6 Ways to Become a Carry-On Only Travel Pro

August 27, 2015
By: Katie W.

Everyone loves a good, long two-week vacation… until you have to pack for one! If you’re like me you always end up bringing more than you need and stress about airline baggage fees (or lost bags) – but that’s easily fixed by bringing a carry-on size suitcase. Packing it all in a carry-on may seem next to impossible, but follow these some tips so you don’t sweat over your suitcase and can enjoy your trip.

  • When in doubt, roll it out!: My mom always told me that rolling your clothes would save room in your suitcase…and she was right! By doing this, you can also easily organize your suitcase by packing shirts on the left, dresses and bottoms on the right, etc.
  • Pack shoes on top: Limit yourself to 1-2 sandals, 1 pair flats and 1 pair wedges/heels if needed for your trip. Also save space by wearing bulky shoes on the plane (and they’re probably your workout shoes).
  • Bring multi-taskers: A.K.A. your favorite summer scarf that doubles as a sarong…and a pillow on the plane!
  • Plan outfits: Take the extra time to ensure EVERYTHING you bring serves a purpose. Do you really need that extra bright pink top you love? Probably not. Sticking to easy-to-mix-and-match neutrals and packing lots of dresses (they take up less room and are only 1 piece for your whole outfit!) are a good strategy.
  • Embrace your waves: If traveling abroad, just buy a cheap hairdryer, flat iron, curling iron etc. there. They are bulky and take up space, and you also won’t risk blowing out your favorite $150 one. Plus, top knots are so in right now and an easy solution for on-the-go hair.
  • Don’t be afraid to do laundry: Do some research and check out whether or not you’ll have access to washing machines (many AirBnBs do!) – or pack to-go travel detergent and hand-wash and hang-dry when you have down time. This way, you’ll only need to fit seven pairs of underwear instead of 14!

It takes a bit of commitment and planning, but if you set your mind to it, you’ll be less worried about the to-and-from and thoroughly enjoy your vacay.

What tricks have you used to pack small suitcases for long trips? Share in the comment box below!