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Great Gifts for Travelers: Carry on Bags

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Giovanna is passionate about adventure travel and leaving no footprint. She is hopeful, but a few years seems too short to save our planet!


There is a lot of choice out there when it comes to choosing the best carry on bags. So I have done my research and come up with three styles of the best lightweight luggage, which are also great value for money. They are great gifts for travelers.

The last time I got on a plane I was shocked at what people use as carry on bags -some of them were so big that they could hardly be lifted on to the luggage compartment over our heads. And the situation is getting worse -I'm talking about budget flights, where they charge a premium for putting bags in the hold. The

Packing Tips

Believe it or not it is quite possible to fit everything you need into your carry on bag providing you prepare everything very carefully and try to predict all the things you will be doing while you are away.

Below are a few simple rules to abide by and remember you never wear as much as you bring.

Please vote before you read on.

Great Gifts for Travelers: Carry on Bag 1

This is a bag that converts into a ruck sack so it is perfect for an adventure traveler.

If you follow my tips about packing you will be able to fit everything you need in this bag and have no need to put anything in the hold.

Tip: Deciding What to Pack

Here are my top tips:

  • Wear your bulky clothes on the journey, including your bulky walking shoes or boots.
  • Pack an empty bag so when you get to the airport at your destination you can change out of the warm clothes if you need to, and pack them in the empty bag. Do the same for your return journey; wear the bulky clothes and change into them at the airport if it's hot.
  • Take older things on holiday as they are usually more comfortable than new clothes. You can wear them out and throw them away, making room for anything new you may buy.
  • If you want to buy new things before you go think of buying the most efficient travel clothes, and work out how many things you could do wearing each item. For example a pair of black trousers can be worn for many different reasons.
  • Color-code your gear so everything matches. Choose a color and find different tones of it. It’s just easier that way.

Be Prepared

Make sure you know what the weather is going to be like.

Years ago I was caught out when I went to Bangladesh from the UK and learned a very important lesson: cotton is the best material to wear when you’re in the heat!

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I had packed so many lightweight materials, but in the end I could only wear cotton, so I had to wear my only cotton tee and a man’s longhi that my friend happened to have in his bag! I was there for 4 weeks! This was many years ago and it wasn't possible to just buy a tee shirt ‘off the shelf’

I can tell you I got some very strange looks! I had to cover my hair too, so my outfit left a great deal to be desired. It was just too hot to care – the monsoon takes some getting used to.

There are modern fabrics around that are great because they wick sweat from your body and are quick drying. But these are for cold conditions, and they’re perfect for walking holidays and activity holidays. But if you’re on a touring type trip somewhere hot – then thin cotton wins every time! I haven’t come across a better fabric yet.

What will you actually need?

  • Pack to be comfortable. Make sure you pack your favorite gear, things you like to wear, things that you feel good in.
  • Obviously the kind of trip you go on will dictate what you'll need. Will you be on an hiking holiday or will you need to dress up because you’ll be visiting theatres and fancy restaurants?
  • Black pants and a black skirt. Black shoes. They all work for evening wear with the right accessories.
  • Accessories are important because they help you to dress up you outfits things like scarves or headbands.


Ready to pack your bag?

When, at last, you are ready to pack your bag, put everything on the bed. Make sure you have enough of the essentials, like tee shirts and undies and then ruthlessly disregard the rest.

Put your shoes in first and balance them out by putting on each side of the bag.

Then starting with the essentials roll them up like sausages into the smallest size possible and squeeze them into the corners and edges of your bag. Continue filling your bag from the edges inwards.

It's a good idea to put loose things like accessories in small bags so that they can be squeezed into corners.

Use the draw strings to tighten everything up and to hold things in place. It's amazing how much the Ebag I above can cope with!

Do not pack things you will need on the flight. Remember you can have a handbag in the cabin too. So that will be where you put things like your laptop and breakable items such as sunglasses, mobile phone etc.

That's all there is to traveling light!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Giovanna


Giovanna (author) from UK on October 06, 2015:

Hi Stella glad you found it useful. Thanks for your visit.

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on October 03, 2015:

Great advice the tip on the empty suitcase worked great for me. I always pack light. Just came back from my trip wish I would have had that weekender. Great Hub as always, Stella

Giovanna (author) from UK on March 30, 2015:

Thanks for reading.

poetryman6969 on March 29, 2015:

That cotton tip would be pretty important to me. I try to stay away from temperature extremes and extremes of other sorts. But sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

Giovanna (author) from UK on March 11, 2015:

Thanks for your visit. I really appreciate it.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 11, 2015:

good point, I usually use bagpacks but it couldn't take all the loads

Giovanna (author) from UK on January 27, 2015:

Very pleased to be helpful. Airlines already make so much money -we have to try to beat them at their own game :) Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on January 26, 2015:

Any time I travel I only pack enough to carry on with me. I hate going to baggage claim for anything. You shared some great bags and useful information that I will remember on my upcoming spring trip!

Giovanna (author) from UK on December 17, 2014:

You're very welcome - hope you'll find the tips helpful next time you travel. Thanks so much for your visit. Season's Greetings :)

Joyfulcrown on December 16, 2014:

Great tips. I've never been the best at packing, I appreciate the tips and advice.

Giovanna (author) from UK on December 16, 2014:

Great! Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

Debra Allen from West By God on December 16, 2014:

If I ever go on a trip that requires packing a bag I will keep yur ideas and helps in check.

Giovanna (author) from UK on December 15, 2014:

i agree it is important to liberate yourself of things and just give yourself a bit of time to be yourself - who care what you wear anyway! I don't understand people with lots of luggage -not at all! Thanks very much indeed for your visit. I really appreciate it.

Giovanna (author) from UK on December 15, 2014:

I must admit it took me a while to understand and really believe that the less you take the easier it is -it is liberating not to have to think about what you wear - you just wear what you've got! lol! Thanks very much indeed for your visit I really appreciate it.

muhammad abdullah javed on December 15, 2014:

Giovanna! The topic is quite simple but the details appeared herein are of great importance. Thank you so much for a guiding hub, indeed it is useful for both the travellers and non-travellers alike. Voted up.

RaintreeAnnie from UK on December 15, 2014:

These are very useful tips and luggage ideas. My hubby is fantastic at packing light and taking only what he needs , while I find it much harder! I am gradually getting better though and your article is a great reminder. Thank you

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