Traveling With Just A Carry On Bag

 Travel with just a carry on

 Posted on August 8, 2016

Travel with just a carry-on bag…Yes…it can be done.

Ok I know, I may not be the average woman- I’m traveling for 3 weeks and I’m only going to be taking a carry-on for all clothes. Let me explain- Three years ago I booked this wonderful trip to Europe; I planned to see Germany, France and Italy. Going to all the hot spots I had read about and seen photos of through out my life. Here I was with a carry on, backpack and a huge suitcase filled to the max. That was mine and my mom was carrying the same. Now think about it- we were on planes, shuttles, trains, boats and taxis. What an aggravating mess to say the least.  After we returned home that was the deciding factor to learn to travel light, pack wisely and I have been traveling with just a carry on  bag ever since.

The carry on bag I chose is a National Geographic Kontiki 22″ upright carry on. It has easy access to front pockets  with plenty of side and zippered compartments with maximum storage area. I love the interior lining which is a map of the world.. more travel incentive! I bought mine off of Ebay through TravelPro and paid $60 for it and the bag is well worth the money and less expensive than some of the  other name brand bags. I will add that I found this bag on other websites while comparison shopping and the price was well over $100. I also purchased the National Geographic Kontiki satchel to carry as my personal purse type item and I paid $75.00 for it at the same Ebay store which by the way offered free shipping for both items.  It’s labeled a messenger bag on the website but to me it’s a satchel. This piece is great to carry all of my  smaller sundries such as shampoo, suntan lotions, snacks, camera, iPad, and it’s accessories, writing tablets, make-up and phone, etc. By packing these items in my satchel using see through plastic bags it makes it easy access to pull them out while going through security at an airport. There are multiple pockets to this bag and it allows manageability of my small items and above all it looks great. I even pack a spare change of clothes in the event I decide to check my carry on and it somehow gets misplaced. This bag is loaded with plenty of room.

National Geographic Kontiki Carry OnNational Geographic Kontiki OpenNational Geographic Messenger Bag


Now for the fun of what to pack- I’m banking on a place to wash clothes at least once so this is the items I pack for a 3 week journey. One pair of Keen waterproof sandals, one pair of Sketcher tennis shoes, one pair of Sketcher slip ons, 2 pair of socks, 10 shirts, 4 pair of shorts, 2 skirt/shorts, 2 pair of khaki light weight pants with lots of pockets, plenty of underwear, hat, hair accessories and pj’s . This of course excludes the much-needed essentials of a passport and money. My preference is to carry a waist belt for my money and passport although some people feel confined and use other methods for these important items. The packing cubes are great that I ordered from ebags. I bought the small, medium and large and they work great and fit into my Kontiki carry on perfectly!

packing cubes

My experience is to build my outfits with neutral colors take some tops with color and pack some bottoms in neutral colors this makes for easy mix and matching. The area of the world we are traveling to this year requires our essentials to take mosquito wipes, sunglasses, sun protection and lip balm. The sun is relentless in Thailand as are the mosquitos. We also packed a lot of travel snacks and placed them in plastic bags. On the long haul flights it’s a great idea to pack your travel snacks to keep hunger at bay. Keep hydrated with water and watch the alcohol consumption because it will dehydrate you very quickly.

One more thing to remember; an airplane can be cold..burrrr..bring a lightweight jacket or something I like to use is a pashima or lightweight shawl. It’s comfortable and will keep the body warm. One more thing, don’t forget your travel/neck pillow. I bought the Travelrest travel pillow – Therapeutic Memory Foam Neck Pillow. This is a life saver and it will keep you from falling asleep in a slouched position while drooling on the person next to you. It will also help with the “stiff neck syndrome”.. besides they are so comfortable. I got mine off of Amazon for about $16 and love it!

Travel Rest Travel Pillow

Traveling light is such freedom you will find that you don’t need all of the “stuff” just bring the essentials and the rest can be acquired along the way.

Happy Travels!


  1. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) says:

    Great Travel Tips! I agree like you I traveled with too many bags to Europe and after that I packed light and it makes travel so much more convenient. You have some great tips and luggage suggestions that i had to pin on Pintrest. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Cori says:

    Hubby and I only fly with backpacks now. It makes moving through airports and train stations so much easier. We both use Military Surplus bags: his is a Marine pack and about 4 ft. long; I have an Army 3 day pack what’s about 3 ft. long. Might sound like a lot of room, but they are backpacks!

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