I Hate Baggage Fees So I Went To Iceland With Only a Backpack


So you find a ridiculously cheap flight and your first thought is, “what’s the catch?”

I’ll tell you the catch: they charge for your carry-on and checked bags.

This happened to me a couple months ago, except this time, I decided “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” I booked a round-trip to Iceland for $270 – and let’s be honest, you can’t fly domestically that cheaply – and I was ecstatic. Until I got to the checkout screen which listed the various fees for each type of bag option.


Could I BE wearing any more clothes?!

So knowing that I’d only be gone 4 nights, I decided to save myself $80 and take what was allowed for free – a 17x14x10 inch backpack.

Upon my return I can honestly report back that my cheap-person travel “hack” totally worked! Granted, I might have looked a bit like Joey from Friends on the flight home, but hey, I used my savings for some pretty epic experiences.

Here’s how I packed for a 4 day adventure trip to Iceland with just a personal item:

Realize you don’t need extra shoes


OK I’ve been known to walk out of DSW with about five pairs of clearance shoes in hand – needless to say I’m a massive shoe gal. But guess what? They don’t fit when you’re packing light. Decide on a pair of shoes that will get you through the trip and wear those on the plane. In my case, it was a cute pair of Sorel boots that were perfect for hikes, strolls, and warmth.

In that same vein, you don’t need extra accessories or handbags. First, you don’t want to make yourself a target for theft by wearing lavish jewelry. Secondly, save the space in your bag to bring home a souvenir or two.

They see me rollin’…

Turn your clothing into little burritos and save a ridiculous amount of space! I’m serious. Rolling your clothes is the way to go when you’re trying to pack light. And bonus – you’ll come out pretty darn wrinkle-free!

Don’t be afraid to rewear items


What are the odds you’ll run into the same person twice, let alone run into someone you know? Slim to none. No one will care what you’re wearing while taking in the sights of your trip, so you shouldn’t either! Make sure your clothing is easy to mix and match, sturdy, and versatile – you don’t need a new outfit every single day and you can easily wear that same sweater with either jeans or leggings.

What I packed*:

  • 2 Cable knit sweaters
  • 2 Long sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 Pairs of fleece leggings
  • 5 Pairs of wool socks
  • 1 Tank top
  • Toiletry/makeup bag
  • Underwear
  • Selfie stick
  • Chargers/electronics pouch
  • Snacks

* I wore jeans, a fleece pullover sweatshirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, coat, beanie, and boots on the plane. Hey – you can always take layers off and use them as a blanket or a pillow!

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