Travel Packing Essentials: Your Carry-On



Husband and I are firm believers in traveling light.  Not only does it cut down on costs (checking luggage can be expensive), but it cuts down on time (both before the flight and at baggage claim).  Also, it cuts down on just worrying and hassle.  I have everything I need in my one piece of carry-on luggage and my personal item (I go into detail on what’s in my personal item later this week).

In the graphic: Dress // Tank Tops // Cardigan // Skirt // Shorts // Pants // Flats // Heels // Bracelet // Clutch // Necklace // Cube System // Woolite // Jewelry Organizer 

In summary, you need:

  1. a dress that can transition from day to night
  2. basic/tank tops in fun colors
  3. neutral cardigan
  4. comfortable bottoms that can go with most tops
  5. keep to a bare minimum with shoes and accessories

For the most part, I go with the following rule: 1 pair should be a comfortable day shoe. 1 pair should be for the nights and special occasions. 1 pair should be specific to your trip. For instance, a water shoe, rain boots, sneakers, etc. This just depends on your activities and the climate of your location. Flip flops are also nice to just have for walking around hotels, airports, plane, etc and they take up very little room.

For accessories, just try your best to use the same accessories for a good amount of outfits. Realistically, during the day you won’t be wearing too much anyways. An envelope clutch is an easy to store item (since it lays flat!) that can be added in your luggage for night time.  For more extensive tips on packing stylishly and lightly, you can check out this post of mine.

For tools you need to pack lightly, I love Cube systems for packing in my carry on, which is a Ricardo hard case spinner.  I use a jewelry organizer with velvet or felt lining to help prevent chains getting tangled.  Also, Oxi Clean is by far the best on the go stain remover I’ve come across.  I typically use just soap and water to do a quick wash in the sink at the hotel, but you can also get dedicated laundry detergent to pack in your bag.

For liquids, remember it’s 3-1-1.  Most people don’t realize that last “1” stands for one bag per person.  Some airports don’t care, but some actually are strict on it and I learned the hard way because my hometown airport (Atlanta) never cared.  I think it may be smaller airports, but I have learned to just use one bag for myself anyway (it’s hard because mascara and makeup need to be included in that!).

Lastly, just a quick picture of my carry-on luggage and my husband’s carry-on luggage.  We are currently doing Las Vegas, Yosemite, and Napa Valley for a cousin’s wedding and we fit husband’s suit, four dresses (one casual and three nice), lots of shoes (for the different wedding events, I did have to break my rule but I had the room to), all kinds of clothes, technology (tablets, chargers, etc) and all my photography gear (including a tripod) in our carry-on and personal items.  I’m always happy when I can get it all together and thought I would show you the results:

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