We have all seen those funny movies where they make fun of the woman toting along 10 suitcases and a few steamer trunks as they travel. As funny as that seems, sometimes it feels as if we need that much space. You really don’t need to travel with all that. In fact there is a whole culture called one-baggers that only travel with one carry-on. They don’t even check a bag. This of course takes a little bit of work and planning but it is possible. 

Only what you need 

You might have to be a bit brutal in what you bring with you, and squash all those emotional feelings of things you might need. But “might use” is not the same as need. Bringing things “just in case” is how you get to those 10 suitcases and steamer trunks. How many times have you traveled and not worn things that you have brought with you? So bring just what you need, and be honest with yourself. 

Carry-on bag 

A good carry-on bag can make all the difference. Things have changed in recent years, and weight has become more important. So choose a very lightweight bag and you can carry more. Although a backpack is not the most stylish thing in the world, you can pick one that looks good and will fit in the overhead compartment as a carry on. Just make sure that you keep the weight down and you don’t go oversized. We tend to avoid wheelie bags, as they are just extra weight we can use. 

Wear the heaviest pieces 

When you travel, it’s a good idea to wear the heaviest items you have. As a silly example,if you are going to go hiking on your trip, wear the hiking boots on the plane and not pack them in your luggage. You may want to wear those lightweight slip-ons while you travel, but you will end up paying a lot more money for the extra weight of those hiking boots in your bag. Wear that heavy shirt and coat and fill the pockets with anything else heavy that you can find in your bag. You can always move it back into your bag later on. 


There are certain things every woman should have when she travels. Sarongs and scarves are two of the most important. You can use them for almost anything. You can wear them as a wrap from the beach, or you can use them to dress up an outfit for going out on the town. A nice sarong can even replace the little black dress. There are many sites online that will show you how to tie a sarong into a multitude of different types of dresses. 


Okay, here’s where most women fail. Take two pairs of shoes only. If you have a very small pair of sandals you might be able to squeak three pairs of shoes. Take one set of shoes for casual walking around, and one set of shoes for the evening if you plan on going out. Sandals will be an easy backup that can be used for both. Again, avoid the Trap of you “might” wear them. 

Matching colors 

Make sure that everything you bring can be worn with everything else you bring. Stick to a basic color set, and use the scarves for the different flashes of color. You can boast a new look every day with only a few pieces of clothing if they are all complementary. 

Give and take 

Buy things when you are there that you don’t need to bring, such as shampoo, or toothpaste, or half the things you bring with you. If you need a hat, buy one when you are there, it will give you the benefit of making you look more like a local (depending what you buy) and when you leave? give the hat away or wear it on the plane. Point is, don’t get attached; buy things there as you need them instead of toting all that extra weight with you. 

A woman can travel light, even if she won’t admit it to herself, it just takes a bit of ingenuity and forethought. Hard to imagine, but you can travel to exotic locations with just a carry on, imagine that? No waiting for checked bags, or the hassle of the anchors (as we call full size luggage) as you move from one location to another. We have managed to get almost everything we need into a 25 Liter backpack, though it did take us some time to get it down to the essentials over the years, but honestly? We would never travel with full size luggage ever again. Go for it girl