coloured kit to grab and find what I’m looking for in seconds.
This is certainly the best use I have ever had for all those amenity kits I’ve been given on flights!
Does anyone else already do this? What was your best packing tip of 2018?