Packing for the Arctic Circle – 6 Flights, 2 destinations in ONE carry-on

I used to think I love packing, and I did. Until my last trip to Thailand where I had a 37 kg baggage allowance. Yes, you read that correctly.

Of course I took advantage of that and filled my luggage with all unnecessary items, from dresses to swimsuits I never used. During my 15 days stay in Thailand I had to repack my bags at least 5 times, it was so exhausting and so time consuming to the point I was annoyed. But it made me think of my extreme minimalist packing style, it made me remember the time I packed for WINTER (-20C) and all my clothes fit in just one carry-on. 

Now let’s go back some months ago, when I planned my trip to the Arctic Circle. I found some cheap flights and good connections so I immediately booked them (I have no second thoughts when it comes to booking flights)… who else is like me?

There is only one problem – the round trip had a total of 6 flights and each flight had a different luggage policy so I decided to fly only with a 10kg check-in bag.

Yes, I’m that crazy! Before you say anything, I was aware that without adequate cold weather gear the expedition would be without a doubt compromised… however when it comes to packing I’m an absolute expert.

Here is my packing list and my packing secret – I also spent 2 days in Helsinki so everything needed to fit in the same carry-on.

The packing List:

Clothes

  • thermal long underwear
  • pyjama
  • one jacket – TIP: Choose a jacket with inside pockets that are big enough for you phone, go pro, wallet
  • waterproof ski jacket
  • waterproof ski pants
  • leggings and trousers to wear under the ski pants
  • blouses and sweaters for layering
  • bathing suit
  • normal socks to layer up and wool socks
  • waterproof ski gloves
  • normal gloves
  • one wool scarf
  • a woolen hat
  • a trapper hat with ear flaps that buckle under your chin to keep your ears extra warm

Shoes

  • waterproof boots
  • flip flops
  • sneakers

Toiletries

  • Shampoo in small 100ml container
  • hair mask (I usually buy one hairmask that will fit perfectly in my carry-on, it is so much simpler and you can throw it away after one use making more room in your luggage)
  • sheet mask – same principle
  • moisturiser – as much as I hate to bring lots of creams with me, this is a must have when traveling somewhere cold
  • sunscreen – just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t get a sunburn.
  • makeup
  • deodorant
  • chopstick
  • makeup remover
  • micellar water
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • deodorant, perfume
  • vitamins
  • medicine
  • pain relievers

Miscellaneous

  • wallet
  • keys
  • notepad
  • pen
  • tissues
  • a small bag
  • sunglasses
  • hand and toe warmers (they literally take up a minimal space in your suitcase and also a lifesaver for cold weather)

Electronics

  • external batteries
  • camera
  • go pro
  • memory cards
  • headphones
  • chargers

Believe it or not, I managed to fit everything in my carry-on bag.

Are you familiar with the Rock, Pebbles and Sand analogy/ Metaphor? well this is what I use for packing, not to mention I occasionally adopt the sit-on-the-suitcase method.

My favourite packing method is the military style roll, that combined with packing cubes will reduce the volume in your bag significantly.

After traveling with a heavy bag, I learned my lesson, I will never complain about taking less stuff with me on a trip. I survived the coldest winter vacation having all my clothes in a carry-on, believe me, it’s not that bad.

Would you rather travel light or with a heavy luggage?

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