Nothing ruins a vacation faster than getting off the plane in Bali and finding your luggage has been sent to Mali. Experienced travelers know that baggage problems occur with disarming regularity and that it can take days for the airline to reunite you with your finicky baggage (if they can find it).

There is one surefire way to keep your luggage from getting lost and potentially ruining your well-deserved getaway, however, and that is to do like a travel editor and become a carry-on queen (or king). Whether it’s embarking on a week-long vegan cruise, a 12-day foodie tour of Thailand, or a trip to Los Angeles for a long weekend, my packing strategy remains the same: one piece of hand luggage and one personal item. Together, this minimalist approach contains everything a plant-based traveler needs, and more. Granted, traveling light does take a bit of getting used to the types of kitchen sinks, but take it from a globetrotter pro – low-maintenance travel style is the ticket to zero mobility. stress. In other words, bringing only one piece of hand luggage and one personal item is exactly what you want on your next vacation. To help you navigate this uncharted territory, follow this packing roadmap, and your next getaway is guaranteed to be smooth sailing.

1. In the bag
Airlines have varying size restrictions for carry-on baggage, from the generous 24 x 16 x 10 at Virgin to the more restrictive 16 x 12 x 10 at discount carrier WOW. My own bag, a heavy vinyl thrift store find in Paris, measures 14 x 10 x 6 inches, which is about the size of an average woman’s purse. No pull handle and no wheels – just two straps, a zipper and a side pocket with enough room for a few Primal bands. Find your own compact, leatherless weekend bag and take it for a test drive on your next weekend getaway.

Pro tip: If you are traveling as a couple, share an airline approved carry-on baggage and take turns as bearer.

2. Cut toiletries
A fun strategy for an instant onboarding to a new location is to leave your shampoo bottles and toothpaste at home (squeeze enough on your travel toothbrush for an in-flight refreshment) and hunt for toiletries. a jet lag recovery activity. Wander the streets looking for the local supermarket or pharmacy, learn to read labels in a new language, and get familiar with the local currency, all in one hands-on exercise.

Pro tip: Sunscreen is a personal care item worth packing, as it almost always sells for higher prices in tourist destinations, where your favorite brand may not be available.

3. Dress up the shoes
Limiting yourself to a pair of shoes and a pair of flip flops is the toughest rule for most people. Depending on the type of trip, I make my set of shoes a pair of sporty flats, sneakers or clogs that can go from day to night. Give it a try, and if you really can’t live without that second pair, make “buying vegan shoes” one of your vacation activities.

Pro tip: Instead of more shoes, pack a second pair of sunglasses. Without a backup pair, you’re guaranteed to lose the ones you brought and pay a small fortune for emergency replacements.

4. Bottle behavior
I never leave the house without my trusty reusable water bottle because a fresh supply of H2O is essential to keep me hydrated (and to fight against jet lag). Bringing a water bottle is also better for the environment, because you take cups and plastic bottles out of the equation. So drink your water before going through security and fill it up at one of the water cooler filling stations near the bathrooms in many airport lounges before taking it with you when you explore. your vacation destination.

Pro tip: Save valuable carry-on space by carrying your water bottle in your hand when you board the plane.

5. Bags required
What were we doing before the invention of compact tote bags? They come in handy when you’re exploring the local markets and want to try all the amazing fruit for sale, or when you’re heading to the beach and need something to hold your vegan snacks, sunscreen, and towel. A reliable option is the Chico bag– it’s lightweight, crashes to the size of a small potato, and is sturdy enough to carry all your vegan groceries.

Pro tip: Do you find yourself with too many travel memories at the end of your trip? Use your compact bag as a “personal item” and fill your real purse in your bags with all your new gifts.

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