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In a fortnight I’ll finally be leaving Australia and saying goodbye to the last of my physical possessions. Over the past year I’ve been hacking away at everything I own and condensing it all into 1.5 bags. Yep, it is possible to fit your life into carry-on luggage only as long as you’re smart and sometimes ruthless.
I’ll start off with the most important thing when it comes to travel (at least to me), bags. Finding the best pack to keep all my gear in has been a long, arduous task of research, trial and error. I decided that in order to keep myself in budget-traveller mode at all times, I’d stick to carry-on luggage only. This enforces a size and weight limit that may be quite strict but it also saves a lot of hassle in comparison to lugging large suitcases around the globe.
Plus by having carry-on luggage, I can avoid the nasty shock of lost/damaged luggage. So far in my traveling life, I’ve lost 3 items of luggage and had 2 suitcases seriously damaged (one one smashed into shards and the other’s zipper was ripped open somehow, resulting in its entire contents spilling out on the conveyor belt at the airport).
Over the upcoming weeks I’ll be doing in-depth reviews on individual items on these lists as well as some tricks that I’ve learned from the months of figuring out how to live out of a backpack. So make sure you’re subscribed to us if you’d like more info!
Osprey Porter Travel Duffle 46 litres
|This bag currently contains all my worldly possessions. It can convert from a backpack to a carry bag by tucking away the straps, making it perfect for carry-on luggage. It’s measurements meet the maximum requirements for carry-on with most airlines so I won’t have to worry about over-sized bags and in the case where airlines reduce their bag size limits (as several did earlier this year), the compression straps should shrink them down further.
Wishlist: I’m quite happy with The Osprey Porter however I was very curious about the Tortuga Travel Backpack as well as their upcoming Tortuga Air and Tortuga Daypack. These bags were created by travellers like me who only use carry-on luggage that you can live out of that suit the digital nomad lifestyle. Unfortunately though, the availability was a bit scarce at the time of my purchase however I’m still eager to get my hands on one just to try it out.
Osprey Talon 22
|It is strong, light, well ventilated, has stretchy front and side pockets, super adjustable and has a helmet clip on it if I ever decide to wear a helmet. When traveling, this’ll only contain the things I’ll need on the bus/train/plane such as snacks, my dinosaurs and miscellaneous bits n’ pieces. The temptation to fill it up with more stuff is certainly there but knowing the airlines, they’ll ping me for having two bags as carry-on (the rules on what you can carry-on vary quite a lot and technically I’m violating some of their rules). I found this bag on sale for around $70.
Wishlist: I’m very happy with my purchase and like my main bag, wouldn’t trade it for anything – but if I find that the aforementioned Tortuga packs are better, I’d slightly entertain the idea of swapping.
Daiso Toiletries Case
|Not much to say about this really. It’s brightly coloured, easily retrieved from my main pack and fits snugly at the bottom of my backpack. This toiletries pack holds all the bits and pieces that make me clean and smell nice. I highly recommended to keep all your toiletries in some sort of waterproof container in case they leak and individually wrap them so when they do leak, they don’t drown out all your other creams and gels.|
Daiso Travel Pouches
|As all my belongings are jammed into a 56cm x 35cm x 23cm space, its always worthwhile to compartmentalise everything so its easy to pull things out and not end up with a giant pile of mess. Unlike traditional packing cubes, these are super cheap and probably will split open if I over-stuff them. But for two bucks, I can’t complain. Plus the risk of them ripping forces me to not overpack. Yes, I do realise that all my bags seem to be pink. Don’t judge me!|
Zip-loc sandwich bags
|Always handy to keep a fistful of these around in case you need to wrap stuff up. You can use them to waterproof your electronics (in case you want to bathe with your iPhone) and you can use the larger ones to act as compression bags for clothing. For all travellers I absolutely positively must insist that you have a bunch of these at the bottom of your suitcases. They weigh nothing, take up zero space and are a HUGE lifesaver when you need them the most.|
And that’s it! I’ll have a maximum of 86 litres of space however I’ll be using a lot less than that. Airlines have a very low weight limit for their carry-on bags – 9 kilos on average, so I’ll be incredibly selective with what items I’ll be putting in them.
So, what do you think? Have I made the wrong choice? Do you have any suggestions as to other things that’ll make my life easier in the bags department? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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