What are the best practices for packing for carry-on? If you are traveling alone, you want to pack as lightly as possible. Why? Just imagine having two suitcases and your personal item, trying to catch the train. The first time I traveled to Europe, that was me. I learned the hard way that you must dumb it down when packing for a solo trip. It took me a few tries to get it right, and when I did, I created a solo female travel essentials list.
For obvious reasons, you want to be prepared when traveling alone. Nothing worse than needing an essential travel item that you didn’t bring. Time wasted picking up that forgotten item is time you should be exploring. I like to keep my travel style as minimal as possible but chic.
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Packing for Carry-On | Solo Female Essentials
I can’t stress this phrase enough, “you get what you pay for.” Investing in a quality suitcase is something I suggest you consider. It is the staple to your travel style and your best friend along the way.
I am not suggesting you go and break the bank, but you can expect to pay $250 + for quality. Bric’s is a brand I trust. I currently travel with the black 28″ Rolling Duffle, and I own the 30″ Spinner.
The Rolling Duffle has been wonderful as packing for carry-On for many of my adventures. This suitcase was my 4-week travel companion a couple of years back.
Best Carry-On Luggage For Women
Personal Item Bag | Essential Totes
The personal item tote bag is everything! I really maximize my travel gear in this bag. You want this bag to be small enough to fit under the airplane seat, but big enough for all your extras!
Take into consideration how comfortable this bag is to tote around. It should be extra sturdy, and weatherproof!
What To Wear | Clothing Travel Essentials
I overpacked on my first solo trip because I wanted to be prepared for everything. That meant I packed for any occasion that could possibly come up, like dinner with the Queen.
I packed outfits for this trip that covered every possible scenario. What if I was to find myself going to a fancy restaurant or on a hike in the woods. I packed more shoes and purses than you can imagine.
My biggest takeaway from this trip was how little I used the checked suitcase. I came to realize two things. I wanted to be comfortable and carry the least amount of crap possible. For solo female travel essentials in clothing, pack leggings!
Bags & Shoes | Simple & Comfortable
I’ve made too many shoes mistake more than once. Every post with pro packer tips all say the same thing, pack fewer shoes!
It’s true, you likely don’t need the heels. Getting them stuck in the cobbled streets of Europe is no fun! I only recommend bringing two pairs of shoes, a maximum of three!
My suggestion is cute boots, comfortable sneakers, and sleek flats. It is a weight saver, not to mention a space saver!
When it comes to bringing extra purses, a maximum of two will do. I really suggest you go understated as well. Traveling is not the time to show off your trendy bag. You want the least amount of attention possible when traveling.
During the day I like to carry a little bit bigger purse so that I can fit my camera in it. I like a really small lightweight bag that can go hidden under my arm for dinner.
It’s good to have a thin fabric bag within your bag just in case you buy a couple of souvenirs. Having an extra bag just in case you need it is a good idea.
Essential Travel Extras
Don’t forget all those little travel extras you will find yourself needing along the way! Packing cubes are a great way to help keep the bag organized, and they are a great space saver!
Little travel bottles are a necessity when traveling carry-on only. I really like the trick of getting samples of your favorite products instead of filling your allowed plastic bag with small bottles.
A passport cover is one of those little travel extras that are practical and stylish.
Most accommodations will have a hairdryer. But, remember all hairdryers are not created equal. The hairdryers in most hotels are fixed to the wall. These hairdryers are low quality, and pump out as much as a high-powered fan. If you are traveling for more than a few days, you should think about carrying your own. The GHD brand is a high-quality travel-sized hairdryer.
If you are someone who uses a flat iron, you should pack it. The one you have might work just fine, but if you are in the market for a new one. This GHD straighter is worth every penny.
These budget airlines are sticklers for luggage weight! And, they are counting on you to overpack! Did you know they will walk around with one of these scales right before you board? SAVE yourself some money, and get a luggage scale!!
Remembering Every Moment
Solo adventures are extra special because you have time to connect with yourself. There will be no one next to you that also has a day plan list in their mind.
Your days will be what you want to make of them! Something to help keep you busy in those moments of downtime is journaling. These journals below are perfect for keeping your memories alive.
The Essential Travel Tech
An External Battery is an obvious necessity. So many times did my phone battery drain fast because I was using Google maps. Packing for Carry-On Always brings a reliable battery charger like this one!
An essential travel item is the travel adaptor! This adaptor is a worldwide international wall charger with USB ports. Great to have a backup when traveling solo. Highly reviewed and I can personally recommend
It’s good to have more than one USB cord for a couple of reasons. I carry an extra in my bag at all times.