Just as excited as you are about traveling somewhere new, you may also be dreading packing for the trip. It’s not as easy to cram all the outfits you want to wear and the essential toiletries you need to bring in your luggage. Since airlines also make it nearly impossible to check a piece of luggage these days unless you want to shell out more than $30, many people opt to bring only carry-on luggage for their next vacation. . To travel light, you need some tips for traveling with a backpack.
The idea of just bringing a backpack on your next trip can be daunting AF. It’s hard to imagine you could fit a weekend’s clothes into a single backpack, but expert travelers have found ways to pack not just clothes, but makeup, jewelry, and even a… extra pair of shoes in their bags. In fact, traveling light has become a new fad for those with travel aficionados looking for economical ways to get to more of their dream destinations.
To get you on the roving light rail, all you need is a list of essentials and tips on how to travel with a backpack from TikTokers sharing their best-kept packing secrets. From using carry-on-sized backpacks to packing cubes that easily compress, here are 15 tips for traveling with a backpack along with a list of products you’ll want to add to the pack. basket as soon as possible.
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Consider using a 40 liter backpack
Airlines make it so difficult to travel with hand luggage, with many charging for anything other than a personal bag. Fortunately, backpacks still belong to the personal bag category and you can find many great backpacks. TikToker
@kathleenjbeach suggests with a 40L backpack like this one Open Story from Target. The best part is that this backpack opens like a carry-on and even has compartments inside that will make it easy to organize your essentials. One of Target’s 5-star reviewers even mentioned that this bag is comfortable and won’t hurt your shoulders no matter what you’re carrying.
Use a backpack the same size as your hand luggage
For flights that only allow one free personal item, a tip for traveling light is to use a backpack the same size as any standard carry-on bag. TikToker
@delrosario.adventures recommend this Amazon 40L Travel Backpack it’s not only the size of a carry-on, but it also comes with packing cubes to use as well. Anyone who’s tried to pack light knows how essential packing cubes are, so it’s like two tips for traveling with a rolled up backpack in one. Plus, one of over 4,000 5-star reviewers on Amazon mentioned it fit under the seat in front of them on the plane. It’s a big win.
Find a backpack that opens like a suitcase
One way to make packing easier when using only a backpack is to find one that opens like a suitcase. This bag recommended by TikToker Megan Homme (
@meganhomme), who is also an airline employee, not only the zips open completely but can also fit under your airplane seat. Male also shared whatever suits in this versatile backpack, such as three pairs of pants, bulky sweaters, a pair of shoes, an iron and a toiletry bag.
Store your clothes in a compression bag
compression bags are usually used by campers for their sleeping bag, TikToker @kaitlyn.dickie recommend using it for your clothes when trying to travel light with just a backpack. Of course, if you’re worried about wrinkles, this might not be the best option for you. However, if you’re bringing wrinkle-free clothes, pack everything you plan to wear in your bag so it takes up less room in your backpack.
Pack your toiletries in reusable travel bottles
The man has more
light travel tips that include investing in travel versions of your favorite products. However, you may not want to spend money on smaller versions for a single trip. One way to fit it all into your skincare routine is to put it all in travel bottles. This set from Amazon includes four bottles, three mini jars, and two toothbrush covers.
Pack neutrals to mix and match your OOTDs
Man and TikToker
@mrsblinks to suggest packing only neutrals of your wardrobe. This allows you to mix and match items to create multiple OOTDs from just a few essentials. In addition to packing neutrals, @mrsblinks also suggests trying on all your clothes before packing to make sure they still fit and you’ll want to wear them on your trip. Who doesn’t love a little fashion show at home, right? It’ll be like a Chew-like movie montage of Distraught.
Another great packing trick that helps create more space is to roll your clothes up and pack them into a cube that can fit in your backpack. This set of packing cubes is available in a variety of colors. So while your clothes can be neutral, your packing cube can be a fun pop of color.
Use a pillowcase to pack extra clothes
If you are traveling light just to avoid paying extra for checked baggage, this
travel hack by TikToker @nolimitua is so awesome. Take an empty pillowcase and fill it with clothes or soft items that won’t fit in your backpack. It will not only serve as a pillow for the plane, but it will give you more room in your bag for souvenirs that you can bring back.
Bring perfume in an atomizer
Packing anything that comes in a spray bottle like perfume or toners can be tricky when you’re only bringing carry-on luggage. A tip from TikToker
@thetravelmum is to get an atomizer for create a travel size version. One of nearly 3,000 5-star reviewers on Amazon said “filling and refilling is super easy and simple” with these particular ones. Of course, a super-saving hack is to see if you can get a free perfume sample from the store so you don’t have to spend any money at all.
Use compression cubes to create even more space
While packing cubes in general are amazing travel hacks, opting for
squeeze packing cubes will give you that extra bit of space you need. TikToker @Leap Forward mentions compression packing cubes as one of the ways to pack more efficiently. Another tip is to take pictures of all your outfits before packing them to make sure you really like them and want to wear them.
Bring serums in travel jars
Just because you’re traveling light doesn’t mean you have to give up your skincare routine. Bring your favorite serums in these
cute travel jars. A great way to measure how much you’ll need, according to TikToker @kaitlinsondae, is simply to pump the amount of product you use per day for the number of days you will be away. You can always add more, as you can also use the leftover product when you get home.
Pack according to a color scheme
While choosing neutrals is a great way to make sure all your clothes can go together, TikToker
@loveyoumariemuch also suggest go with a color scheme. It can help make your holiday OOTDs more colorful if that’s your style. Just be sure to pack item by item and not by outfit, as you will want to bring pieces that you can wear for several days.
Choosing five colors that all go together is @loveyoumariemuch’s hack for choosing your palette, and white can be a great choice for any of your colors. A simple white button-up shirt can be your go-to, whether you’re at the beach, strolling around town, or dressing up for a night out on the town.
Put your shoes in a bag
Since everything will be well packed in your bag, you don’t want your shoes to get your clothes dirty. Getting shoe bags will help prevent this, which is just one of many
tips for traveling light by TikToker @findingfiona. Other tips include rolling up your clothes and bringing only the toiletries and makeup you’ve used in the last three days. If you haven’t used any items recently, you probably won’t use them on your trip.
Bring a single multi-functional makeup brush
Your makeup routine may require multiple brushes, which will only take up more space in your backpack. Fortunately, there is
multifunctional makeup brushes which are like Swiss Army knives, but for the world of beauty. TikToker @wahmeko shows how easy it is to do full makeup with just one brush. This tool comes with eyeshadow brush, eyebrow brush, blush brush and concealer sponge all in one.
Store your aircraft essentials in an easy-access case
Since you’ll be packing everything neatly into your backpack, you don’t want to have to rummage through the plane for things like your headphones, Chapstick, or charging cable. It helps to have
Everything you need in one place it’s easy to get to. TikToker @nowboardingallgroups suggests the Away mini suitcase, which unfortunately is not available at the moment. Luckily, Target has this cheap Open Story dupe that works just as well.
Wear a Travel Vest with Tons of Extra Pockets
You might have to sacrifice wearing a super cute OOTD at the airport with this hack to travel light. TikToker
@megthetravelingteacher recommended wear a travel vest which comes with tons of extra pockets for anything that doesn’t fit in your backpack. You might still be able to pull off a nice fit with this vest from Amazon, though. It’s available in a variety of colors like denim and basic black to match whatever you’re wearing, and since you’ll be wearing it, “it doesn’t count as another carry-on.”
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