Packing in a carry on is tough enough, but add winter coats, sweaters, and boots to the mix and you’ve got a real challenge on your hands.
So … I’m going to try it! I’m packing for a 5 day winter trip using only a carry on.
Sounds difficult as it is, but to make (packing) matters worse, this trip has an itinerary that calls for clothes all over the map:
- A hike (that calls for real athletic shoes, not cute ones)
- Sightseeing in the city, in the cold (with slushy streets, so weather boots are a must)
- Hot tub time (that requires a swimsuit and flip flops)
- A night at the theatre (that calls for dressy clothes)
So, my challenge?
Pack athletic clothes, weather clothes, fancy clothes, swimwear, and regular clothes (like PJs and travel clothes) all in one carry-on suitcase.
But let’s do it! :)
In this post, we’ll cover:
- Start Here: Download The Packing Planner
- Step By Step: How To Decide What To Bring
- My Packing List
- Packing in a carry on: Is it worth it?
START HERE: DOWNLOAD THE PACKING PLANNER (IT’S FREE!)
The key to successful carry on packing? Planning.
Because this is such an important step for me, I created a free, downloadable packing planner for you! You can download the packing planner right here and here’s an example to get you started. These few minutes of planning make the packing process go faster and feel effortless.
Before you start to pack, go ahead and fill out the weather and activities sections of your planner. (You’ll fill out the outfits section later, as you’re going through the step-by-step part below.)
Tip: I’ve found it’s best to write in pencil, so you can adjust as you go along.
STEP BY STEP: HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TO BRING
Create a space where you can gather everything, like your bed or a clothing rack. Have your packing planner close by for reference.
STEP 1: Start by gathering the clothes you’ll need for any specific activities + special events.
For example, if you’re going on a hike (like me), gather your hiking clothes, shoes, and jacket. If you’re dressing up for a fancy evening or heading to a wedding, gather your outfit, shoes, and any accessories including a clutch, jacket, or shawl.
These necessary things can add up quickly, so it’s best to gather them first and then “fill in the blanks” with your other clothes.
STEP 2: Gather PJs, underthings, and toiletries.
PJs and underthings are straightforward enough, but toiletries can be tough. So I get travel sized items, and split them into smaller bags — that way, they are flexible and can easily fit into nooks and crannies of my suitcase.
(And … don’t forget to separate your liquids for security.)
STEP 3: Gather regular clothes.
Now, it’s time to “fill in the blanks” with regular clothes.
- First, ditch the oversized boyfriend sweaters and pack two lightweight sweaters instead. Lightweight can still be warm — look for merino wool or cashmere. If you’re lamenting the loss of your oversized sweaters, I know, it’s a bummer. Oversized boyfriend sweaters are a signature element of my style, so it’s hard to let them go. But they took up too much real estate in my carry on for this particular trip, so they’re out.
- Then, add two or three long sleeve shirts — one plain tee and one cute layer, like a striped turtleneck. You can wear them underneath your sweaters for extra warmth or wear them on their own.
- Finally, add two bottoms (one casual, one dressy) and add a dress, if desired.
Travel is the time to go with what you know works. For me, that means I went with a neutral color palette. It doesn’t look that interesting on paper, but in real life, I feel happy and put-together in these neutrals — plus when I add that rich cognac coat on top, it jazzes things up in the best way.
STEP 4: Gather shoes.
You’ve probably already gathered your athletic shoes and dressy shoes in Step One. Now, fill in the blanks with any other shoes you need, making sure to reference your packing planner to guide you.
I’ve got four pairs of shoes listed for this trip — yes, four. Not exactly the “minimalist” way, I know. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend bringing this many shoes, but sometimes, you can’t get around it — you need your non-cute running shoes and a pair of nice heels and weather boots.
Four pairs of shoes may not be ideal, but I wanted to show you that it’s possible — even when traveling in a carry on.
STEP 5: Edit
Grab your packing planner and start assigning outfits to each day and each activity. This should help you find pieces you can edit out easily.
See if any items can pull double duty: i.e. Could your daily base layer double as a hiking top? Could your PJ top double as a day out top in a pinch?
And don’t be afraid to wear things twice — a base layer will help keep your sweaters fresh, so you can get multiple wears out of them. You can also get more wears out of your clothes if you bring a sanitizing travel steamer or wash your clothes in the sink.
MY PACKING LIST
There’s one thing you should know about this packing list before we jump in:
I only used pieces I already had in my closet. So, this isn’t necessarily an ideal packing list — but it is a real packing list. Of course, it would be better if I had a compressible, waterproof jacket, or one pair of shoes that could serve as hiking shoes and weather boots. But, I don’t have those things, and I wanted to see if I could make it work without buying anything.
The good news? It worked!
Let’s take a look:
1 | BASE LAYER TEE | Great for adding warmth under a sweater, and it also doubles as a hiking top.
2 | TURTLENECK | SIMILAR (ON SALE)
3 | WHITE SWEATER (OLD) | SIMILAR IN CASHMERE (UNDER $70) | My black and white sweaters are exactly the same, but they are chic, easy to wear, and lightweight (AKA easily packable).
4 | BLACK SWEATER (OLD) | SIMILAR IN CASHMERE (UNDER $70)
5 | WINTER COAT BY ARITZIA | SIMILAR | SIMILAR ($150) | Yes! I found my winter coat! And I feel great about it because my blogging bestie, Lee, happens to have the same coat — she’s Canadian so she knows her coats. Wondering how I’m going to fit this in my suitcase? I’m actually going to bring it on the plane with me instead.
6 | FLEECE | This jacket is for the hike. I really should have a warmer, weather resistant jacket, but I don’t. However, if you’re in the market, here’s one that’s thigh-length with a hood, and here’s a shorter version. Both are compressible and packable — meaning they pack down into a tiny bag. Amazing!
7 | BEANIE (MADE IN USA) | This guy adds a pop of color to any outfit and mirrors the color of my coat and purse — you know, if I ever want to “bookend” my outfit with the same color. Which I definitely do.
8 | SWIMSUIT (MADE RESPONSIBLY) | SIMILAR (FOR LESS)
9 | COATED LEGGINGS (OLD) | SIMILAR | SIMILAR (FLEECE LINED) | SIMILAR (FOR LESS) | These will pair well with my turtleneck dress and ankle booties for a dressed up look.
10 | YOGA LEGGINGS (MADE RESPONSIBLY) | Great for the hike, travel days, or lounging.
11 | JEANS | SIMILAR (MADE RESPONSIBLY)
12 | CASHMERE DRESS (OLD) | SIMILAR | SIMILAR | SIMILAR (IN COTTON BLEND)
13 | WEATHER BOOTS (ON SALE)| SIMILAR (MADE IN USA) | These fleece lined boots will keep my feet warm and dry when we’re out sightseeing and walking around slushy streets. I don’t have a sleek pair of waterproof boots (like these waterproof chelsea boots) but if I did, I’d bring them instead for the versatility.
14 | ANKLE BOOTIES (MADE RESPONSIBLY) | SIMILAR (FOR LESS) | My dressy shoes for the trip — they’ll work with just about anything, but I plan to wear them with my turtleneck dress, coated leggings, and coat on nights out.
15 | ATHLETIC SHOES | Sometimes you just need your non-cute running shoes. However, if you can get away with cute sneakers, this bootie-inspired pair would be my pick.
16 | FLIP FLOPS
17 | AWAY CARRY ON SUITCASE | I’m done with soft-shell suitcases — the hard shell is where it’s at. I’ve had my AWAY bag for about 6 months now, and I’m a solid fan. My favorite thing? It’s ridiculously lightweight — in fact when I first got it, I was unimpressed with how flimsy it felt. But it turns out, the bag is indestructible. However, something to note: it doesn’t expand. I actually like that about it now, but it took me a little while to get used to.
18 | SMALL CROSSBODY BAG | For dressier nights.
19 | TRAVEL TOTE | My travel tote is technically a camera bag, which means it’s a little bulky and heavy on it’s own. So, instead I’d recommend this travel tote. It hits everything on my checklist: it’s beautiful, it’s got a zip top to keep everything secure, it’s got lots of pockets (including pockets on the outside), and it’s made responsibly.
20 | PJs and TOILETRIES
PACKING IN A CARRY ON: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR TRIP?
Here’s the thing. Packing for this trip was capital C challenging. Maybe you’re a winter packing pro, but I am definitely not. I mean, I managed to pull it off. But I kept feeling like I needed to buy certain items specifically so I could fit them in a carry on. (Compressible, packable coat! Waterproof boots that are also cute and dressy! Thin sweaters, ideally cashmere or wool!)
Of course, it’s ideal when you can pack items that pull double duty, but sometimes, it’s not practical to buy new pieces just so they fit into your suitcase.
So here’s my mantra with this whole thing:
Hold lightly to the idea of packing in a carry on.
If you can’t make it work, let go and just pack in a bigger suitcase. No big deal. The ability to pack in a carry on isn’t the end all be all.
• • •
There you have it! Whew, thanks for sticking with me! The posts after this will be shorter, I promise.
And on that note, this is part one of a four part series — we’ll be looking at this packing list all week! Here’s what’s coming up:
- Tomorrow: I’ll show you how I fit everything into my carry on (in my first-ever video, yikes!)
- Thursday: I’ll show you how I combine these pieces to make outfits for each day and activity.
- Friday: I’ll share what’s in my airplane tote.
It’s going to be a fun week! See you tomorrow!
Alicia Damron says
I love these type posts! It’s so fun to see how you’ll put all these items together :) Thanks for sharing!
Tanya E says
Love the hold lightly mantra! Good for life in general. I know you are not buying new things for your trip, but I have heard very good things about Uniqlo ultra light down, they do thin gilets and jackets that can add an extra layer under a coat, when it is very cold. I assume they pack down small. Also, fleecy or sheepskin insoles inside trainers to make them cosy.
Have a lovely trip.
Thanks Tanya! Thanks for the great, cozy tips! :)
Fantastic tips! Even if you go with a bigger suitcase, this process makes packing so much easier. Nothing is worse than getting to your destination and realizing that you have a bunch of stuff you don’t need but are missing a few key items!!
Yes, Virginia! I agree! :)
I live in a country with only two seasons – sunny and rainy. Heh. So packing has never been a difficulty for me. However, I recognize the challenge you’re facing with your situation, and I hope it works out for you!
I love this post and the others you have coming up this week, I mean LOVE. Nothing makes my heart sing like a well-packed suitcase and a great destination.
Well done on the packing job – seeing your “real not ideal” items, how you problem-solved and edited what you’re bringing is really helpful! I’m impressed and inspired at how you included items for such a challenging range of activities – 2 weeks ago I packed similarly for a winter trip to visit my parents on the East Coast, but I got away with one jacket (parka+hoodie) and two pairs of shoes (ankle boots+workout sneakers) because we only had casual activities planned.
And I wanted to leave room for bringing back some things – including a tunic length black roll-neck sweater I bought! I was on the hunt for it (inspired by your turtleneck dress) and it comes from the men’s section at Need Supply Co. Somehow it feels more like a “find” because it’s a man’s sweater, though it fits exactly how I wanted it to.
I’ll definitely be referencing these posts for future winter-packing. Where are you headed? I’m sure you’ll look great and feel comfortable wherever you go. Can’t wait to see the video ?? ☺️
I love the concept of “Hold lightly”. You are so right. Life is to short to stress about things that in the grand scheme of things are not that big of a deal.
I am looking forward to your video. I am especially interested to see how you fit your footwear in the carry on. I have an international conference later on in the year and I would love to pack just a carry on so I am interested in any tips or tricks that I can pick up.
Oh man, this was so helpful and I’m looking forward to using it soon!
Your posts have been giving me life lately. I am 38 weeks pregnant so I am not working from a capsule but I am really excited to purge my closet (like a good purge – not a pretend purge like I’ve done in the past) and get a functional but not overwhelming wardrobe.
I also can’t wait until I can wear normal shoes again! Pregnancy foot swelling is no joke. :)
That’s so sweet, Pam — I hope you enjoy the process. It can take time, so be kind to yourself :)
Jan Marie says
Pam! Truncation blog is home to one of my fav minimalist bloggers, Karin, who until a few weeks ago was pregnant with TWINS! She had a capsule and it was LOVELY.
One time I packed for a 12 day early spring Europe trip (meaning snow, rain, and sun) in a carry on size duffle. I did laundry once on the trip. It was the biggest challenge but I felt so victorious and was also shocked than when I got home I was drawn to wearing the same pieces I had packed instead of what I had left behind! Funny how that happens!
Emily Mahi'ai says
I did a similar thing for a 21-day trip to a Europe in the fall! Now packing for anything else feels like a piece of cake, right? ?
Oh my gosh, you both are champs! Well done! :)
Jan Marie says
Ha! That’s what happened when I packed a carry on for six months in Italy. After you get used to things, I mean really used to them, they feel more like home. And home is where we all wanna live. :)
Kayeln Runyan says
This is so helpful! I always have to manage fitting everything in a carry-on for debate and school trips. This upcoming weekend I have a 5-day trip to Denver, so I can’t wait to utilize this!
Perfect timing, Kayeln! :)
Sheila Joy says
I’m trying to break my habit of waiting until the night before to pack for a trip and this post is very helpful! I’m going on a trip to Florida in March, so luckily I can try and pack as light as possible (and start planning now!)
Good call, Sheila. Just that little bit of planning can go a long way :)
Andrea Handojo says
I love the printable you created! Packing light is so hard if you’re going somewhere cold! all the boots, thick jackets, and coats can quickly get heavy! I always try to wear all of my heavy pieces, so I have more room in my suitcase!
I do more base layers and fewer heavier items like sweaters. Especially with lightweight merino baselayers you can free up a ton of space and still stay warm.
Yes, Melissa! Lightweight base layers are a lifesaver! Good call :)
In regards to the “hold lightly” part, sometime it is a matter of considering the pros and cons. If checking a bag costs $100 in fees round trip to accommodate the (for example) sweaters you already own which are all chunky, maybe it’s worth taking that $100 and buying thinner sweaters that could work in your carry on.
If you’re going to spend the money one way or the other, might as well get a new sweater out of the deal!
That’s a great point, Jenn! Love the way you’re thinking. :)
Honestly, Caroline, the time for you to post this would have never been better as I am going to a trip for 4 days next week in Italy and I was wandering what to take in order to fit into a backpack (as a hand baggage) and this guide is awesome.
It actually gave me an idea of what to take as I will go mostly sightseeing, dinner, maybe a little jazz pub…not much clothes to take for that.I think i just made my list half of what I was thinking before reading your post:)) so thank you!
PS keep writing as i enjoy a lot your long posts because they are so useful and right on time!
Woohoo! Hope the video tomorrow helps even more, Andreea! :)
May I ask what size you got in your coat? I’m a 0-2/ Madewell xs. I want a coat that allows me to wear sweaters but without being frumpy. My Aritizia parka is XS but not sure if dress coats are fitted. If it’s not too personal, what route did you go?
Hey Sem! I find their coats to run a bit large, so I sized down to the XXS to make it a little more fitted. However, if you want to wear bulkier sweaters underneath it, I’d go for your regular size. :)
Rebecca Meyer says
I really have enjoyed your blog over the last year and I really appreciate when you post items that are made responsibility! It can be difficult, but I really have been trying to make better choice when it comes to clothing. Thank you for what you do!
P.S. I got a pair of the Girlfriend Collective Leggings and loved them!!
Rebecca, I’m so glad to hear that! I love mine too!
Genette dugger says
Hi Caroline! I just discovered your blog earlier this month and have been in love with the whole Capsule idea! I’ve read a lot about them, but I just love your take on it. I decided to start at the very beginning and binge all of your posts so I could really understand the philosophies behind it all. It has been fun to watch your style change over time :) I’m currently in April of 2015. It’s like reading a book! My husband thinks I’m crazy; he says he’s never heard the word “capsule” so many times in his life, haha. Although, I must say, he had a lot of fun capsuling his own wardrobe! We spent a weekend and did both of ours and our two boys’ wardrobes too! (they’re 2 and 4). We really just purged our closets and created a semi-capsule but are very excited about building our first real capsule in Spring :) Anyway, it’s amazing how many other aspects of your life you can apply these practices too. It’s really changed my perspective on a lot of things. So I wanted to say thank you!!!
Aw, that’s so nice to hear Genette! Thanks so much for sharing! :)
As someone who lives in a cold-weather climate, I’m used to having to pack for such trips (and I almost always travel with a carry-on). My biggest tip would be to wear your bulkier items on the plane. Even though it’s not “cute” to be traveling in hiking boots, it saves so much space in your suitcase!
Also, packing cubes are fantastic too. Thanks to packing cubes and a strategic plane outfit, I was able to smash 3 weeks worth of clothes for a Europe trip into a carry on duffel bag – that included clothes for hiking in rainy weather, comfy clothes for city sightseeing, and cute outfits for nights out with friends! Definitely my proudest packing moment ☺️
Awesome, Allyson! Thanks for sharing. I think we’re pretty much on the same wavelength! :)
I looked up the AWAY bag and I am in love! I also am mind blown that you fit all that stuff in there! Great packing! You have inspired me soooooo much! Thank you thank you! My boo and I are both cleaning out drawers and closets this weekend to start simplifying. <3
Angelique, that’s so exciting! Enjoy the process! :)
Karen Needler says
Caroline, which of the two carry-on sizes do you use? I need a new one and love these! Also, I replaced my non-working upright steamer with a portable one thanks to your post on maintenance of sweaters, and I love mine!! So convenient, small, and it works like a charm! Yours is the first blog I read, and I read every word! Thanks!
A travel steamer! I didn’t know such a thing existed so thank you! I’m going to Australia for 2 weeks in March for work and am following your capsule wardrobe approach. I’ve been worrying about how I’ll create enough outfits for the whole trip without being able to wash anything, the longest I’ll be spending in one place is about 3 days. I have my answer!!
Sally, I can’t tell you what a lifesaver it is! Enjoy your trip! :)
The other thing I have tried to remember to pack less is — if I leave something out, and find out I need it when I get there, I can just get it then. It reduces stress just to know. Usually it’s fine and I don’t need anything, but it keeps me from guilt tripping myself if I do, like when I needed to buy leggings and a black long sleeve turtleneck to wear under a thin silk dress I had bought for a wedding that ended up being on a cooler night than I had planned for. I didn’t feel bad, I looked good at the wedding, I felt comfortable, and the ones I bought turned out to be my favorite leggings and turtleneck.
You have the Girlfriend Collective leggings! What do you think of them? I really want to try them out but I want to hear a few more reviews first.
Loved this article! I don’t even own a large suitcase so any tips on packing for carry-one are appreciated.
Hey Ashley, I love the leggings! Sometimes they seem to sag a little in the crotch so I have to pull them up at the waist occasionally. But it might just be the way they fit me — it’s so slight, not a deal breaker at all. :)
My goodness, I truely admire your planning skills. I’m not even going on a trip and I still enjoyed reading about your process!
Haha, thanks Melanie! :)
Getting ready to pack for a 5 day trip that will involve a casual outfit each day, dinner outfit each day, and three suits (in addition to running clothes, pjs, toiletries and a swim suit)…love this guide for that (but also the advice to “hold loosely” to packing in a carry on!)
One of my proudest moments as a parent has been packing for a 10 day ski trip in a carry-on for both me and the baby!
Katy Hope says
Thanks for this post, we are heading skiing in a couple of weeks and I was so worried about the luggage issue. This is a great guide to thinking about packing.
Suggestion – rather than buying what you think you might need for the trip, go with what you have and try to get by anyway. If you find you really can’t go without, pick it up while you’re away and you’ll probably always remember it and where it came from!
Jan Marie says
So timely, Caroline! I’m T-minus 5 days til NOLA and stressin like cray! Had my gf come over last night to try on some outfits for. We ended up mixing things I NEVER would’ve thought would go together and LOVING them, so a second eye definitely helped (especially for an ENFP non-planny-brained person, I really needed the second body in the room and to physically try outfits on, to be able to see if they worked; I tried writing and drawing them out but I just couldn’t do it!)
I left my travel Q’s on your last post but I’m also now wondering how to know what will be a comfortable “all day walking” shoe. I ride a bike every day, and my long walks are on soft woodland ground, so I’m never strollin cobblestone 8 hours a day like I will be. Any advice?
I love the look of the Away carry-on case but I personally prefer to use a light-as-air carry-on-sized bag I found in Walmart for $6 many years ago. (Unfortunately they no longer seem to have them). It weighs almost nothing and is surprisingly strong. No wheels of course — it is a bag one carries. The reason I prefer this to the wheely carry-on cases is that when I travel, I like to be able to bring clothes that would crease if folded — I roll rather than fold, both for myself and my husband’s clothes, and I create one big roll so I need my carry-on not to have different compartments. I keep things hygienic using large ziplock bags for shoes etc. I can carry the full 40 or 50lbs of stuff in it, though I rarely actually carry that much weight in reality. Making a big roll of clothes is fantastic for avoiding the creasing problem — my husband’s colleagues are always amazed by how his 100% cotton shirts etc arrive uncreased. If I could find a case like yours that did not have different compartments I might consider buying one, but in a way my light-as-a-feather bag feels more efficient because I’m carrying it and very mobile compared with other travellers who have the wheeled cases. I do wish Walmart hadn’t stopped selling those bags. Everyone who sees mine wants one!
I love this post so much, Caroline! I try to pack everything in a carry on because I tend to worry about lost luggage. It isn’t easy and I love your step by step and realistic approach. I often have the urge to buy new items when I’m packing for a trip, but I usually end up giving in. I wish I had your willpower.
Also, I have that same coat. I absolutely love it!
This is such a helpful post! I hate packing for winter travel, but I will be giving your planner a try the next time I have to pack for cold weather. Where are you going? Sounds like you have a fun trip planned :)
You might have covered this in previous posts, so I apologize if that’s the case, but I was wondering what you think of your Girlfriend Collective pants sizing. I’m usually between a S and a M in workout pants, and my jeans range from size 2-6. I ordered a M to be safe, but am wondering if I should change it to a S before they ship. Thank you! And I saw your reply above about liking them overall, so that’s good to know! :)
Samantha Lee says
Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m going to Europe in the fall for 16 days and am going to try and pack just a (hiking) backpack because I really don’t want to be lugging a huge suitcase everywhere. Though the past couple years for domestic trips, I have ONLY packed a carry-on, and it is life changing to say the least. It IS tough when you have so many different things planned (like you said, hiking, fancy night out, etc), but glad you figured out a way to manage!
Also, I’ve been thinking about the Away luggage myself – not sold on the “non-expanding” part of it, but it seems like that’s not an issue for you?
Hey Samantha, the non-expanding aspect used to bother me, but now I actually prefer it! :)
Four pairs of shoes is a bit of a disappointment for a minimalist approach to packing. I just took a 6 day, 5 night trip to New Mexico, including snowy Taos, hiking and city time in Santa Fe. Brought 2 pairs of shoes– my cross-over hiking boots that work in a trendy Pacific Northwest city style as well as hiking that I wore 24/7, and a fancy pair of ankle boots for going out to a nice dinner. Walking to the hot tub at the hotel– wear your hiking boots bc who cares? Here are the boots- waterproof for hiking in the snow, and wool cuff with red laces to make it the perfect boot for city crossover style
Hi Nicole! Right? :) Did you catch the part in the post where I call myself out for that very thing? My goal was to show that, while perhaps not ideal, it’s definitely possible to bring four pairs of shoes with you. :)
Sabine Brennan says
This is so perfect! Thank you!!! I just “found” you a couple of weeks ago, and have let go of a lot of things (and still am). I am getting ready to go on a 10 day trip to visit my family in Austria, so this blog on packing could not come at a better time :)!!! I am so excited to pack for this trip with my new minimalist “love it or toss it” mindset, and really love all your insight! My “word of the year” is “purposeful”, and I couldn’t have found your blog at a better time ?! Thank you for all your inspiration!!!
Lots of Love,
Thanks and on your video i see your cute cosmetics bags with your name on them. May i ask where you got those? Thanks for your sweet spirit and great information!
Hi Julie, the bags are from Jon Hart: http://bit.ly/2ksvTDh I’ve had them for TWELVE YEARS and they’re still going strong. I love them! :)
These tips are great and I loved the video in the next post. Is all of this stuff is in your current capsule? I am working towards embarking on my first capsule from March to May and I have a work trip coming in May. I can’t decide if I need to include specific things for that trip in my capsule or if I should allow myself some flexibility (read: grace) to supplement for the trip.
This post was excellent timing, as I’m taking a weekend trip to Seattle. I think I’ll be wearing my duck boots a whole lot since it’s supposed to be non-stop raining ;). But, I will say after I packed everything up, I realized how cohesive all my clothes are right now. We’ll see when I get back, how I did, but I’m feeling so good about it now. My base color is navy and I’ve really built a wardrobe around that that works.
After an airline lost my suitcase for a month long trip (never to be found again!) I almost always pack in a carry-on. If I can’t, and especially if I’m traveling with my husband, we divide our things between a larger checked bag and a carry-on. We put some of each of our essentials in the carry-on, that way if the checked bag gets delayed or lost, at least we have some things to tide us over!
This post is perfect. I am going on a trip next week that will have skiing and warm weather activities and I am trying to pare down what I need to bring. I may not be able to carry on since I will have to bring ski clothes too which are very bulky, but at least I can bring a not so big bag. I followed your 10 x 10 challenge carefully and it has been fantastic following you as you try to maximize style with a minimal wardrobe!
I loved the video! I was curious, which bag had your steamer? I was seriously considering buying one of these because I travel weekly.I was wondering where, in the video, did you pack it?
I love your blog! Thank you so much
I just got back from a 5 day trip to Denver that included weather in the 70’s and skiing, but I used your packing list and was thrilled when it worked!! Instead of a swim suit and a dress I brought gym shorts for a bike ride and my J Crew field jacket and to wear with a short sleeve and long sleeve t shirt. I don’t have a black or a white sweater, but I have a grey and a leopard print sweater, so I brought them instead. They layered perfectly with my striped turtleneck when it got cold. I had to bring bulky ski clothes, so I did have to bring a suitcase, but the whole time I was so happy I didn’t have to drag around more stuff that I wasn’t going to wear anyway. I love your blog and the way it has totally changed my packing philosophy!
Julie DEVoe says
I just wanted to share that you posted this just days before I was packing for a family trip to Disney World. I was already thinking of making something like this for myself, but this fit my needs perfectly! I wrote down the details of each day and my outfits, packed accordingly (6 days in a carry-on for DisneyWorld!), and even brought the sheet with me. I hung it up on a pants hanger in the closet next to my suitcase so that I could reference it each day of my trip. Thank you so much for a great post, a great planner, and everything Un-fancy! Big fan!
I cant begin to tell you how helpful these posts are! With work and kids and a zillion other things, wardrobe management (shopping for pieces, organizing them and maintaining them) takes too much time and energy. This blog is godsend. Thank you!
Do you have ‘The Carry-on’ or ‘The Bigger Carry-on’ from Away? I just ordered the smaller one as I was afraid I would have trouble fitting the bigger one on airplanes but it’s pretty small.
I saw your youtube video, and had to come to your blog for more info! I really love that planning sheet. I do agree that if you don’t have items that do double duty, then it is best to not cling to the idea of packing in a carry on. However, I need to replace some items in my wardrobe, and I’m looking at purchasing items that will function for work and travel. Those cashmere Halogen sweaters? Whoa, super perfect. And I’m looking for a pair of waterproof dressy ankle boots, since it rains so much where I live. A stylish rain coat that I can both wear to work and bring travelling would also be a great find! :)
Hi Caroline! I’m looking into buying an Away suitcase, and I was wondering– do you have “The Carry On”, or “The Bigger Carry-On”? I’m torn between the two and would love to know your thoughts!
Hi Erin! I have the carry-on. :)
Returning to this post many months later as we start planning for a twelve-day trip to eastern Europe in December…with baby in tow! Our hope is to get away with a backpack apiece (a backpacking pack for him, a smaller travel pack for me as I’ll also have the baby). I can only do so much to edit baby’s gear (they really don’t need much, but you don’t want to be caught with a cold baby and no dry clothes), so editing our own gear will be hugely important. Thank you for the starting point!
How exciting Careen!! Safe travels! :)