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.

How I fly and travel with carry on bags only

How I fly and travel with carry on bags only

‘How do you do it, Bobby? You fly with hand luggage only? You have to teach me to pack and travel like you do!’ Read my new Planepack series to find out how!

Since 2010, I've travelled with carry on luggage only. Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand - it doesn’t matter where I go, I no longer lug suitcases. I pack and carry 7 kgs only - and you can do it too.

If you want to know how to pack and travel lightly, this is it: Planepack is my light travel philosophy. It's my tao of travel: how I pack, fly and travel with carry on luggage only.

Planepack travel light principle #1: Plan your light luggage

My first Planepack travel light principle is to plan and prepare:

  • where am I going;
  • how long will I stay;
  • what must I take with me;
  • what will I do while away.

Once I've covered those off, it's easy to pack accordingly. Next step: I use the lightest possible carry on luggage. Mine is a hard clam shell style suitcase. You might prefer a back pack. Whichever you choose, do so carefully: your carry on bag is your best travel friend.

Planepack travel light principle #2: Pack your light luggage

My second Planepack travel light principle is to pack with consideration:

Packing light is an art: roll, fold, vacuum pack - you choose the style that suits you best. But your contents determine how light or how heavy your bag is. I weigh, weigh and weigh again to get in under the average 7 kgs limit. I research airlines' websites for their particular weight restrictions before flying with them.

Planepack travel light principle #3: Carry on light luggage

My third Planepack travel light principle is not to burden myself with unnecessary stuff.

For the past few trips, I've cut back on things I take with me: no unnecessary clothes; fewer appliances; no tsotchkes - just the essentials. But I carry the killer necklace for an evening out. My packing might be plain, but I still like a little glamour.

Planepack travel light principle #4: Enjoy the trip with light luggage only

My most valuable Planepack principle is to enjoy the trip. No schlepping of bags in and out of cars; up stairs; into minute lifts; over cobbled stones. No more waiting for bags at baggage claim. No more lost luggage. And no more anxiety. I'm a liberated light traveler - and so will you be!

Planepack product promo

Now this is the kind of hard case I'd like to use! Weighing in at a light 2.835 kilograms (6.4 pounds), this little blue baby is my colour - and within my Planepack weight range. Have a look at Tumi for this hard case and other travel products.

Travel light - Planepack checklist

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Travel light? Start young and prepare to Planepack

Travel light? Start young and prepare to Planepack