Ah, yes. No packing series would be even near complete without the mention of mastering the art of the carry-on. When it comes to carry-on travel, the thing I really fear the most is getting my toiletries right, not so much my clothes. I’m going to go through step-by-step the method to the madness that is travelling with a carry-on. It really is SO much more convenient and can guarantee that you’ll have less time waiting around a baggage claim carousel.
Be strategic about what you wear on the plane
What you wear on the plane can provide you immense opportunities to lighten your carry-on load and make spacing more efficient in your suitcase. I recommend to wear any heavier jacket on the plane. This comes in handy as an added pillow or blanket when the airplane temps get chilly. I also recommend to wear your athleisure gear on the airplane in order to avoid having to pack chunky tennis shoes in your bag. There’s also something about walking around airports in your most supportive shoes that makes me feel extremely comfortable. Go for comfort on the plane and add in edgy elements with your jacket if you’d like to spice up your athletic look to be more in the loungewear chic direction.
**Jewelry: Always, always, always pack your jewelry into your purse or tote that you’re taking on the plane; I just always like to have it as close as possible to me if I’m not wearing the pieces I brought on the flight. But this is also another opportunity to simplify and wear jewelry on the plane that you could be happy with each of your proposed outfits for your trip. Or opt for studs on the plane and bring one pair of statement earrings in your bag to add some oomph to less casual outfits.
Attempt to predict your activities (as best as you can)
As hard as this can be, most of the time we leave for trips with at least a vague idea of what our itinerary might hold. If you have somewhat of an idea of what you’ll be doing on your trip, you’ll be able to determine what you’d like to wear for those activities in order to feel the most comfortable. I used to be too idealistic in my packing thinking that I’d want to be in anything other than my basics for vacation activities. Comfort does not, I repeat does not, mean you have to sacrifice style. The key to avoid overpacking a carry-on is to pack versatile basics. Think of the trust and comfort you find in your basics as well as their ability to be the foundation to more than just one killer outfit. I recommend to bring
- V-neck tees: (long sleeve or short sleeve): rely on your tees to keep you comfortable and able to layer easily; throw on a jean jacket or leather jacket over your tee to spice up the look for nighttime
- Slip-on sneakers: comfortable for lots of walking, easy to throw on with many looks, brings an edge to a basic look
- Black Leggings: this is one of those scenarios in which I’m saying I wouldn’t judge someone if she used her black workout leggings as the basic foundation of daytime, non-workout looks on her trip; you’d have one less pair of jeans to roll up and pack if you choose this option!
Bring 3 tops for 1-2 pairs of pants/skirt with 1 pair of shoes (Think 3…2…1…)
These recommendations really center around nighttime dressing for dinners, nights on the town, etc. Let a trusted pair of white, black, or blue jeans be the foundation of your nighttime looks or styled daytime outfits. Shirts take up less space when packing than shoes or jeans. That’s why I’m allowing a bit more variety here in your shirt or blouse choices. Pick 3 (maybe 4) tops that you’d be comfortable wearing either out at night or during the day. This will give you the opportunity to pack more seasonal or trendy items; with a solid foundation of jeans and your favorite pair of wedges, for example, your style-savvy pieces will really get to do all the talking. Trust me, there really is no need to pack more than 2 pairs of jeans (or 1 pair of jeans, 1 skirt) for a trip! Save yourself the space.
Don’t try to pack your entire stock of makeup
I cannot tell you the number of times I have lugged along a massive eyeshadow palette on a trip and done my eyeshadow maybe two times. Not to mention how I used to (okay maybe still do on occasion) pack about 10 different lipsticks with me, you know, just in case. With varying daily schedules and changing amounts of time to primp in the mornings, you’re most likely going to be sticking to the basics. Bring along foundation/tinted moisturizer, concealer, blush, one trusted eyeshadow (or use a contour duo as an eyeshadow duo as well – my favorite here). This way you’ll avoid the pressure or guilt for not giving extraneous makeup the attention it needs for this trip. Less is more, trust me. As far as skincare goes, stick to the items that will bring your skin moisture since flights can be very drying. For more details on what I pack when it comes to skincare and hair products, read my post here!
Invest wisely in your carry-on suitcase
Carry on suitcases are small but (can be) quite mighty. Just because it’s a smaller suitcase doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality. Now I wouldn’t recommend spending over $125 on your carry-on, but definitely ensure that you’re receiving a quality luggage partner for the price you’re paying. I always prefer carry-on suitcases with four wheels and that are wide enough on top for me to set my purse or tote down if my shoulders get tired.
On a Spring Break note: I know that many Spring Breakers are either on Spring Break now or will be taking flight within the next week! I’m linking some last minute Spring Break essentials below that you can’t leave behind. I made sure to link items that you’ll be able to get ASAP via Amazon Prime.
- Portable charger: You can’t always rely on plugs being available in the airport or on the slopes/beach!
- Passport, wallet, boarding pass organizer: This has a place for everything – why haven’t I had this in my life until now?
- Tan Towels: To get that last minute glow if you’re heading to the beach!
- Chapstick: This one is for sure necessary on the slopes or after hours in the sun.
- Sunscreen: No matter where you’re going, sunscreen is necessary
- Bags for wet or dirty clothes: Nobody wants damp bathing suits or stanky workout clothes wreaking havoc on the other clothes in your suitcase. Prevent that from happening with these bags that’ll also make packing up to come home easier and more organized!
- Micellar Water for Makeup Remover: This micellar water wipes away everything and can be used on a tissue or cotton pad if available. If you want to get a deep clean after a long day out or of traveling, rely on this removal technique.