How To Pack A Carry-On For One Week

Secrets On How To Fit Everything In A Carry-On For One Week!

Yes, it is possible. Trust me. I mastered the art of fitting everything in a carry-on for one week away during my corporate days. The days when arriving at the airport two hours before a flight or waiting at the luggage carousel at the final destination meant more hours added to my work week. And let’s be honest, nobody wants to be away from home longer than they need to unless you’re on vacation. Now that I am on a permanent vacation I thought I’d share my secrets on how to fit everything in a carry-on for one week! And no, there is no need to sacrifice your beauty routine or your fashion sense.

Want To Travel Light? Plan Ahead.

Forget about last minute packing and throwing everything you own in a suitcase because you can’t be bothered to plan your outfits. Unless you have a glam squad like Erika Girardi from The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills, there’s no reason to pack like you’re fleeing the country forever. While this requires a little more preparation, think of all the time you’ll save trying to figure out what to wear. Or even worst, avoid forgetting an essential piece of clothing that’ll mess up your entire look! *Gasp*

Carry-On Only Packing List

First, get all your laundry or dry cleaning done a few days before your trip. This way you don’t panic about not having that one article of clothing you had your heart set on wearing.

Second, grab a sheet of paper or your phone and list all the days you’ll be away. Then make a note of what you’ll be doing on those days; beach, fine dining, touring? These all require very different outfits, so careful planning will help you avoid packing unnecessary items. Keep in mind that today's trends allow you to look put together and stylish without having to overdo it. I have no issue wearing dressy sneakers to a fine dining establishment and have done so on many occasions. #zerofucksgiven

Carry-On Packing List Example (For Women)

Beach Getaway

  • 3-4 Bathing suits
  • Three Bathing Suit Cover Ups
  • Two Dresses
  • 3 Skirts
  • One Pant
  • 5-6 Tops
  • Light Jacket/Blazer
  • Dressy Sneaker
  • 2-3 Pairs of Sandals
  • Clutch for evening
  • Undergarments
  • TSA Approved Toiletries Bag
  • Non-Liquid Make-up Pouch
  • Hair Brush

City Getaway

  • Five pairs of pants and/or skirts
  • One Dress
  • 6-7 tops
  • Light Jacket/Blazer
  • Dressy Sneaker
  • Dressy Shoe/Booty
  • Clutch for evening
  • Heel (if necessary)
  • Undergarments
  • TSA Approved Toiletries Bag
  • Non-Liquid Make-up Pouch
  • Hair Brush

(These lists do not include what you are wearing to travel: shoes, purse/tote bag (fits more “extras” *wink, wink*, winter coat (if needed) etc..)

Lastly, try everything on! It may make sense in theory but unless you’ve worn it before make sure it fits and coordinates well. Take a picture with your phone as you try everything on. This way you can refer back to your outfits in case you get sudden bursts of amnesia. Repeat all these steps for all family members; children and in most cases spouses.

Some people like to use packing cubes; I don't see the need. As long as you have shoe covers and use the side of your luggage with the zippered divider for clothes and the other for products, shoes and accessories, you can go without.

Travel Size TSA Approved Toiletries List

Ditch the day drag look while on vacation or forever. The latter would be preferable. Pack a pair of sunglasses and become an instant 10. If there’s no sun, don’t worry!  There are a ton of photo-editing apps to fix facial imperfections. Sarcasm aside, one doesn’t need much to look put together. This is coming from someone who has a pretty strict beauty regimen. Opt for powders, get travel sized perfumes, toothpaste and mascaras. The rest can easily go into silicon cream jars or leak-proof squeezable travel bottles.

A few of my favourites: Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder | Prada Candy Rollerball Roll-On Eau De ParfumBuxom Lash Mascara Mini Travel Size |

Not having all your beauty products is the perfect excuse to get a facial. A facial is a perfect way to stay hydrated and keep your skin looking wonderful. Opt for a hydrating facial and if you can do one before bed, even better! Your carry-on luggage will also thank you.

Another travel hack is individually packed hydrating masks that don’t count as liquids and take no room! Pack a few of those, slap one on the airplane or at any time throughout your trip; preferably before bed.

Skip The Shampoo, Get A Blowout And Take A Carry-On

How To Pack A Carry-On

At the risk of sounding gross, I will confess that I only wash my hair twice a week. I happen to be one of those lucky few whose hair doesn’t get oily after a day, or two, or even three. We can’t all be perfect. [insert sarcasm here] And, I also really suit a ponytail. Who wants to waste time blow drying their hair while on vacation anyways?! And don’t get me started on the shitty blow dryers most hotels provide. Solution: Get a blowout! Blow-dry bars are pretty much everywhere nowadays. I did a little bit of research, and the prices range from USD 35-50 in major cities around the world. Worth every penny if you ask me!

Get A KeraStraight Treatment

If you’re like me, stepping off an airplane in a humid climate is all it takes for my hair to look like Anne Hathaway’s hair in Princess Diaries before she finds out she’s a princess. This was until I discovered the Kerastraight Treatment. Now warm climates are no longer synonymous with bad hair days! Even the shitty hotel blowdryers do the job, or you can be extra adventurous and let your hair airdry.

Hotel Laundry Service

Hotel Laundry Service How To Pack A Carry-On For One Week
Hotel Laundry Service How To Pack A Carry-On For One Week
Hotel Laundry Service How To Pack A Carry-On For One Week

Another tip for travelling light is to use the hotel laundry service. Yes, this means you may have to repeat an outfit but let’s be honest, nobody cares! Leave your laundry in the provided laundry bag, select the service you’d like and it will the returned that same day or within 24h (in most cases).

Carry-on Travel Bags

Not all carry-on luggage is created equal, and size DOES matter. There are so many different models out there, but I can vouch for two that I’ve personally tried. Tumi Tegra Lite Max International Expandable Carry-on fits more than the average and the Delsey Luggage Aero Frame Expandable 21 Inch Spinner is a more affordable option. Both expand, so if you happen to do a little bit of shopping, you don’t have to walk away from that pair of shoes you fell in love with. Disclosure: the extra items purchased may require you to check in your bag on the way back. But ask yourself this: “Are those shoes really worth it?” The answer is obviously yes.

Buy It When You Get There

Most luxury hotels provide sunscreen and insect repellent, so there is no need to pack these items. If they don't, there is always the overpriced option at the gift shop, or you can stop by a local pharmacy. Duty-free also offers a wide selection of products that you can purchase while you wait for your flight. I always leave any oversized liquids behind for the hotel staff which means your carry-on stays with you on the way back. That is unless you spotted a cool pair of shoes which resulted in having to expand your luggage.

Packing A Carry-On Means No Lost Luggage

Packing a carry-on also means you don’t run the risk of your bag not making it to your final destination. Not only do you save time at the airport but you can rest assured that your designer frocks don’t end up in someone else’s hands. I’ve always wondered if an airline would believe the value of my non-carry-on luggage’s content… That said, no checked bags whenever possible! Especially if you have a connecting flight!

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Related:

Luxury Travel Gifts For The Globetrotter On Your List

Survive Long Haul Flights With These 15 Tips

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5 Comments

  1. That’s awesome!!! Congrats on the award hun!!

  2. Last weekend I went on my first solo trip (read: no kids) for the first time in six years. I literally giggled the entire time I packed because I was able to fit everything in my large tote bag and never had to hassle with the baggage check process. These are really great tips!! (I kinda wish I would have read this last week!!) 😉 Hopefully it won’t be another six years before my NEXT solo trip!!

  3. Packing carry-on only is life changing! I prefer it SO much over checking a bag. I’ll be packing for one week in only a personal item soon!

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