Our lifestyle is now minimalistic so our travel style should represent the same.
Since 2013, we have travelled the world with too much luggage. Do you know the feeling? How many times have you packed clothes or even shoes that you didn’t even wear? Our goal was to travel lighter and smarter!
In 2013, we travelled around the world for 12 months to South America, Europe and Asia with a 100 litre trolley bag, purchased lots of things and had to send 3 boxes of clothes back to Sydney.
We had some trekking gear in one of those boxes as we had just completed Machu Picchu and we wouldn’t need them on the next part of the journey… but, it was still too much “stuff.”
We knew we had too much stuff with us when we arrived on our very first day at our very first hostel and could not get the bags up the stairs to our room. That was only the first day. We had 364 days more of travelling and lifting in front of us.
What had we done? It was all those “just in case” clothes and items. Guess what… most of those “just in case” clothes and items could have been purchased, if needed, along the way.
In 2015, we thought we were so clever downsizing and travelling with a 65 litre trolley bag, spending only 9 months on the road and only in Central America. Although we had less trouble travelling around with a smaller bag, each we still had too much “stuff.”
One of our trolley bags was damaged on the first flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and, on the return from Panama to Los Angeles via Dallas, the TSA lock was cut. We thought that a TSA lock had a master key so that it could be opened for inspection. Apparently not!
For our next adventure, in June 2016, we set ourselves a challenge – one carry-on trolley bag and one day pack each for our indefinite travel journey around Europe, South America and, possibly, Asia. It does help in our packing when we are “following the sun” and “not doing cold.”
We researched and reached out to other travel bloggers on their experiences with carry-on luggage. We asked them what brands they would recommend and how they handled the rules and regulations on toiletries.
Then we thought we would put together an “only carry-on” pros and con list (see below) and the pros outweighed the cons!
Our next step was to put together a packing list (also see below) and this would help us to determine what size carry-on we should consider.
Many travellers we spoke to gave us a great tip – check the airlines that you are travelling with and then purchase a carry-on that suited that airline’s recommended maximum size.
We do note that many budget airlines have stricter regulations such as size, weight and quantity. Our choice of taking only carry on is based on our past international airline usage.
Here are the pros and cons of taking only carry-on with you on your next trip.
Pros of Travelling with a Carry On:
Cons of Travelling with a Carry On:
Of course, if you decide to take only carry-on with you, you’ll need to be careful what you take. Here’s what was on our packing list.
Between us in our Day Packs:
The decision was made to opt for the Osprey 46 Litre carry on. Their luggage simply ticked all the boxes for us. We approached Osprey and they kindly offered to sponsor our luggage for this adventure in return for our honest opinion on how their bags could stand up to long term continuous travel.
Read more about the Osprey Bag here.
Our lives for the next couple of years are in these bags. Could you travel the world with only a carry-on and a day pack? Is there anything that you would not leave home without? Please join the conversation.