Packing carry-on only means packing light. This is difficult for a lot of people, but trust me it’s worth it. Here’s why: 1. if you have to catch connecting flight you can literally bolt off the first plane and to the next knowing that you have all your goods. Ahh, that feels good. 2. If you are on an international flight and connecting to another one, you will have to go through immigration with your carry on, then go get your checked bag(s), heft it over to customs, go through customs, heft it some more and rescreen it with security… then you have to go through ANOTHER security check, no shoes and all. So you’re looking at: Lines, waiting, stress, more lines, more waiting, more stress, and more lines. 3. You never have to wait at the carousel for your checked baggage. 4. You feel like a Boss! Carry-on only packing can save you hours in the airport depending on how long the immigration line is, how long the airline takes to unload your baggage, how long it takes to get on the carousel, and how long it takes you to get it off the carousel.
Here’s how I pack carry on only, even for international flights!
Here’s my actual carry on for a 1 week vacation, here’s how I do it:
1. Make a List
I do not know about you guys, but I am the type that thinks best as I am falling asleep. I keep my iPhone next to my bed (charging) at night. I have a “Reminder” list set up for my packing for a trip and keep a running list as I think of things while falling asleep… which I always do! Then when I am ready to pack I finish my list and start laying things out. I make sure to pack the day after laundry day so that I have all the clothing I need for my trip washed and ready to pack to ensure that outfits work together and this way nothing gets forgotten because I did not grab it out of the wash!
2. Pack Layers
I pack tops and bottoms that are all interchangeable and therefore work double duty. This is a MUST. Tops that work with two bottoms, bottoms that work with multiple tops… that way my outfits look different but my space is keep at a minimum. Short sleeves and tanks work perfectly during the day and can be dressed up or warmed up at night with the addition of a cardigan. I am a total cardi hoarder. You can never have too many …at home… not in the carry on, the carry on is all about finding things that work together, so let’s stick with a black cardi and call it good, shall we? The name of the layering game is mix-and-match… so pack separates that coordinate – tanks and tops, skirts, and shorts.
3. Roll your clothes
A girlfriend told me this tip years ago and I can say: it decreases your volume by about 1/3 and your clothes stay unwrinkled because there are no creases (folds) to jack them up. Genius.
4. Pack a “checked bag” for the flight home
You’re gonna buy stuff, so plan ahead, bring this bag for all your dirty clothes and then check this bag (which is usually free) and put your souvenirs in your carry on luggage… if my dirty clothes get lost by the airlines for a few days, whatever… I am already back home, and all the delicate breakables and valuables I have gathered on my trip are with me in my carry-on during the flight so I do not even worry about them getting nabbed by a sticky-fingered security agent – this did happen, to my carry-on, at security. Wireless computer mouse – vanished. Sad day.
5. You can take a backpack/computer bag and purse too.
Purse: Wallet, passport, keys, phone, camera, plane tickets, Bible (which you guys saw in this post).
Backpack: Laptop & charger, phone charger, neck pillow, ear plugs, sweater, wrap, make-up, hairbrush, toothbrush, liquids in plastic bag, snacks, empty water bottle.
Carry-On: 2 long-sleeve tops, 3 tank tops, cardigan, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 long skirt, 2 sundresses, bathing suit, pjs, bras, panties, jewelry, hat, scarf, travel hair dryer, round brush, hair straightener, flip-flops, clutch, book, gifts for others, checked bag.
What I wear on the plane: Tank top, jeans, socks, running shoes, sweater/jacket.
How do you pack?