The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light – Book Review

I don’t typically read non-fiction. I read for leisure and prefer curling up on a hammock or laying out on the sand and getting lost in a story. There is one big exception to that preference; guide books! I can pore over a guide book for just about anywhere, reading it from cover to cover and back again, looking for tidbits I’d missed or learning about the history and culture of a new place. Though I don’t usually read non-fiction I am (obviously) obsessed with all things travel and so was ecstatic to be chosen as a beta reader for “The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light” by Erin McNeaney (of Never Ending Voyage). The Carry-On Traveller is a complete guide for the art of packing, for any length of time and to any climate, with just one carry-on bag.

Reading on the Beach

One of the questions that Tom and I get asked the most is, “how have you been traveling for over five years with just one carry-on bag each?” When I point people to our own packing list post I’ll often get feedback like, “well that works for you, but I wear make-up, travel in cold weather climates, need camping gear,” or “that is way too much computer gear!” There is not much I can tell these people because though I know what works for Tom and me, I certainly don’t know about all these other special cases!

Enter Erin’s ‘guide to packing light,’ a book that promises to answer these questions and many more. Not only does Erin’s book accomplish what it says it will, answering any question that I have been asked about carry-on travel, but it also answers questions I never even thought to ask!

The Carry On Traveller The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light

Erin writes about the intricacies of packing from beginning to end and covers dozens of “special cases.” I also really enjoyed the interviews with different types of travelers who travel carry-on only, and not just because one of them is with us! She interviews a family, a fashionista, a makeup lover, a retiree, and an artist, just to name a few. The book also comes with access to a packing resources web page featuring exclusive discounts and a downloadable packing list template.

I think the “The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light” is a great tool whether you are planning on traveling for a week or a year. It is a practical guide that is easy to relate to and I am sure will help even the most seasoned of travelers pare down their possessions. Even after traveling with just a carry-on for five years I felt inspired to go through my bag after reading her book, taking out a few of the items I had “just in case” to drop another kilo from my bag.


When Tom and I first left on our adventure I read Erin’s packing posts with a religious fervor. Here was a couple who (at that time) had been traveling for a whole year and seemed to have the packing thing down to a science. Five years later, after six years of location independent living in over 30 countries with just a carry-on backpack Erin and her partner, Simon are indubitably the experts and it shows in her book.


The Carry-On Traveller is available for the Kindle on the Amazon store for U.S. $4.99 and may be available on other platforms in Summer 2016. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can read the book on the free Kindle app that’s available for any laptop, smartphone, or tablet.



I think of California as officially "home" but can usually be found a lot closer to the equatorial belt. After finishing a Masters program in 2011 I found myself trying to decide between a couple of different high-powered career options. I decided I wasn't quite ready to "grow up" and went with an entirely different plan which involved selling off everything I owned with my partner Tom and buying a one-way ticket to Colombia. Our plan was to travel "Till The Money Ran Out" and then go home to start our grown-up lives. Instead, we started our own app development company on the road and have been criss-crossing the globe, traveling, working, eating spicy food and refusing to "grow up" ever since. You can find me on Twitter, , Facebook or send me a message using our About Us page.

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