Minimalist Packing Tips & Hacks – Travel Light With Only Carry-On Luggage!

Best carry-on packing tips + Get a free audio book download & 30 day free trial from Audible at or text code, “exploringalternatives” to 500-500 if you’re in the US.

In this video we’re tackling the confusing world of carry-on packing. What is the true size of a carry-on suitcase? What can you bring on board? How to pack like a minimalist? We even do a test-pack to show you what we’d pack on a long term trip.

We are big fans of traveling light with only the essentials to carry around. Travel doesn’t just end at the airport. Whatever you pack for a trip has to be hauled around in taxis, on the bus, on the train, in and out of hotels and hostels.

With some careful planning, you can have a great trip with small, easy to handle luggage.

A few other reasons why we love carry-on packing is because you can save money by not paying to check a bag, you don’t have to wait for your luggage to unload from the plane and waste time at the carousel, and you don’t have to worry about losing your luggage or having someone take it by mistake.

Here are a few TSA (Travel Security Administration) websites to help you figure out what you can, and can’t bring on board. It varies by airline and by country. We chose these links based on the top countries that watch our videos ๐Ÿ™‚




New Zealand:





If you have any tips, hacks, or tricks for packing light, please share them in the comments!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Music & Song Credits:

All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives


44 thoughts on “Minimalist Packing Tips & Hacks – Travel Light With Only Carry-On Luggage!

  1. Exploring Alternatives September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What about you? What's the least amount of luggage you've ever traveled with? Did it make your trip more enjoyable?

  2. TheArgos12 September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What Kind/brand is that blue backpack that you use with the carryon?

  3. Bob Marshall September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What is all this inches nonsense? When is America going to catch up with the rest of the world and use the metric system?

  4. Val Lee September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    You might consider shampoo in a bar or shampoo bar. This way you avoid the liquid limitations and can also use it to wash your body. Romans 10:9-10 from the Bible: โ€œThat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.โ€

  5. Analy Werbin September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    You have to put in cm

  6. Nailah Pharaoh September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Awesome ideas and useful tips for packing. Thanks guys -great video ๐Ÿ‘

  7. Uzair Ahmed September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What bout your shoes fella!

  8. V2245789 September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    It's interesting to see how he packed seemingly much more than I do and yet in a smaller suitcase. I really want to travel light but at the same time, 26 inch one has been allowing me to do most long and short hauls and I always end up appreciating some space for shopping….
    But I do want to try packing a carry on only next time.
    Would you please do a lady version one?
    Good day ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. karuppaiah manikkalai September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    for me one doubt

  10. Linda Pettigrew September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Thank you so much that was so so helpful… God bless later linda

  11. Charles Jensen September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    9 min.

  12. RA Samaniego September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Very good video, but as women we need different thing maybe, do you have another video for girls or women? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. keith brown September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I'm planning a trip to Belize next year for 7-10days.. Would like to know if you recommend you carryon suitcase and backpack set up would be sufficient? If so please provide me with model and name of both samsonite bag and backpack you prefer! Thanks

  14. keith brown September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What is the carryon bag and backpack you use? Like your setup!..

  15. Diyes_Celine September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    If you have a daiso near you, you can buy their vacuum bag (not really sure what it's called). I used it to pack 3 winter coats. You dont't need a vacuum to use it. Just put the clothes inside. Seal the bag but leave a small opening. Roll the bag and let the air out. Once you're satisfied, you can seal the bag shut.

    I am really weak in cold climates. I also smoke but I hate the smell on my clothes. So I brought more than what I really need. It fit in my small luggage together with my clothes for 2 weeks. I really overpack so I was surprised it fit inside.

  16. milamber September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    wow, this is huge and heavy! :O. I'm travelling with business clothes + "adventure" clothes + fullframe DSLM with two lenses + tripod + macbook + noise cancelling headphones + powerbank + more โ€ฆ and still stay under 8kg + 6kg (carry on + small backpack). I couldn't do that with your strategy :D.
    1. reduce all the toiletry stuff (why this huge soap? why eletric toothbrush? etc.)
    2. use lighter clothing which you can wear longer without washing (good quality wool underwear, socks, shirts and jumper. UL wind jacket, light minimal shoes, primaloft isolation layer if necessary, etc.)
    3. use a backpack with a notebook section and you won't need additional cover for it.
    4. use small but fast universal USB charger for everything (and an universal multi USB cable for all your devices)
    5. wrap your camera in clothes instead of bulky and heavy camera bag
    6. use a light linen towel and never micro fiber! micro fiber will stink as hell and it's plastic waste anyway
    7. print out all the important information, tickets, etc. as a backup.
    8. use packing cubes

  17. _ Danila September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Metric please!

  18. BlueToronto September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Someone likes wearing plaid.

  19. Elaine D September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I like your book selection and your tiny house t-shirt. Used to have that Sony A6000/NEX gear, but switched to Fuji and bring a Sony RX100 V when I am being really lazy. Thought about, bit since I bought a bulk load of Hay House media, they sold me so many audio books and programs, I will be busy for years. Amazon Prime also has magazines and books you can read free each month as part of their yearly $99 membership. Oh, and the suitcase will be a new Peak Design travel series bag with their inserts.

  20. raboox9 September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    It's possible to go much lighter with computing gear. A large phablet phone with a Bluetooth keyboard is my usual ultralight rig for computing, comms and as a media device and camera.

    I bring along a Windows tablet if I need to do heavier computing on the road. The Bluetooth keyboard does double duty by syncing with both phone and tablet. It's even better if both devices run off micro-USB or USB-C – I can bring one charger and one powerbank to run them. All that gear weighs in at just 1 kg.

  21. iMฮฒADSPORTGIRL September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    This helped me so much, Thank you!!! I'm traveling to Texas for a week and only taking a carry on suitcase , so these tips were beyond helpful ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

  22. Ellen Hofer September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    A lot of free advertising for products shown in the video.

  23. litestreamer September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Great! Now how about a woman packing? ALSO – I think you need to measure all the suitcase including wheels.

  24. DRK CTNR September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I see this rolling the clothes to save space stuff but does it really work? because when you look they look small but also wider and thick. I wanna sure test that but still doesn't makes much sense.

  25. Donna Iliopoulos September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Woffle on

  26. Lyubov Zelentsova September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Hello! Thanks for this helpful video. I'd like to ask if you have an experience with bringing on board little manicure scissors and a little metal cutlery set? Is it possible to take these things in hand luggage? Thank you in advance.

  27. Dc_wallets September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Wish I could pack like this but my sleep apnea machine and diabetic supplies take up all the space in my carry on! I can fit maybe 1 to 2 shirts in there but that's it!

  28. Wm Cottrell September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I get daily emails from It has bestsellers for around 3 dollars plus thousands of FREE books to download to your Kindle app on your phone or tablet. I have 38 books now on my phone and tablet that I got for free. They are full books and NOT just samples. Happy Travels!!!!

  29. Daniel Dimitrov September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I don't think that you can bring shaver on the carry-on…

  30. CHU CHO September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    can you put cloth in ya personal carryon bag???

  31. NoMo MrNiceGuy September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    What backpack do you use?

  32. V Lightning September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Thanks guys for the video! Problem is, Iโ€™m a girl and girls have to pack more things like clothes and toiletries. Can you do a video for girls?

  33. love_whydontwe September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I have a question. Is the weight of the personal item added to the total weight of 7 kg

  34. dreamersparadise98 September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Where did you get the blue backpack?

  35. Rachel M September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Microfibre towel: great idea. Laundry bar: great idea. I've always taken travel wash with me and washed as I go, that way I don't have it all to do when I get back! Toiletries: where we stay the hotels usually provide the basics, so toothbrush and toothpaste is about all we need. I was wondering, though: how do you handle clothing that's gotten all creased up in your suitcase? I don't see a travel-iron!! โ˜บ

  36. K.S. Thompson September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    How are you able to bring snacks through security? I bought a small cup of tea on my way through the airport and they wouldn't even let me bring that.

  37. H l September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I agree that rolling can be more useful than folding clothes.

  38. Henrie Oliver September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    I normally don't find the size limitation an issue for carry on. What I always struggle with its the 7kg (15lbs) limit imposed by most airlines. 10kg (21lbs) is normally where I end up when packed.

  39. Lola Gosling September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    ๐–ฆ๐—Ž๐—’s ๐–จ ๐–ฟ๐—ˆ๐—Ž๐—‡๐–ฝ ๐–บ ๐—๐–พ๐—‹๐—’ ๐—€๐—ˆ๐—ˆ๐–ฝ ๐—๐–พ๐–ป๐—Œ๐—‚๐—๐–พ ๐–บ๐–ป๐—ˆ๐—Ž๐— ๐—๐—ˆ๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—๐—ˆ๐—‹๐—„๐—‚๐—‡gg ๐—๐—๐–บ๐— ๐—‚๐—Œ >> ๐—๐—๐—‚๐—Œ ๐—๐–พ๐–ป๐—Œ๐—‚๐—๐–พ ๐–ผ๐—ˆ๐—‡๐—๐–บ๐—‚๐—‡ss ๐—†๐—ˆ๐—‹๐–พ ๐—๐—๐–พ๐—‡ ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข ๐—๐—ˆ๐—ˆ๐–ฝ๐—๐—ˆ๐—‹๐—„๐—‚๐—‡๐—€ ๐—Œ๐—๐–พ๐–ฝ ๐—‰๐—…๐–บ๐—‡๐—Œ. ๐–ฑ๐–พ๐–ผ๐—ˆ๐—†๐—†๐–พ๐—‡๐–ฝ๐–พ๐–ฝdd. 7770

  40. Keira Galleghan September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    ๐‡๐ž๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซee,๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ž๐ง๐ฃ๐จ๐ฒ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐s ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ˆ ๐๐จ, ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž'๐ฌ ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง๐ฅ๐จ๐š๐ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐งss >> 1630

  41. Darasigrid Ancayan September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Where can I get that backpack and toiletry bag?

  42. Josco31 September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am


  43. CaptainPC September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Since I almost always travel with my swords, my sword bag is my luggage, my Bogu (armour) and everything else goes in my carry-on, which is a challenge.

    Here are a few things I do to make my trips better.

    1) Carry two/three shirts + two thin undershirts. Since I sweat a lot, the undershirt prevents visible sweat marks on the shirt, and because they are made of very thin fabric, they dry quickly, even in humid conditions. Also, these thin undershirts take a lot less space than regular shirts.

    2) No electric toothbrush. They are bigger than regular toothbrushes, and they need a separate charger. Besides, brushing with a normal brush is better for your teeth…

    3) Medical: Bring a small amount of every pill you might possibly need and keep a picture of the medicine's instructions and warnings on your phone. Caught the flu on your trip? Take a pill. Can't sleep due to jet lag and you need to be awake for an important meeting the next morning? Sleeping pills. Got a sudden case of constipation? Use glycerin. Also, bring a compact first aid kit just in case. Be like Batman and his famous utility belt, always prepared for any situation.

    4) Don't bring your toiletries in tubes if you don't have a hard case, it might get squashed and make a mess in your bag. I use small glass bottles for my shower gel and shampoo, and small steel containers for my hand moisturisers, vaseline, beeswax, shaving cream, and toothpaste.

    5) Bring baby wipes! You have no idea how many times I needed to go to the bathroom and found out they were out of toilet paper. They are also great for sanitising the seats. Again, Batman!

    6) Noise cancelling headphones. One of my friends got his from work, and they were so useful for that flight that I decided to get them too.

    7) Bring an airline headphone adapter for your regular headphones so you won't have to use the crappy airline headphones to use the entertainment system.

    8) Multi-tool: While your typical leatherman won't be allowed due to the knife (and saw), you can remove the blades and replace them with a washer with a similar thickness before you travel, it takes about a minute. You can easily return the blade when you return from the trip. Also, there are some TSA approved multitools on the market, but I don't recommend them.

    9) External battery to charge the phone/camera. Also, bring a mini tripod and a wide-angle lens, thank me later.

    10) You bring a massive trimmer, there are smaller ones that are more suited for travel, but they won't be good for hair, just for facial hair, eyebrows, nose and ears.

    P.S. Here's a tip for those travelling with swords, you can use a plastic plumbing tube to protect your sword, and to save space, you can disassemble the tsuba (guard) and handle, and that would allow you to use a smaller tube, which I place inside a golf bag.

  44. MrZimma frame September 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

    An umbrella is a terrible idea, just buy one at your destination if you really need it. Some airlines do not allow them on board. Just bring a light weight waterproof jacket.

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