Metallic Midi Skirt + Black Cutout Top // How I Pack In Just A Carry On
I recently mentioned that I’ve only packed in a carry on for every two week, multiple country trip I’ve ever been on. I never thought it was that crazy until I received a mass of messages afterward from people asking me how I do it and to teach them. A couple people were even skeptical, but I really am that light of a packer. I think I’ve always been a natural since I used to spend the weekends at my father’s when I was a kid and I had a running checklist in my head. (Shoes, socks, underwear, skirt, shirt, pajamas...) I brought exactly what I needed, never more or less, and I guess that habit continued.
Packing in a carry on isn’t always ideal, especially for a long trip, but it makes traveling almost stress-free, minus the actual packing portion. You never have to worry about losing your luggage, there’s no wait time at the baggage carousel, and you don’t have to think about what to wear every morning of vacation. Changing cities is easy because your luggage is relatively lightweight and you can even keep it next to you when taking public transportation. Add the fact that you don’t have to pay luggage fees and you’ll never want to travel another way.
Here are my top ten tips for packing in a carry on:
- Plan your outfits based on your itinerary.
When I pack in a carry on, I plan every single outfit down to the earrings in advance, according to my travel itinerary. I count how many outfits I need for water sports, hiking, touring, going out… and create looks accordingly. Since our honeymoon will consist only of touring and going out, I will simply create 2 weeks worth of outfits good for that, keeping in mind rainy day looks for Amsterdam and romantic outfits for Paris.
- Choose versatile pieces.
I try not to bring anything that can only be worn once. For each skirt, I’ll bring at least 3 tee options and for each tee, I’ll bring at least two skirt options. It’s all about mixing and matching.
- White tees are your best friends.
When you feel yourself itching to pack extra outfits, grab a couple white t-shirts instead. They go with everything and it’s always good to have some backups in case one of your other shirts gets dirty. An extra black tee is also usually a good idea.
- Find the perfect LBD.
Instead of packing multiple going out looks, find a killer black dress that you can wear multiple times. Change up your hair and accessories each time to make it feel fresh.
- Write down each of your outfits in order of when you plan to wear them.
I literally write down every detail of my outfits so I don’t forget any part when getting dressed later. It allows me to wake up much later while on vacation and get ready very quickly. The easiest place to write down your looks is alongside your itinerary, but for a trip like my honeymoon that doesn’t require specific hiking gear for certain days, I’ll just be keeping a list of all touring outfits and crossing them off as I go. I will probably only save a few looks for specific days, like a pretty maxi dress when we visit the Amsterdam tulip fields.
- Narrow down your shoes.
Shoes take up the most room, so when I travel, I usually only bring two or three pairs with me. Crazy, I know. I’ll bring a black pair, a tan pair, and sandals for the beach depending where I’m going. I always make sure all my outfits match one or the other and I resist the urge to bring statement shoes that only go with a couple looks or heels for going out. Same goes with all accessories. Do you need a different pair of earrings for every outfit or do your gold hoops match everything? Since jewelry is small and you’ll be using different pieces to switch up your looks, you don’t have to be too stingy with yourself, but just make sure whatever you pack matches multiple outfits.
- Narrow down your bags.
Bags are also pretty bulky to pack, so pack as few as you need to go with all of your looks. I’ve gone on trips where I literally wore the same bag the entire time. It’s only two weeks after all. For our honeymoon though, I’ll probably bring a black bag, a pink bag, and a cute belt bag.
- Buy travel size everything.
It’s easy to overpack toiletries, so be realistic with what you need and then get small versions of everything. I pack my toiletry bags weeks in advance after thoroughly identifying which products I actually use in my day to day life. Turns out I don’t need that sewing kit, I can survive without a hair mask, and I’ll be okay with only one nail polish color for two weeks.
- Traveling is not the time to experiment with makeup.
I’ve been wearing my makeup the same way for probably over a year. That being said, I’ll be bringing the exact products I use on a daily basis, and nothing more. Maybe I’ll throw in a couple different lip colors and I’ll switch out my regular eyeshadow palette for a smaller one, but that’s it.
- Eliminate unnecessary bulk.
You have to be honest with yourself in terms of what you actually need. I never go anywhere without my computer, but do I really need to bring my laptop on my honeymoon? No! I do however need to be able to get the photos from my camera to my phone. I usually use my computer for that, but as a way to eliminate unnecessary bulk, I found an SD card reader that does the same thing. It was $12 off Amazon and is the size of a credit card.
As a fashion blogger, it will be harder than ever to pack lightly, but being a minimalist traveler is part of what makes vacation so enjoyable for me. Everything is prepared in advance and getting around is a breeze. It’s not for everyone, but now you know it can be done!
Black Cutout Top: Urban Outfitters (c/o)
Light Pink Metallic Midi Skirt: Rachel Roy (c/o)
Black 712 Camera Bag: Henri Bendel (c/o)
Black Peep Toe Booties: Banana Republic (c/o)