Slobodanka Graham


Want to know how to fly and travel with carry on only?

Planepack provides advice, tips, interviews and podcasts to fly and travel light.

Cooler weather? No problem traveling light

Cooler weather? No problem traveling light

Old school ties are strong! Forty-five years ago I was at school with Lynda. Who would have thought then that in 2017 we'd be chatting about light travel!

I'm interested to hear how Lynda has persuaded others to travel lightly with her.

Lynda gives us some insights into travelling during cooler weather. This is what she has to say:

Q: How long have you been traveling light? 

A: For six years.

Q: What prompted you to do this?

A: I was going on a trip to America and wanted to being back a painting I bought which was rather large and the frame was quite heavy. I thought If I can send that as luggage and take a small case on board it would save me the cost of freighting the painting back home to SA. Needless to say it didn't work out. I had to take the painting out the frame and roll up to bring back, leaving the frame behind. It was then that I realized one didn't always have to pack a huge case of clothes that one never wears. It gave me a sense of freedom.

Q: By traveling light, do you mean flying and traveling with carry on luggage only?

A: Yes

Q: And what's that in kilograms?

Most airlines allow about 7kg plus a 'handbag'/small back pack.

Q: How do you stay within the airline's permitted carry on weight? 

A: I wear the heavier clothes, tie my jacket around my waist and weigh my case at home while packing.

Balance your case by putting one or two heavier items in backpack/tote. I also wear my boots, put sketchers in the bag and change into them on plane for comfort.

Q: What do you take with you? Are you willing to share with Planepack readers your packing list? Any photos.

A: Firstly I have to mention that mostly I will travel April/May and Sept/Oct that is because I like cooler weather and because its the cheapest time to travel. 

Besides what I wear, which is usually the heavier of the clothes I take, I pack:

Lynda's puffer jacket rolls up into own bag

Lynda's puffer jacket rolls up into own bag

  • 2 denims of different colours
  • 5 T-shirts if warm weather or under long sleeve if cold
  • 5 long sleeve tops
  • 1 cardigan of medium warmth
  • 1 'down puffer' jacket - rolls up to very small. Weighs nothing and is warm. 
  • 2 voille scarves 
  • 1 warmer scarf
  • 1 easy lightweight raincoat with hood
  • 5 change of undies
  • 5 socks/anklets
  • 1 pair easy wash & dry pyjamas.

All this well under 7kg. 

Besides the pants, I can wear each item at least twice. Being mix and match I can have a different look every day. 

Q: How long do you travel with only carry on luggage?  What's the duration of your overseas or local trip?

A: My average International travel is as a tourist and usually about 12 days.

Locally I travel 3-6 days.

Q: You mentioned elsewhere that you will only travel with like-minded light travelers. How do you manage to do that? 

Lynda persuaded her travel companions to also travel light.

Lynda persuaded her travel companions to also travel light.

A: My mission is to convert travellers. If anyone mentions they would like to travel to a place with me I make it very clear I do not luggage carousel they are a waste of time. I explain to them that when you travel you have to carry everything yourself. You don't know what to really expect on the other side. There are stairs, escalators, transfers and transport so you need to ensure that you are going to make it easy on yourself. I also state that if you bring it or buy it you also carry it, no one is going to do that for you. I have converted several people to date.

Q: Shoes are always a hot topic for light travelers. What's your advice?

A: Again because of my time of travel I take one pair very comfy shoes, Sketchers (I'm sure similar makes available). They are so comfy for walking and a neutral colour goes with everything. Great for packing as very light weight.

Also one pair of boots in case of cool, cold or wet weather which I usually wear on the plane. I pack rubber sandals to wear in room and bathroom and can also be worn on a very relaxed day if weather good. 

I may pack a pair of pumps if in the mood. 

Q: What's your favorite bag? Do you use a roll-on cabin suitcase? Or are you a backpacker? 

A: I am not a back packer. I take a four wheeler cabin case and a small comfy backpack or tote that can also be used for outings while on holiday.

Q: What's your best tip for someone considering to downsize to carry on luggage only?

A: Each trip I have been on I select three colours for clothes.

My last trip was denim, charcoal and seafoam. This means I can wear everything as a mix and match and am not carrying extra items that I can't wear with anything else. 

Put out all the items you really like and would like to take with you. From those items you now have to select your minimum amount of items. Pack the rest back in your cupboard. 

I don't know of a time where I havent bought items of clothing while traveling which means of course can also be worn. 

Q: What other anecdotes or bits of advice to you have for light travelers?

A: Decant creams and liquids to 100ml and pack these items in a clear plastic bag available to be seen at security. 

Double check that you do not pack items that you are not allowed to take ON a plane as part of hand luggage. This will be picked up on the xrays and confiscated. It also causes delays as they will haul you out of line. 

You do not need to take every kind of cosmetic item you own. You will survive and they do have shops on the other side where you can get free samples or purchase travel size items needed so you don't have to cart things back and forth. 

Lynda's book and travel light

Lynda's book and travel light

I have a small bag of home medication that I always have with me for in case. I don't take a whole box, just a strip from each one as one doesn't always understand the meds in other countries. 

Travel size wet wipes are a must for me. 

Use long stay lipstick, mine stays on all day regardless of what I eat or drink. 

Travel stockings and neck pillow is a must for me. 

A small book light comes in very handy on planes and if sharing a room and can't sleep.

Deconstructing my Melbourne wardrobe

Deconstructing my Melbourne wardrobe

Inside India: travelling light

Inside India: travelling light