Packing the perfect carry-on luggage + How To Pack Your Carry-on Bag + how to pack a carry-on for a week
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Need tips on how to pack a carry-on bag? Going on a week-long vacation is exciting, but packing for it can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to packing hand luggage.

If you’re trying to avoid the extra cost of checked bag fees, tired of waiting on your suitcase at the luggage carousel or researching the best way to pack light for your next long trip, here is a complete guide sharing packing tips for packing a carry-on suitcase for a week vacation like a travel expert no matter your travel style.

Packing the perfect carry-on luggage + How To Pack Your Carry-on Bag + how to pack a carry-on for a week

Choose the Right Bag

The first step in packing the perfect carry-on for a week-long vacation or any trip is choosing the right bag. Look for a carry-on bag or suitcase that meets the airline’s size restrictions. Ideally, you want a bag that has multiple compartments so you can keep your travel gear organized.

Create a Packing List

Write down all of the items you need to bring in a carry-on packing list. Start with basic essentials like travel documents and toiletries and work your way into clothing, shoes, electronics, and accessories. Creating a packing list ensures you have everything needed for your trip and helps avoid overpacking unnecessary items.

Plan Your Outfits

After creating your packing list of essentials, plan your outfits. Check the weather of your destination to get an idea of what to pack in your carry-on luggage, and consider the activities planned on the itinerary and dress codes you may need to follow.

A pro tip is to create a capsule wardrobe and stick to neutral colors and basic pieces that can be mixed and matched whether you’re dressed up or down. This will help you create multiple outfits with fewer items.

Swimwear can be worn at the pool and beach as a bathing suit or as a shirt when adding shorts, pants, or a skirt. Scarves are a great accessory to cover your neck and shoulders or as a headpiece when traveling to a conservative country.

Make Use of a Personal Item

Use a tote bag or travel backpack as a personal item to keep must-have travel essentials like a passport, medication, credit cards, and any valuables, like jewelry and electronics. This will ensure these items are safe and easily accessible.

Most airlines allow one carry-on and one personal bag. If you purchase low-tier tickets, like basic economy, you are allowed only carry-on bags with no overhead compartment access.

Make sure to check your ticket and the airline’s baggage requirements before traveling to avoid potential baggage fees. You can also pack a change of clothes in your personal item if you have to check your bag.

Wear Versatile Shoes

There is no need for a pair of shoes for every outfit, and shoes can take up a lot of space in your carry-on. Pack one or two pairs of shoes to wear with multiple outfits.

A pair of comfortable sneakers or sandals can be worn with a pair of jeans, shorts, or a casual dress. You can also bring flip-flops for the beach or walking in the hotel.

Packing the perfect carry-on luggage + How To Pack Your Carry-on Bag: wear versatile shoes
Packing the perfect carry-on luggage + How To Pack a carry-on

Invest in Packing Cubes

Bring what you need and invest in some packing cubes or compression bags. I personally use Shacke, Eagle Creek, and compression bags. Packing cubes are a great way to keep your items organized and allow you to pack more clothes while taking up less space.

Use packing cubes to separate your clothing, toiletries, or electronics by category, making it easier to look for items. If you can’t afford packing cubes, a good option is to reuse a plastic bag from swimwear.

Roll Your Clothes

Rolling clothes in packing cubes or suitcases is a space-saving technique that can help prevent wrinkles. Start with your bulkier items, like jeans and sweaters, and roll them tightly. Then, fill the gaps with smaller items, like t-shirts and underwear.

Pack Travel-Sized Toiletries

Full-sized toiletries aren’t permitted through airport security and can take up extra space in your carry-on. To save space, use travel-sized containers for your shampoo, conditioner, and other liquids to put in your toiletry bag.

If you’re staying in a hotel room, take advantage of the complimentary toiletries in the bathrooms. You can also eliminate packing toiletries by purchasing them in a nearby grocery store or pharmacy.

Wear Your Bulkiest Items on the Plane

If you’re traveling during the winter or to a colder destination and have a heavy coat, sweater, or shoes, wear them on the plane during travel days instead of packing them in your carry-on.

These items take up too much room so wearing them will free up space in your bag.

Leave Room for Souvenirs

If you plan on buying souvenirs for friends and family, leave some extra packing space in your bag. You can also pack a small bag or collapsable tote to have an extra bag for souvenirs.

Packing light for a week-long vacation may seem difficult at first, but with these tips, you can pack a carry-on bag more efficiently and have everything you need for a memorable trip.

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How to Pack a Carry-on

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What are your tips for packing a carry-on bag?

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  1. I heard of packing cubes but I dont have one! I am really going to look into them I didnt know you could fit a week worth of clothes in there…I am going on an 8 day cruise in a few weeks might need to get one.

  2. Great tips! I do pack everything in one carry-on because I hate paying bag fees (lol). My favorite has removable packing drawers that hold a lot. I love the packing cubes idea and I will try it very soon!

  3. Wow! I can’t believe you got a week’s worth of clothes in that bag! I do roll my clothes when I pack but I’m going to have to look into packing cubes as well. That’s a good idea.

  4. I don’t travel carry on style often but when I go to the West Coast I do. I’m flying out early tomorrow morning and I plan on packing carry on. I’m on there three days so it shouldn’t be to hard for me. Shoes are my struggle.

  5. I’ve never heard of the cubes before. I’ll keep this in mind for my next trip. I managed to get all of my clothes in my carryon by packing my outfits by ziploc gallon bags. It was a headache trying to figure it out on the way home though, lol!

  6. Great tips! I usually over pack and then I sit on the luggage to close it, with the zipper close to busting, but your method sound better lol.

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