How to travel three weeks in a carry on – packing like a boss



Well the time has come finally! We are heading out tonight and I have finished packing! I have been on a serious countdown and dreaming about all the GELATO …. er I mean museums right? A quick little re-cap of the trip is we are away for three weeks, visiting two countries, and I am packing all of my clothes in a carry on sized bag . . . YES you heard it right! I managed to get critical with myself and be quite strategic about what I am bringing. I thought what better timing than today to share a post with you on packing tips and tips for the plane 🙂


How to pack three weeks in your carry on:

    1. Get mini containers – there is no need to bring full size! I understand and I am the same way, there are products that I use daily that to be honest I just don’t want to be without. I would be packing these with me even if I was going camping. The thing is though, that generally those containers are HUGE! Those shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, lotions etc etc will take up the entire content space of that cute carry on you’re bringing with you. Tip – head yourself on over to the dollar-store or Amazon and get some containers like these. I got mine at Dollarama and there were a few dollars total.  They will save HEAPS of space and now I don’t need to freak out, I can bring my purple shampoo! The other quick tip in this area is try and buy the travel sized versions of the items. Go back to that dollar-store or head to the drug store and get the itsy-bitsy hair spray and deodorant. I know some things are not big to begin with but every little bit of space counts!

2.Roll it up – This is an area of debate among travellers but I am definitely on side with rolling – roll those clothes! This way your clothes won’t be as wrinkly when you get there (as long as you were careful when rolling) and I find that you can roll the clothes SUPER tight and again save space. I didn’t use them this time but if you like you can also compress clothing even more by using large ziplock bags and squeezing out the air. Just keep in mind that every single time you pack (which depends on how many stops you have) you will need to go through the WHOLE process again (rolling, bagging, compressing, packing). I figured it was easier to just tightly roll 🙂

3.PLAN –  THIS IS KEY!!! NOTE THIS DOWN. I think this tip is especially important for us people who like to have clothing options when traveling. Perhaps if you are one of those people that doesn’t care much of what you’re wearing then not as key, but I’d argue still useful. Okay –  so for this one I challenge you to keep it as SIMPLE as possible. You will only bring a small selection, but plan it well so it a) creates outfits that are already prepped for you and b) items that are able to mix and match. The process goes like so: Create a pile of clothing you could see yourself bringing, run through the pile a few times and each time take out a couple pieces you can live without (DON’T think you will wear those shorts if you haven’t worn them since two years ago, your trip is not going to inspire you and they will be a waste of space in the suitcase). After doing this a few times, select your few outfits and lay them out and take a picture on your phone. I realize this takes time but you will thank me later 😉 When you take these pictures get down to the details, add the hat you will wear with it and add the necklace. When you get up early to go visit the Vatican and realize your knees AND shoulders need to be covered you’re good to go! You thought of this already! All you have to do is take a quick glance of your pictures and you know what you’re wearing 🙂 I tested this out in Washington DC and it worked like a charm 🙂 Let me know in the comments below if you have tried this too (pros/cons/improvements?) See below for my “capsule wardrobe” for Italy. (Side tip: Save some extra space in your bag for things you will buy, I know I will!)



4. Wash it – This one is funny as I find myself in this trap all too often. I am packing and I think well, we are gone for X days I need X outfits. Guess what, most places in the world have figured out how to wash    clothing 🙂 Likely if you’re at a B&B/Hotel/AirBnB there will be washing facilities on site, and if not, yes it is a wee bit inconvenient but there are always laundromats. Side note – if you’re traveling somewhere like Asia you can normally find services to pick up and drop off your laundry. That is what I did when I lived in Bangkok 🙂

5. For everything else theres . . . – Here we are, the catch all . Whatever you can’t fit in the carry on or perhaps don’t feel like carrying the whole time (umbrella anyone?) you can get it there!!! What would you   prefer: lugging around a huge umbrella for three weeks and getting no rain at all OR. . . realize on a stroll in Florence that its beginning to rain, duck into a shop and get a little cheapie and give it away afterwards. No need to weigh yourself down. My comment always as I leave for a trip is as long as I have my wallet and my passport I am fine 🙂

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Guys, I am super excited to head out and I hope you guys found these tips useful! Check out also  tips on how to fly in comfort even if you’re in coach 🙂 Also be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat to join in the Italian adventures for the next weeks!!!

Happy travels!


*Photos by Dave Starrett and his Instagram here



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