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Travelling tips are for beginners

by Nathan Zachary

Is it even possible to travel with a single piece of carry-on baggage for a few days, or even a week? Well, if you like to sit down for a cup of coffee while lugging around your carry-on bag that exceeds the baggage allowance, then it’ll be quite a challenge for you. I also advise against going over the top with baggage on your first solo trip if you’re a beginner traveler. You should also think about where you’re traveling and for what purpose – are you going on a short city break that requires little organizational skills since you’ll spend time mostly walking around the city, exploring museums, and treating your taste buds with local gourmet cuisine? This requires only carry-on baggage and is totally doable. But if you plan on spending time outdoors, the cheap ticket option could be somewhat less doable because you’ll probably need an extra pair of shoes and at least an extra set of all your clothes, plus some extra space for some snacks and water to get you through a whole day.

Rainy season

If you’re travelling in a rainy season, keep in mind that you’ll have to make some extra room for an umbrella and/or a raincoat. You should also answer the following questions: What are your sleeping habits? Do you wear pajamas to bed? Are you traveling in the warmer season, which requires you to pack fewer clothes and the ones that are lighter, or are you traveling in the cold and rainy season? Do you want to take your camera with you? Do you need to pack any other, slightly larger items? Low-cost airlines are strict when it comes to the cheapest travel fare – 1 item means 1 item. In most cases, they won’t allow you to board with a small suitcase or a backpack in addition to your carry-on bag. They won’t allow you to carry baggage that exceeds the allowance. 

The following tips are for beginners who are still contemplating whether taking the trip with one item of baggage is even physically possible:

Choosing your carry-on baggage

You should choose a backpack instead of a box-like mini suitcase with a hard exterior. A backpack is practical and gives you a free hand (literally), it has lots of small compartments and pockets, and its shape can be adjusted, making it much more suitable to be carried around. If you’re traveling with a suitcase, you’ll have to lug it around in (wet, dirty?) streets, one hand will always be occupied with pulling the suitcase and there’ll be less space for your hard objects, not to mention how inconvenient a suitcase is when you’re visiting museums or restaurants, plus you only get a single space to squeeze in everything, etc. You also must keep in mind that carry-on baggage allowance differs from one low-cost airline to another and that can make a difference of a few centimeters. Airlines also change the carry-on baggage allowance every few years (usually reducing them). You can always shrink your backpack a bit and squeeze one side inwards for a few centimeters, which is something you can’t do with a suitcase.


Ordinary plastic bags that you can buy in the fresh produce department are not allowed. I recommend getting a slightly larger bag (more than 1 litter volume) so you can fit multiple items in it, but you should also pay attention to the size of the package and the type of packaging. If you travel several times a year, you can buy small 100-milliliter bottles from a cosmetics store and fill them with your favorite shampoo, shower gel, and the like. But to make things easier, I recommend buying smaller containers of things like sunscreen, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, body wash, contact lens solution, hand cream, and sanitizer. You can pack soap instead of shower gel, saving space for another type of liquid that you think is important. If you are based in Greenford then use a taxi in Stanmore for your local transport.

And don’t forget the essential medicines and some paracetamol, bandages and throat lozenges. You should also pack a portable folding mirror and a very small comb, while a toothbrush won’t take up much space at first.

Important Documents

What items should you pack for your trip to save as much space as possible? A very small wallet that holds your ID/travel ID, debit and credit cards, health insurance card, and some loose change. You can leave all your discount cards at home as they take up valuable space and add to the overall weight of your luggage. Don’t forget to charge your phone and pack your charger too. Store copies of your travel document and travel insurance in Gmail. If you are based in Greenford then use the Greenford taxi service for your local transport.

Hand Luggage

You can access your boarding pass, reserved accommodation, and transfers, the location of places you want to see, tourist attractions, and all kinds of maps from your apps and Gmail. If space is an issue, this is the way to go if you want to avoid printing all those documents. When traveling across Europe, you usually have enough free mobile data available to access all the information you need in just a few clicks. You can take your pocket digital camera with you (if you are not happy with the photos taken with your phone) but I’m afraid there won’t be enough room for the DSLR in your hand luggage.


 Trust the advice in this article as you plan your next trip. Educating yourself about traveling and the benefits that come with it can save you a lot of money.

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