Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Travel with Just a Carry-On

Charming Charlie cardigan & tank top  | Frame Denim jeans | Elaine Turner wedges (on sale - use promo code ANS for free shipping!)   | Dolce Vita Collection fringe handbag  | Vera Bradley luggage ℅ | Bauble Bar link necklace ℅ | Olive +  Piper earrings ℅ |  AIBI watch  | Ray-Ban sunglasses

Happy Wednesday!

As much as I love clothing and all my accessories, when it comes to travel, I am proud to say that most of the time, I travel with only a carry-on. I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself, how is this possible, but let me tell you, it is!

Start with you roll aboard carry-on. I've spent years picking the cutest wheelie, until the airlines started changing rules on the size limit of carry-on luggage, and I was traveling often enough, that it needed to be more practical then cute. Dimensions are key. Do you travel with one airline most often, or do you hop around to whatever is cheapest? Regardless, know the rules and restrictions for each airline. We've all been there when we are trying to shove our carry-on into the dreaded overhead and it doesn't fit. For most airlines, your carry-on should measure 22 x 14 x 9.  I got this Vera Bradley carry-on right before we left for Spain, and it made the perfect travel companion. The size was perfect and fit easily into the overhead, it has two mesh compartments with zip closures, and compression straps - perfect for holding all your items in place. It also has integrated TSA locks (the best), to keep everything secure. The best part, it is hard-sided (a new release for them), which is the only type of wheelie I will travel with. Not only does it last longer, and prevent any unwanted squishing or breakage, but it is more sanitary and easy to clean.

Use compression packs. You have no idea what you're missing out on if you haven't tried these. My trusted go-to is the Samsonite Luggage 12 piece set. Not only do they give you varied sizes (small, medium, large, XL), but most of them hand roll to get the air out, versus being vacuumed sealed. Yes, the vacuum is more efficient and takes more air out, but it isn't practical because you have to pack it with you, and we are trying to save space, remember?! Once I started using these bags, I was able to pack almost twice as much with me.

Cut down on toiletries. Depending where you are going, where you are staying, and the length of the trip, this shouldn't be too hard. Most hotels provide the essentials - soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, but typically you can get additional amenities at no extra charge, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and shaving cream. You can also shop for the items once you're there. Unless you're going to a third world country, it is pretty easy to find anything you may need at your destination. For women, this is always harder because we have make-up, etc., but typically when I travel, I have sunglasses on most of the day, and hopefully am getting sun-kissed skin, so I cut down and only bring mascara, concealer, and lipgloss - try it next time, it's very freeing.

Don't waste space. I have said this in other of my travel related blogs, but always worth mentioning again. Don't roll belts, snake them along the perimeter of the suitcase. Stuff shoes full of socks, and stuff bra cups with underwear to prevent them from crushing. Store jewelry individually in drawstring jewelry pouches, like these, which are only $7.99 for 100. Another great way to store dainty necklaces that tangle easily, is by placing them in straws and taping each end. Place your heaviest items, like shoes and toiletries at the bottom of the suitcase, which prevents the suitcase from toppling over. Better yet, wear you biggest, bulkiest items on the airplane, it will save you a lot of room. Once you arrive, you can wash them or have them laundered. If you think about all the time (and money) you are saving by not packing a suitcase, you can create a budget to get your clothes cleaned at the hotel. 

Travel with an emergency kit. This is a must-have, and something I actually carry in my purse everyday. You never know what you're going to need or when you're going to need it. Include items like, Tide to Go, Colgate Wisp's, Pepto tablets, Advil, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, tampons, a pen, Ban-aids, toothpicks, extra hair ties. a collapsible brush, Chapstick, bobby pins and safety pins. I like to build my own with items I regularly use, but you can also purchase one that's pre-made, like this one from Pinch Provisions.

Have a spacious handbag/personal item. My go-to bag when traveling is this Longchamp bag (now on sale)! To be honest, I have this bag in multiple colors, and they have withstood the test of time, airports, and airplane floors. They are easy to clean, and the expandable zipper is great for adding those extra souvenirs at the end of the trip, while still fitting under the seat in front of you. In my carry on, I always have my Bose headphones, a self inflating backrest (a lifesaver), phone charger (plus a fully charged phone), a pair of socks, wallet/passport, water (so important), healthy snack, a magazine, a good book. wet wipes, my emergency kit, and Rosebud Salve, which is perfect for keeping lips and hands moisturized from the dryness travel causes. Inside of my over-sized handbag, I always have a smaller purse packed that I plan to use on the trip, like this fringe crossbody form Dolce Vita Collection. Not only do I save space, but items like my wallet and passport, don't get lost among all my other stuff.

Have any great packing tips? I would love to hear them! 


  1. Great post! I travel with carry on luggage only as well. Once I calculated how much money I spent on checked luggage fees for one year of frequent travel, I knew I had to manage my overpacking. I now have it down to a science but I may have to try those compression bags. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Brittany! It definitely is crazy when you add up all the wasted money and the wasted time! Plus, it's just so much more efficient, and really makes you breakdown, be practical and think about what you're packing! Great minds think alike:)



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