Save Yourself a Checked Bag Fee: Packing Tips From the Woman Who Traveled to 91 Countries With Just a Carry-On

If you’re anything like me, you travel by the “better to overpack than to forget something” code. Well, author and photographer Jill Paider has a PSA for us in her newest visual storybook, Carry-On Only: Confessions from 100 Countries. The photo documentary takes readers on a 100 country journey with Paider—91 of which she traveled with only her Calpak carry-on and Samsonite Underseater.

Documenting her worldwide journey through her camera lens, Jill’s constant movement requires her to choose wisely when packing to eliminate the burden of excessive luggage throughout her travels. So, although she may want to bring her childhood teddy along for good luck, some things just have to be left behind.

An avid traveler, Jill says her experience has taught her to pack smarter and lighter. She narrows her belongings down to the bare necessities, telling Travel + Leisure: “I start with a master checklist that I print out every time to be sure I have all the basics — vitamins, medications, toiletries, adaptors, chargers, etc. Then I think about what I’ll need based on climate, temperature, functions I’ll attend, and what I’ll be doing. Like most of us, I lay things out and then eliminate some as I go.”

For those of us preparing to ditch the snow for a warm climate and need an extra pinch of packing advice, Paider says, “less is more. You’ll make it easier on yourself if you edit before you travel. It will be simpler logistically getting through airports and hotels. Have outfits planned so that you’re not debating what to wear each morning as you dress. Embrace laundering as you go or use laundry service at your hotel. Edit your shoes, focusing on comfort. Don’t bring any shoes you can’t walk in comfortably.”

Check out the full interview over on Travel + Leisure.

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