How to Travel with Carry-on Luggage and Avoid Baggage Fees

Everything seems to cost something while flying nowadays. As a result, travelling with carry-on luggage is becoming more common to save on checked-bag fees. Travelling light might be daunting, but it can be convenient if you get used to it.

Saving money is one of the advantages of travelling with only carry-on luggage; it lets you avoid check-in fees. If you've ever misplaced your luggage, having just carry-on luggage means you won’t need to wait at the baggage carousel for the rest of your belongings.

Since you have to pack less with carry-on luggage, you need to learn how to travel light. Let's see the major categories of what you should pack for a trip:

  • Clothes and Shoes

  • First, you need to plan well the clothes and shoes you bring. You can choose to wear your heaviest piece of clothes and shoes on the day of the flight to lessen the weight of your baggage. For instance, wear your jeans and coat in-flight and a pair of sneakers or rubber shoes, as they tend to be very bulky when packed. 

    If possible, bring only a pair of casual jeans and a pair of shorts if you’re heading somewhere warm. Bring a pair of slippers, as they also come in handy. However, consider bringing a suit packed in a vacuum-sealed bag if you're heading to a formal dinner or business meeting. 

  • Bathrooms Essentials

  • Toiletry bags should contain everything you need to get ready for the day. You may think that you can just use what the hotel provides, but it’s still best to have your own in case of delayed flights or long layovers. 

    Bathroom essentials include shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. As for hair dryers, you can always request one at the hotel. If you need to bring your own, you can easily find travel-friendly models that are small and lightweight. 

    Bring a swimsuit and sunscreen if you're going somewhere hot. Check with your airline if a razor is allowed in your carry-on. Other necessities include contact solutions, moisturisers, wet wipes, and toilet seat covers for protection, especially with the current global health panic.

  • Safety and First Aid Items

  • First aid kits are essential for extended trips or trips to countries where you don't speak the language. However, don't go overboard. Packing simple items like bandages and aspirin can save your life after a wound or illness. 

    In addition, bring tweezers to remove glass or other foreign things from wounds. If you have medical conditions or are at risk of getting one, you should see your doctor before bringing the medicines you need.

  • Travel Documents, Money, and Everything Else

  • A passport, boarding pass, and other travel documents are essential. Not to mention your credit and debit cards. Make sure you have adequate cash with you and keep it all in one place. You should also carry a copy of your passport, just in case.

    Consider carrying your smartphone as a photo and travel record of your trip to save space. Check that it is fully charged and the battery is in good operating order. However, don't store all your money in your phone through a digital wallet. Otherwise, a low battery or a lost phone can cost you your trip in more ways than one.

    Aside from essential items, you may also want to bring a pair of earplugs for sleeping, an eye mask for sleep, or even a stress ball or some nail clippers.

    How to Save Money on Baggage Fees by Travelling Lightly

    The main rule is to keep your bag within the size limit. There is a 22-pound limit for carry-ons, which should be no bigger than a laptop bag. You can also use "packing cubes" to help you organise your stuff. The right bag is also crucial. Some backs are really meant for lightweight travel while allowing ample space to maximise your carry-on.


    For the most part, your packing list only needs to contain the core items that you need for a trip. However, if you want to be ready for anything and save on baggage fees, you should plan ahead and pack numerous extras. When travelling, saving money on luggage fees is usually a plus. Pack wisely and simply bring a carry-on!

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