70 Day RTW Trip with Carry-on Only ?

Discussion in 'Travel Insider Tips' started by Gold60, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Gold60

    Gold60 Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Brisbane area
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    #1 Gold60, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    Hi All,

    i am about to launch myself on a 70+ day RTW trip that I am/was thinking of doing it using carry-on luggage only.

    i am a male, with some medical issues (need some pills and a CPAP machine to carry for example), looking to take one or two changes of basic clothes - shorts and polo-like shirts, and minimal camera/electronic gear.

    am going on this route - mainly with AC, LH, LX and TG for the inter continentals (all in Business), and United around the US (business again) and Asiana for an Asia Air Pass - in Economy.


    i am just looking for comments, tips, experiences from the wise collective that is AFF please ? I am now thinking of taking a checked luggage bag, so i would appreciate any ideas please ?

    do many people do a trip like this with carry on only, or it is a bit impractical ? i have prepaid everything - except for food and misso souvenirs and minor transport. i will be staying, touristing in urban areas only

    thank you if anyone has any ideas.
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  2. BillytheFIsh

    BillytheFIsh Member

    Mar 17, 2014
    Do it. You won't regret it.

    Even if you do, you can just buy a new bag along the way but I doubt you will.

    A few years ago I did 7 months in the EU/Turkey/Egypt/Morocco carry on only and it was great. I used this bag (I'm sure there's an updated version):


    Ever since then I go carry on only unless it absolutely can't be avoided. You'll be surprised how much you can fit in and it just makes life so much easier. I even carried a compressed sleeping bag and a 10 inch netbook around with me.
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  3. BVT

    BVT Active Member

    May 21, 2010
    Gold Coast
    HLO is easy if you think about what you need before hand. Choose clothes that can be formal(ish) and also suitable for more casual wear as well. I am sure that there is a wealth of information on the WWW about this.

    Most airlines allow 2 x 7kg for J. That's A LOT of stuff!
  4. Gold60

    Gold60 Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Brisbane area
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    2 x 7/8 KG would be more than i would ever use for this type of trip. i thought of taking z 2 x 7kg before, but tried to get away from it, but now think i might be easier if i just took 2 HLO bags and piggyback one with light stuff ion top of the other one with any heavier items . the idea being is to luggage strap the light one onto the handle frame of the other one. i have put my CPAP machine in a backpack, so my hands are free, in that regard. i think i just need to start throwing clothes and gear into bag/s and see how i go. :)

  5. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    A small roll aboard and backpack allow for more than enough luggage.

    And apart from extreme climate changes you only need to focus on a few days of travel at a time. Getting clothing that dries quickly such as satin underwear makes life very easy.

    And when you find a place with a laundry putting everything through the washing machine whilst wearing your Qantas pyjamas is fun and you'll feel great for another week or two.

  6. RooFlyer

    RooFlyer Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2012
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    I'm not one who would automatically go HLO for that length of trip - about 10 days in one climatic zone is my limit.

    For instance, for the sake of half an hour by the baggage carousel, on a long trip I like having things such as rain coat and fold-up umbrella so have options if it rains. I dislike knowing that every second day I'm going to be stuck in the hotel room doing washing, and hoping it all dries. I like knowing if something untoward happens (major spill on long pants), I have an option to change into and not have my day or evening disrupted. If something unexpected comes up, which needs something more formal - or less formal (pool), I know I've got it covered and don't have to decline or feel awkward.

    I buy books on the local architecture / history as my souvenir of a place. Can't do that - or any souvenir of substance - if you are HLO.

    I also worry that I might be unlucky and cop a hand luggage weigh-in, especially on economy sectors, and then I'd be stuck with valuables/fragiles in hand while the bag gets forcibly checked.

    I assume the trip is in northern hemisphere summer? Else you WILL need cold weather clothing / coat as well as summer gear.

    I think you were looking at 2 x carry on, which sounds like a good compromise. Probably can get away with 2 on the business sectors, and check one on the economy.

    Overall for me, I do the equation: How often will I be at a baggage carousel, and do those waits outweigh the inconvenience of having to be constantly washing and the convenience of having nearly everything I need for a comfortable trip? I'm on holiday (usually) and want it to be enjoyable and not have to worry if I could dress for various opportunities.
  7. Cynicor

    Cynicor Established Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    I find I'm rarely waiting for my luggage long enough for it to bother me. Once or twice, yes.
    70 day trip is the same as a 5 day trip, clothing requirements-wise, assuming you are not changing temperatures much. But it's basically impossible to do a snow trip with an island holiday on HLO, so it depends on what you are doing. If it's a city-to-city tour, then I see no reason you couldn't get away with a single 10kg bag easily. You just need multifunctional clothing and shoes.
  8. Bundy Bear

    Bundy Bear Established Member

    Jul 17, 2004
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    I wouldn't go 70 days on strictly a HLO trip, but I would have 2 bags that could fit the requirements.

    The carry on size for most but not airlines is one bag plus one personal item.

    Bag one; The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels.
    Bag two; The maximum dimensions for your personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).

    At times you may decide to go carry on only and another time you might decide to check in one bag.
  9. JennyH

    JennyH Junior Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    I almost always travel overseas with only hand luggage. There is normally some sort of bicycle / motorcycle trip involved at my destination, so I am limited as to what I can travel with when I get there. I have traveled for five months with the equivalent of a single carry on case - and I still came home with one thing I didn't wear : )
    My tips would be:
    1. Use at least one small carry-on bag with wheels. Walking around the terminal in transit carrying everything in your hands is not always pleasant. It is easier if you can wheel some of the heavier stuff (like your laptop or CPAP).
    2. Be prepared to buy toiletries, nail-clippers, scissors, etc. at your destination and to ditch them before your next flight. While most hotels have shampoo and soap you probably still need a few things of your own and sometimes the 100mL limit is not enough.
    3. Pack a few things that you can wash in your hotel room bathroom and will dry overnight (it is not always easy to find a laundry when you need one and I for one refuse to pay $$$$ for a hotel to wash a pair of socks).
    4. As someone else said, make sure you have at least one thing you could wear to a nice restaurant or out somewhere decent. If you're packing light this probably means something that folds up small. You only need one, it's not like you will be going to the same place everyday / night.
    5. Have multiple use shoes - something you feel comfortable walking around in all day, but wouldn't look out of place in a nice restaurant or hotel. This is possibly easier for men than women - but my hubby finds it more difficult than me (it's very easy to slip in a small pair of nice flat shoes / sandals for a girl, boy's shoes take up a lot of room).
    6. You are going through a lot of climatic zones, so layers are your friend. T-shirt in Bangkok, then the same t-shirt with a long sleeve t and / or a light jacket in Vancouver.
    Enjoy the freedom of traveling light!
  10. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    About 4 years ago I did about 2 months hand luggage only through USA and Canada (summer) so about 60 days. I took some socks and jocks, also three pair of speedos that you can wash at night, and every three weeks simply purchased a new 3 or 5 pack of undies as they are quite cheap. If traveling for leisure I would only need jeans for all scenarios, and would not be doing anything formal. For a 70 days hand Luggage only trip, and depending how many flights you envisage taking (with checked luggage) you could save a day, meaning 30mins plus each time waiting for checked luggage on arrival. I say go for it, and as others have mentioned, you can always buy a larger bag to check which won't be a problem in J.
  11. morfergus

    morfergus Junior Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    One wheeled carry-on and a backpack would be enough for me if the change in climate is not significant. As others have said, you need to select appropriate clothing that is versatile enough for the types of activities you will undertake. Shoes are heavy and bulky so a maximum of two pairs (wear one, pack one), although a couple of years ago I did a two week trip to Italy with just one pair of shoes. I recommend merino wool socks and underwear as these are natural fibres so do not hold odour and hand wash and dry well. The suggestion of satin for underwear was surprising and not an option I would consider. Appropriate layers and colours, with a single waterproof breathable jacket and you are set. If you need to buy bulky souvenirs then you can mail them home, but an option I prefer is to take less clothing than you need and buy some on your travels. These make a practical and memorable 'souvenir' for me and I always recall where I bought them which brings back good memories of my trip. Go for it!
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  12. andrewlorien

    andrewlorien Junior Member

    Jun 13, 2015
    sydney, .au
    Two and a half weeks ago my other half left for a two and a half week holiday in Spain, with only her overhead-locker-sized bag.
    She didn't weigh it carefully enough, and they made her check it in. Which was alright. But on the way home her ticket goes through to Brisbane, but she's going to leave the flight in Sydney. Doesn't want the bag to stay onboard. Has to carry it on.
    Working on strategies to just get on that first flight a couple of kilos overweight without somebody saying "excuse me ma'am, we'll have to check that one in for you..."
  13. Gold60

    Gold60 Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Brisbane area
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    I think I have now answered my question. I am into week the of my trip and in Las Vegas, and doing fibe so far with just HLO..........:)
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  14. AisleSeat

    AisleSeat Member

    Nov 11, 2016
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    What can she throw away overseas? Can she stuff a jacket with smaller items? Is her personal item maxed out?
  15. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007

    Not a problem. Check the bag and at Sydney she'll have to collect it to go through immigration and customs.

    Then exit the area. Don't go to the transit area and don't recheck the bag. :p

    However, do let the airline know that due to exigent circumstances she can't make the connecting flight and that she has all of her luggage with her. This will mean they won't worry about her or the luggage.
  16. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Interesting challenge. I would never attempt it even if I did leave golf clubs at home. I feel comfortable with my 26in luggage using up my 23kg allowance.
  17. Gold60

    Gold60 Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Brisbane area
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    Flew out of Las Vegas on Wednesday, got to the check in counter, told by the agent I was given a TSA pre check status thing. Not sure how/ why I got it, didn't pay for it, but I was through security in literally about three our four minutes. What a breeze.......
  18. aussiejohn

    aussiejohn Member

    Nov 8, 2003
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    I've been working my way up to travelling HLO. Have done a few 5-7 day trips in Asia without any problems. In February I went to the US for 10 days, Half of the time in Salt Lake City for a conference. I managed ok, and came back with clothes I didn't wear. I wear my jeans and anything heavy on the plane as most people advise. I have also collected a lot of lightweight quick drying t-shirts, and other lightweight clothes that pack up compactly. Fortunately I never need anything formal, so that makes it easier. I can manage most places with jeans, shirt, jacket etc. Afternoon tea at The Ritz is never gonna happen! Shoes are the problem, as you cannot go too long with just one pair. Solved that problem with Skechers Go Walk 2 shoes. These are life savers. So light, and squish up in the bag. The most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Wear my heavy shoes, and have those for walking around sightseeing etc. The last trip I used a Samsonite 72hour Spinner. As I have a walking stick, being able to wheel that round the airports was a godsend, and my smaller personal bag just sat on top. I recently got a Travelon Bag Bungee for future trips. Would have liked it on the US trip.

    Years ago I used to travel with up to 40kgs of luggage - suitcases themselves were heavy in those days, before you even put stuff in them! I can remember how hard it was to move around, waiting at carousels, struggling with trains, buses, taxis etc, etc. The Tube in London used to be a nightmare. Never again. You have no freedom or flexibility, especially when you have to move quickly.
  19. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
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    I/we have gradually reduced the amount of luggage carried. Depending on circumstances we I can go hand luggage or have a small checked bag. Having said that I haven't specifically gone out and bought clothes to make the exercise easier.

    Early last year our daughter, husband, 11yo and 5yo set off travelling the world housesitting and with no checked baggage. Now 14 months and 12 days later they are in Mexico and only recently checked a bag on a Mexican LCC and it went missing for quite a few days. TI actually bought them a bunch of new clothes before the errant bag return from its little side holiday.

    Prior to travel they spent a lot of time researching appropriate Backpacks and clothes for the journey. Kathmandu did very well out of them before they left. There story is here if you are interested. No Set Address with section on 'How to travel with carry on only'.
  20. russianrob

    russianrob Member

    Nov 8, 2005
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    I am currently on a 6 week trip around the world with HLO travelling from autumn (south) to spring (north) that has 2 longish stop overs. I have the max sized wheel on, only 2 wheels and external handle that does NOT intrued into case, and a Laptop back pack. I know that I am over weight, but have successfully made it through 8 flights so far without being asked to check the roll on (It weighed 9.5kg when I left but 1kg was gifts, so now 8.5kg at turn point).
    I have 2 pairs of shoes within case (Brown formal and blue casual) filled with 4jocks and 4socks, thongs, 2 long trousers (1 formal blue, 1 chinos Latte), speedos, 5 shirts (3 long/2 short/1 white 2 bluish colours 2 checks), 2 white Polo shirts, 1 MD quick dry smart/casual shorts (latte), 1 running shorts/swimmers and top (ultra light weight and qk dry, in outside pocket of case), medicines/scripts/glass script, 1 very light 4 point power board including usb points and 1 multi adapter (fits in one shoe (PB will be ditched if weighed), folded rain poncho (outside pocket), fold up umbrella (which will be ditched if weighed), 2 clear plastic bags with 100gm toothpaste/tooth brush/50gm deodorant/50gm wax/shaving gel/ 2 razors/ one sashete shampoo (I buy and ditch anything else as I go).
    I wear Asic runners with sports socks, obviously jocks, Jeans, long sleeve blue checked shirt, have a thin jumper blue I tie around my waist or wear, plus a Mountain Designs windproof jacket Blue that is smart/casual and that has both external and internal pockets for carrying passport, main phone, wallet (multi currencies, 2 credit cards,1 visa 1 mastercard) and international license, reading glasses, house/car key. Sunglasses on my face/head. You can see I have been well covered for all situations clothes wise, as I refuse to pay 5* washing prices and needed enough clothes to last until long stop overs where I could wash. If I needed a formal jacket I would just substitute the MD jacket. I am not afraid to ditch socks jocks polos etc as soiled, as so cheap to buy these days. Oh and I'm a folder not a roller :)
    My packpack holds my full size laptop and charger (if carrying a data disc it's in the machine), spare Samsung phone with 2 sims (one worldwide, one for local sim), phone charger (does both if I need to ditch powerboard), 2000ap reserve power (for phones-both phones samsung), 1gb storage/movies laptop backup and 1 64gb USB with electronic copies of all travel documents including every page of passport (backup of a backup), 2 magazines and 2 novels (can be swapped and or/ditched), 1 spare socks/jocks to change inflight or on airport delays/cancellations, 2 plastic pens and small notepad, 1 micro led torch, diary with 1xUS100 and 1x100 Euro separate from wallet, hard copy of flights/hotels/visas, Bose noise cancelling headphones (with new battery every long haul), small ziploc bag with ear plugs/face mask/tooth brush/paste (+sleeping tabs) as not all airlines provide them in E or even PE (looking at you Lufthansa).
    Packback weighs between 4-6kgs depending on books
    I can use the same carryon winter or summer, so on getting home wash and repack immediately so I'm ready to go. Only difference in full winter to summer is I carry an overcoat over my arm (mail it home if nesc)
    Certainly do-able year-round with 2 colours for 6 weeks multi-stop, even easier if you only do black!
    Easiest of all if you are only doing one destination with zero stopovers

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