World trip with hand luggage only: advantages and challenges

Not only since the famous song of the pop group “Light Luggage”, traveling only with hand luggage has a very romantic touch. And without question, traveling with hand luggage has many advantages and is the ultimate, especially for minimalists. But of course, there are also some disadvantages that should not be forgotten when traveling this way. In any case, it means on the one hand a little more preparation, if to a world trip with hand luggage wants to start. On the other hand, however, traveling only with a backpack and light luggage provides immense relief. What you should pay attention to your world trip with hand luggage and what really matters, we would like to highlight here. We tell you which traps you should not fall into and which points are particularly important so that you can enjoy your trip around the world to the fullest.

Advantages of traveling with carry-on luggage

The most striking advantage of traveling with carry-on luggage is, of course, the airfare. If you fly without checked baggage, you’ll pay significantly less on international and even domestic flights. For international flights, this can mean a price reduction of 50 euros and more. You just have to compare the different airlines.

For domestic flights, it has the advantage that you can check in conveniently online and also for international flights, check-in without large baggage is much faster. 

Even after landing, you can benefit from the time savings. You just grab your carry-on, get off the plane and don’t have to wait forever at the baggage carousel for your bags. You also don’t have to worry about something being stolen from your suitcase, your suitcase being lost or damaged. Traveling light is therefore also good for the nerves and means a more carefree and worry-free travel.

You also always have everything at hand. It can not happen that you would like to read your book on a long-haul flight and then only remember that the book is in your suitcase in the checked baggage. If you’re traveling with just a backpack, all you have to do is stand up and you can quickly and conveniently fish the book out of your bag. 

Disadvantages of traveling with carry-on luggage

Of course, you need to think carefully about what you need to take with you on your trip. But let it be said, no matter how long you travel, you usually don’t need more clothing than for one or two weeks at the most. No matter where you travel, there are laundries or laundromats everywhere and also many hotels offer a laundry service.

The packing is easier if you travel to a hot country. T-shirts, shorts and summer dresses and flip-flops require significantly less space and are also lighter than thick pants and sweaters.

Even if it is a very personal item, consider whether it really has to travel with. The large picture frame with photos you do not have to pack, if you have anyway the pictures collected on your phone or tablet stored.

A disadvantage is that you can not shop without restraint, because also the return trip you want to start again only with light luggage. You have to limit yourself when shopping for souvenirs and Co, because excess baggage can be really expensive.

You must constantly pay attention to how much hand luggage is allowed. This varies from airline to airline, but usually runs between 7 kg and 10 kg. Some airlines also allow only 5 kg of hand luggage. So pay attention to this when you book connecting flights for your round-the-world trip.

While you wait for your flight and for check-in, you always have to take care of your carry-on luggage. However, this should be the least of your problems, because you always have a bag with you anyway and the lightweight carry-on is not the burden there. 

Prohibited items in carry-on baggage

This is an important topic because there are some things you are not allowed to carry in your carry-on luggage. You should keep this in mind when packing ahead of time. It would be annoying if these things are taken from you at the security check.

Among the prohibited things are any liquids. So you can not carry a bottle of water and also no large shampoos, hair sprays, creams and Co with you. You are only allowed to transport three small bottles of cosmetics in your hand luggage, which you must pack clearly visible in a zip-lock bag. These may not have more than 100 ml capacity. The large perfume and insect spray must therefore also stay at home. But as a rule, there are everywhere in the world to buy everything.

Also multitools, pocket knives, lighters, Zippos and scissors and nail clippers are not allowed in hand luggage. These would pose too great a risk. Do you have this in the hand luggage, you must give this before the flight. 

Also you have in the hand luggage hardly space for your photo tripod or your diving and snorkeling equipment. But just equipment for diving and snorkeling are usually also everywhere in the world to borrow cheap.

A small tip: In addition to your hand luggage, so your bag or your backpack is allowed with almost all airlines to take a handbag or a laptop bag. So you have a little more space to store your personal things. However, this handbag may not be larger than 40 cm x 30 cm 15 cm and must be able to be stowed under the seat. 

Which backpack is particularly suitable?

A backpack is always better than a trolley or a small suitcase, because it has less dead weight. Usually, backpacks with a capacity of about 45 liters are perfect as carry-on luggage. 
Make sure your backpack has wide and comfortable straps. You may have to carry the luggage on your back for a long time. So see that the straps are well padded.

Also, the backpack should have many compartments so you can keep everything well sorted and neatly packed. Also, it does not hurt if some compartments and zippers can be secured with a small lock. Purse and passport, as well as personal documents, however, you should always carry in a small fanny pack directly on the body. But for everyone, of course, different things are important in the backpack, so everyone should look, which backpack model best fits your plans.

Traveling light – Our conclusion

If you plan your trip with hand luggage properly, it can be a very relieving and carefree experience. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t have any prohibited items in your carry-on. This will save you the hassle of having these items taken from you. 

Always pay attention to the specifications of your airline as well, because airlines allow carry-on luggage between 5 kg and 10 kg. Always remember that excess baggage can be expensive, even if you get into a buying frenzy on vacation.

We have decided that we travel with a larger piece of luggage. Since we are on the road for a very long time and certain things just do not want to miss.

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