Sunday, April 30, 2017

How To Travel For A Week With Only A Small Carry-On Bag

Iceland is one of my specialties: I travel there about once a year and have been since before the country suffered that infamous bankruptcy in 2008. I usually fly Icelandair but recently I traveled on WOW air, a budget airline flying from Newark Airport in New Jersey non-stop to Reykjavik. The downside of budget airlines is the carry-on allowance. Since I don’t ever check luggage, this meant I had to find a bag that was no bigger than 17” x 13” x 10” and weighed no more than 22 pounds. The small backpack you see below is what I used to pack everything I’d need for a week.

There are many tricks to packing this small and light:

  • I wear clothes with lots of pockets, including the chic and practical Pocket-Change Vest that I designed -- it has 10 hidden pockets.
  • In addition, I wear clothes in one or two color, usually black and some other neutral color, so there’s lots of mixing and matching.
  • I wear my heaviest dress, sweat and jacket/coat on the plane
  • I pack thin dresses, tops and skirts in Merino wool, such as those sold by SmartWool, Icebreaker and Title Nine.
  • I don’t carry much in the way of toiletries and, those I do bring, include travel or sample-sizes, as well as small leaves/papers impregnated with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Even the deodorant is tinier than you’d find in the travel size aisle of the drugstore.
  • I only travel with two pair of shoes: I wear the heaviest on the plane and pack the other pair, usually a slim Mary Jane style.