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12 Tips on How to Travel with Only a Carry-On

12 Tips on How to Travel with Only a Carry-On
Learn from this stylish mom!

Meet Maricar Totengco, an expert traveler with a knack for traveling light. She only carries one carry-on luggage, yet she somehow manages to stow all her necessities and clothes in one bag.

In an interview with Preview, Maricar stresses that it's hard to move from one country to another when your luggage has to keep up with you. "Flights get rerouted, get cancelled, and if you have your luggage with you, you're flexible. You can easily move to another plane and you don't have to worry about losing your luggage along the way."

You can easily eliminate the "stress of not having [your] suitcase with [you]" and have that sense of security that your belongings are with you at all times. With these thoughts in mind, Maricar shares her secrets to traveling light. Read on and see if you can also master the craft of traveling with just one carry-on luggage!


1. Know where you're going.

The weather plays a big part in planning the clothes you'll bring. If you're going "somewhere warm, then that's easy because the clothes are light. But if [you're] going somewhere where the weather changes, then you need to think about layering. I always check the weather forecast and from there, I decide what to pick." 

2. Layer your outfit.

If you're going somewhere cold, Maricar suggests you already pile on the clothes so you won't have to bring much in your luggage.

3. Consider the activities you plan to do.

For example, "if [you're] hiking, then you pack accordingly."

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4. Start with shoes.

As a general rule, Maricar packs only two pairs—one for daytime use and another for evening affairs. From there, she mentally edits the outfits she can wear to match those shoes.

5. Learn the art of mixing and matching.

Maricar just needs a day to pack her carry-on luggage. On the day she packs, she takes clothes out of her closet and just moves pieces around to mix and match with each other. With this method, she creates a travel capsule wardrobe that can last for weeks (she even survived New York City for a month with just a carry-on luggage).

6. Let fabric and color decide which clothes you're bringing.


Maricar tends to gravitate towards neutrals as they always go well together. Additionally, she chooses items that don't get wrinkled easily since some places can't easily provide an iron or steamer. In fact, Maricar is a fan of Zara tank tops that she can pair with just about anything and won't get wrinkled even if you fold them!

7. Find out if there's laundry service in the area.

Maricar suggests you do your research and find out if you can do your own laundry. This means you don't have to pack much. Also, there's no harm in outfit repeating!


8. Repack your beauty essentials.

Invest in tiny bottles, then properly label and fill them with your beauty products. You can't bring big bottles anyway if you plan on stowing them in your handcarry. On her trips, Maricar makes sure she has her "facial wash, toner, day cream, night cream, tinted moisturizer, powder, blush, two lipsticks (one for day, one for evening), bronzer, brow gel, a small palette of eyeshadow, makeup brushes, and mascara." Maricar also notes that it's helpful to already plan the look you want to go for during the trip and select your favorites that will help you achieve that.

9. You can always buy.

Maricar explains that you need not bring your whole house inside your luggage. Whatever basic necessities you plan to bring, they will most likely be available in the country you're traveling to as well.

10. Mail back your pasalubong.

One smart trick that Maricar shared is mailing back the items you bought. That way, you don't have to worry about purchasing another bag or carrying a bigger luggage just so you have enough space for your pasalubong.


11. Allot extra space.

When it comes to packing, Maricar likes to plan ahead and leave some space in her luggage, meaning she doesn't maximize her baggage allowance. The space can be used for unexpected purchases during travel.

12. Black solves all problems.

Maricar's go-to airport outfit is black. It's no-fuss airport attire that not only looks chic and comfy, but is also spill-proof! Plus, she also notes that you should wear the heavier pair of shoes to cut back on the weight of your luggage. 

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