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For those who travel often, luggage is often a real pain point – more specifically, checking and collecting luggage. Hunting for a stray suitcase can add unnecessary time and stress to journeys, with many travellers now living by the mantra of travelling lightly and only taking vital belongings with them.

The cost of checking bags in the US has gradually been on the rise, as Conde Nast Traveller have pointed out, with airlines also losing millions of bags of luggage each year. For many, the cost, perceived risk and inconvenience of taking a large amount of luggage on a trip simply isn’t worth it.

Pick a Solid Bag for Carry-on Luggage

Different airlines have different policies when it comes to the size and weight of carry-on luggage, so it’s always recommended to check the specific requirements of your airline. Saying that, you shouldn’t have any trouble with a standard 40l rucksack, which is perfect for a short trip. For longer trips, a 70l rucksack is ideal and provides ample room.

If rucksacks aren’t your thing, you can look at a small suitcase that’s within your airline’s guidelines for carry-on luggage. The benefits of these are they can be slightly sturdier than just a rucksack, so if you’re travelling with something important, which happens to be a bit fragile, it may be best to opt for a mini suitcase. This disadvantage of this is that they’re much less mobile, which can be an issue, especially if you’re navigating through a busy city via public transport.

Are You Guilty of Overpacking?

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Most people overestimate the amount of clothing, tech, and accessories they need to take with them on a trip. In many cases, it’s unnecessary to have a different change of clothes for each day of your trip. For longer trips, Lonely Planet suggests only taking a few changes of clothes: 3 changes of t-shirts, underwear and socks, and a couple of changes of legwear. Why? Because it’s impossible to wear everything you plan to take in one go. In many situations, all that’s needed is enough to apply the ‘wear one, wash one, dry one’ rule, meaning you’ll never be caught out with nothing to wear.

This is a sentiment backed by PromoPony, who stress that just taking a good-quality rucksack with the bare essentials is the best way to travel. This helps free up space for bulkier items that are absolutely vital.

Tech items are also responsible for taking up a lot of space. For example, many people will travel with a tablet, laptop, maybe an e-reader, and a mobile phone. If these don’t all take the same charging cable, then multiple cables and adapters also have to be packed. In reality, it’s possible to prune this down – do you really need to take books, an e-reader and a tablet when you could just load your tablet up with e-books and save on the space?

The beauty of carry-on luggage is that it allows you to avoid the annoyance of checking a suitcase, saving you time and money. It also gives you peace of mind that your possessions are safe and secure, as they will always be in your presence. For the majority of situations, you should try to travel as lightly as possible, as this will allow you to keep the weight and size of your bag to a minimum, ensuring you don’t get hit with any additional fees due to your bag being too big or heavy.