Minimalism, Minimalism

How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase

I’ve made it a mission to put my minimalist lifestyle to the test when it comes to traveling. In the past, I’ve been known to overpack even on the shortest getaway. So, when I realized I would be traveling 10 days for my destination wedding AND 10 days for our honeymoon soon after, I figured this was the perfect time for such a challenge. Not to mention, we have to haul my wedding gown on the flight as well. By limiting myself to merely a carry on suitcase or small duffle bag, I learned it is possible to travel lightly & still have plenty. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your next adventure:

Check The Weather

One of the hugest culprits in packing heavy is preparing for all kinds of weather. Even on the most sunny vacations, I was known to still pack a rain jacket [ just in case]. Now, I try to trust my weather app & only pack according to the predicted weather. If an unexpected rain shower does occur, for instance – I can always purchase a jacket or umbrella at my destination. Naturally, I find warmer climates to be easier to pack for than colder destinations. So, when it came to preparing for our destination wedding in the South & our Maui honeymoon, I was lucky I didn’t need to pack any heavy boots or anything.

Plan Your Outfits / Activities

Although spontaneity is fun, I find when it comes to longer vacations / trips; having an itinerary of sorts is very helpful. Base your outfits & clothing to what you plan to do on your getaway. Our destination wedding for instance consisted of a lot of visiting & relaxing before the big day. I was smart in shipping a few items ahead of time like my rehearsal dinner dress, veil & the bridemaid’s morning of gifts. In all honesty, the goal was to be an outfit repeater that week. And since I was staying at a family home, I knew I could do laundry if need be. In terms of the honeymoon, I knew we were going to a luau, so I made sure to pack a tropical maxi dress. But for the most part, I knew Hawaii would consist of lots of bikinis & outdoor wear. Weeks before either of theses trips, I hung all the outfits up on my clothing rack. This allowed me to keep track of what I was bringing & prevent me from making any impulse purchases or overpack. I also kept in mind, I would probably do some shopping while we were in Maui anyway.

Wear the Bulkiest Items on the Airplane

This is my most favorite hack when it comes to packing light. My airplane attire always consists of leggings, a tank top or t-shirt, sneakers & a jacket or sweatshirt. Shoes & hoodies are two of the most bulky items to pack in the suitcase. Even though sandals can be easier to take on and off at TSA, I’m always grateful to have extra space for other necessities in my suitcase.

Packing Cubes vs. Rolling

I actually have never used packing cubes but have noticed from other people, they are VERY helpful in condensing space. I on the other hand, love rolling my clothing & or putting certain categories in zipblock bags. The way you organize & store your items in the suitcase makes all the difference. The reason I like the zipblock bag method is because I can release the air from the bag to make it very flat. I will admit this hack can seem rather wasteful so if you have any reusable methods [ besides packing cubes ] that do the same affect, let me know.

Travel Size Is Your Bestfriend

When it comes to makeup products or toiletries, having the smaller counterpart is the smartest move. Not to mention, TSA has certain regulations anyway. As a makeup lover, I try to only pack my smaller eyeshadow palettes during travels such as these. And in some cases, I will invest in travel size products like setting spray, shampoo, body / face wash & even mascara. Every space counts so you want to be efficient. Even when choosing purses for vacations, I lean towards small cross body styles or even clutches.

When in Doubt, Leave It At Home

I mentioned this in my older packing guide, which you can read here. But if you are questioning any item too hard, chances are you don’t need it. Really ask yourself why you want to bring / wear something before packing it. I can’t tell you how many times I would bring more clothing than necessary & only wear a quarter of the items. And if you DO end up needing something or forgetting something, you can always purchase it at your destination.

Choose Clothing Pieces That Are Versatile

If you already have a capsule wardrobe like me, you are already there in having clothing pieces that pair in multiple ways. For example, I packed a light grey t-shirt that I could wear with black shorts, white shorts, denim shorts or even jeans. Always start with your basics & work from there. Any additional or unique items can be added later. When it came to the honeymoon, I knew I wanted a few unique & tropical looking maxi dresses for dinners or the luau. I didn’t go overboard with this idea though & only packed two – a black & purple flower maxi dress I’ve had for a few years & a white floral maxi dress I found on Amazon.

Check Out This Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went


When seeing the world, you don’t want to feel weighed down by stuff. Although it can feel rather challenging at first, overtime it will become second nature. You’ll enjoy returning home to less laundry to do & you’ll quickly realize you don’t need much to enjoy yourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to the point all you need is a backpack.

Where are you traveling to next?

Up for an even bigger challenge? watch me pack all of these items in a backpack in this IG REEL


71 thoughts on “How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase”

  1. Love this! When my husband and I were dating long-distance, I would visit him for about 10 days at a time and I always maximized my luggage space. My suitcase was technically a carry-on size, but I always checked it because… I don’t really know why? Haha! But I certainly learned to make the most of a capsule wardrobe and roll my clothes! Now, when we travel, we share a suitcase that’s a bit bigger than a carry-on, but I’ve still learned to squish enough clothing for 2 in a small-ish space. It’s quite the fun skill to master haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post full of great tips. Travelling light is the way forward especially with all of the crazy extra costs of airlines these days. Not to mention prices will be going due to inflation!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fab suggestions! I’m going to Corfu for a week this summer and have challenged myself to travel carry on only too. I think planning outfits in advance as well as making sure each piece is versatile is the way to go! Thank you so much for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are really great tips. I intend to use them when I begin travelling. Lugging around a while suitcase doesn’t sound like fun, a carry on is great. Plus I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This article came just at the right time for me! I’m going glamping for three days next week and I’m already panicking about overpacking. I’ll definitely try to keep these tips in mind! It’s supposed to rain all week too so I’m not sure how I’m going to get past the bulky items problem…may have to limit myself to one jumper!
    Saph x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really great tips for traveling light. I don’t travel very often, but when I do I want to bring as little luggage with me as possible, so these tips are great for any future trips I take.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tips. I love travelling with just a carry-on whenever possible. It’s so much easier than juggling larger luggage when you’re out and about. There are some trips that I’ve taken where a larger luggage bag is needed, but 9 times out of 10, I stick to just a carry-on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy to see that I use most of these(thanks mom!) but some of these are great tips for my next trip. I’m a big fan of checking the weather because one day it’s rainy and the next it’s 102 haha.

    I’ll make sure to wear my bulk clothes on the airplane, it makes for extra comfort as well. Thanks for the tips :))

    Sejal |

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When we used to travel with the family, we were always able to squish a family of 4 in two little carry-on bags for a month or so when we were visiting our grandparents. My mum is the queen of packing. On the other hand, I have plenty to learn (from you and her both!)

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  10. These are all amazing tips! Since moving out and travelling just with my sisters I started being a huge over-packer, because you never know what might happen and always end up taking far too many clothes, or books!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great tips! I’ve only used a carry on for my last few trips and it’s been amazing. No more heavy luggage, just carrying what you need. Packing cubes are a must! Also picking pieces that are versatile is so helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m taking a trip in the near future and I don’t want to carry a whole bunch of stuff so these are really helpful tips! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your advice about traveling and ideas how to pack, after coming back from vacation the relief of not having to wash lots of clothes is IT for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great suggestions and great post. I know I like to roll my clothes when packing but the idea to putting it in a ziplock pack seems cool. I’m also an over-packer, I pack for what ifs. Lol. I will be mindful of this. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am awful at deciding what to pack. I think it goes with overthinking as I always tell myself, ‘what if I need this, what about this,’ etc. Planning outfits based on what you plan to do on your getaway is a good idea!

    Thank you for sharing your tips; they will be put to good use the next time I travel. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post, these tips are really good. I only ever travel Carry-on, I have kind of got it down to an art now, I roll everything except hoodies but I wear them on the plane usually. I wouldn’t travel anywhere without my packing cubes, I have used the vacuum bags before and put my packing cubes inside of those and then taken the air out that works as well if you have a lot to pack.


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