Hi there! Ever pack for a trip in a carry-on? I do – every time pretty much! It’s hard but its something I have learned to do – and haven’t looked back since!! So you may be thinking – what exactly is the point? Why a carry-on? You’re a fashion blogger – don’t you need outfits?! So hear me out! Most of the time, our itinerary is all over the place. Most of our trips involve layovers, tight connections, and more than one location in our destinations. Have you ever tried to roll a suitcase over cobblestone only to have to carry it 87 steps to your villa? Lug a huge suitcase onto a crowded train? Carry a 50 pounds suitcase up 5 flights of stairs by yourself with no elevator option? Miss your connection and not have your bag make it? For allllll of these reasons, I decided that a carry-on life was the way to go, and now I can’t go back! Seriously, it has saved my butt in so many situations.
My carry-on strategy is as follows:
- Make a list of your must-haves – for me, I HAVE to have my camera, my tripod, and a travel steamer
- Limit your shoes. I take two pairs of sandals, one pair of heels/platforms, and one pair of tennis shoes.
- Strategize by wearing your bulky items on the plane – I wear my tennis shoes and my jacket
- Roll EVERYTHING. That is my secret – I am team roller all the way!
- Figure out multiple ways to wear one item. I back two-piece outfits that can become four options, one pair of jean shorts because they go with everything, and two purses I can wear with everything. Additionally, button-down blouses make easy pool coverups or can transform a dress by throwing it over top!
- Travel sized everything: when you pack in a carry-on, you are forced to take travel size. One item I don’t travel size is sunscreen so once I check in at the airport, I purchase sunscreen at the drugstore or my final destination.
- Pack inside of things. I shove items into the purses and hats that are in my carryon – don’t leave any space unused!!!
A few Q&A’s I always get….
So, when DOESN’T packing on a carry-on work?
Winter – I will say, I haven’t yet tried to pack for 7 days or more for a winter getaway. That would be a hard feat considering how bulky items are. The only time I have ever done a winter escape it was only for 5 days , which isn’t too hard!
Different seasons – Last year, we went from Croatia to Paris. The cultures and the weather were very, very different. I had a whole tropical wardrobe with bright colors for Croatia – it didn’t exactly translate for the 30 degree difference in Paris where everyone wears black lol. I ended up shopping to a few fall items and a jacket while I was there to fit in better.
Hiking – this would be a bit difficult because hiking boots and layers probably would overtake my entire carryon. We usually only do trips with light hiking (if any) so that’s not a factor for us.
Do you wash your clothes?
Yes. I also take a travel-sized amount of laundry detergent, or if we are staying in an Airbnb, they will provide it to us. We got desperate on a trip to Italy once, and a sink and detergent work okay if you are in a pinch and need to wash some clothes.
Do you buy stuff on your trips, and if so, how do you bring it back?
I rarely shop for souvenirs (I would rather spend money on once in a lifetime moments than stupid trinkets) so that is never really a problem for me. However, I did discover the amazing shopping in Portugal so I ended up leaving a pair of shoes and some old pajamas behind to make room for my new stuff. You can totally do this; I have even considered taking old tennis shoes on a trip, wearing then, and then leaving them behind to make room.
Let me know what you think! Are you convinced you can just use a carryon?