1. Becoming a carry-on traveler requires sacrifice. Am I willing to sacrifice?
There are so many upsides to traveling with one bag, but it doesn’t come without some sacrifices. The first thing you’ll need to sacrifice is space in your luggage. You won’t have much, so you’ll need to pare down what you bring.
You might need to leave behind a few beloved beauty products. You may not have room for three favorite sundresses. If you’re used to packing a different pair of shoes for every outfit you own, you’ll be disappointed. You will need to edit and make some hard choices. You might even need to sacrifice some precious vacation time to do laundry or wash a few things in the sink.
These small sacrifices are the price we pay for freedom, but you should ask yourself if these are going to be an issue for you, or impossible to overcome.
2. Am I able to make the time committment?
Becoming a carry-on traveler isn’t a matter of just blinking your eyes and poof – it’s a done deal. I wish I could tell you that you could pack perfectly for every occasion and be off to some far away land without any forethought. But, I can’t.
It’s not quite as easy as throwing everything you own (plus the kitchen sink) into your suitcase anymore. That would be too easy. But nothing worthwhile comes without its challenges.
You’ll need to consider the right bag for your travel style, decide what to pack based on your destination’s climate, plan and edit your wardrobe, familiarize yourself with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, research your airline’s bag restrictions, etc.
I’m not going to lie. It is a time commitment. But, it does get easier with time. The more you practice packing and traveling, the better you will get. But you’ll need to be prepared in advance and know that although it’s worth it in the long run, it will take some time in the beginning to convert.
3. Do I care what other people think?
There are going to be times you may have to wear the same outfit more than once. Wait, let me rephrase that. There will be times you’ll wear the same outfit during your trip. [insert loud gasp! here]
Your hair may not look perfectly quaffed, make-up not photo shoot ready, like it does at home, because you had to leave a few key products or your flatiron behind.
You’ll also run across those travelers I like to call carry-on shamers, who taunt you, scoff, point or roll their eyes because you’re bringing luggage on the plane, instead of checking it. Major meltdowns may ensue or travel tantrums because OH MY GOD you’re taking up all the overhead bin space and holding up the boarding process!!!!
But do you care? I sure don’t. I’m on a mission and I could care less what others think – especially as I’m sailing by them at the luggage carousel, praying their checked bags made it safely. Or when they have no clothes because said bags didn’t make it.
And if you think for one minute your repeat outfits are fodder for hotel concierge gossip from city to city – well, I’m here to tell you, it isn’t. They don’t care. So stop worrying. Stop caring.
If your answer to these questions is a loud resounding YES – and that becoming a carry-on travel is now your life’s mission, check out my collection of helpful carry-on tips or consider a one-on-one carry-on consult with me.