It’s part two of our winter packing series, and we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Yesterday’s post was all about what to pack — today’s post is all about how to fit it in carry on.
And … it’s a video! I’ve been wanting to incorporate video into Unfancy posts for some time, and I’m finally doing it — awkwardness be damned. :)
In this video, I’ll give a rambly monologue and then actually pack my suitcase so you can see exactly how my winter packing list fits into my carry on. I’ll also share four quick tips on getting the most out of your suitcase space. Cool? Cool!
Click here to watch the video over on YouTube.
Since this video is just about how to fit everything in, I don’t go into detail about each item I’m bringing. However, if you want the details, or if you’re curious about why I’m bringing these items, head on over to yesterday’s post for all the answers (plus a free printable packing planner).
You may be curious about the lack of packing cubes, since I’ve been vocal about loving them in the past.
I still like using them every now and then, especially if my suitcase needs a little extra organization. But I take it on a case by case basis. For this particular trip, I found that I had more room and flexibility if I didn’t use them.
Whether I use packing cubes or not, I always use the KonMari folding method, and fold my clothes so they stand upright. I can fit more into my suitcase and I can see everything at a glance.
Since I don’t travel a ton, I asked a couple of my globe-trotting friends for advice too — Jess Lively of the Lively Show Podcast and Jessica Doll of Hej Doll.
If you’ve been keeping up with Jess’s podcast, you know she’s been traveling non stop for the last nine months — with nothing but a carry on! And years ago, it was Jessica who introduced me to the idea of packing light — her blog is full of excellent packing ideas for just about any destination you could think of.
I asked both Jess and Jessica to weigh in on packing cubes, and here’s what they said:
- Jessica Doll: I always use packing cubes of some sort. My favorite are these really thin ones from Muji in a size Medium. They fit in my carry-on perfectly. I buy different colors for each of us in case we need to share a suitcase.
- Jess Lively: I don’t use packing cubes. I used something similar for a while until a friend taught me the power of Kon-Marie-ing your suitcase like this. This is a game changer!
I love that their opinions are so different — it shows that you can pack successfully, whether you use packing cubes or not.
It’s all about finding what works for you.
CARRY ON SUITCASE
My suitcase is the Carry On by Away. People often ask me if it lives up to the hype, and if you’re upgrading from a soft sided suitcase, my answer is definitely yes.
I’ve had my Away bag for about 6 months now, and it’s been on 4 trips with me. Here’s the thing: it’s dependable. That may not seem like raging praise, but to me, a great suitcase works so well that I don’t even really think about it — it just blends into the background and does what it’s supposed to do.
A couple of other thoughts? 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.
If an Away bag isn’t t in the budget right now, I also had excellent luck, years ago, with a hard-shell Samsonite for about $120.
I also asked Jess and Jessica to weigh in on suitcases too, and here are their thoughts:
- Jessica Doll: My favorite suitcase for the last few years has been my Tumi Tegralite International Carry-On. It’s not only light, it’s smaller than regulation size (no fighting for space!), and actually fits quite a lot of stuff.
- Jess Lively: I spent about 30 hours researching this decision, since I knew I was going to be living out of it for the foreseeable future. The winner? The very wonderful Away carry on in black. I’ve been living out of this puppy for 9 solid months and I would never go back to a soft-shell case again. It’s the best.
• • •
And there you have it!
My travel tote is a camera bag by ONA (but this travel tote is actually a better, lighter option), and the plaid shirt I’m wearing in the video? You can find it here.
The winter packing series is going on all week long! Here’s what’s coming up next:
- 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.
See you Thursday! (And in the meantime, what do you think? Feelin’ the video vibe? Want to see more videos on Unfancy?)
Thanks for the post– the video sounds fun, but for some reason, I wasn’t able to view it. I run Chrome and the video would load and begin to play for a second or two but then it would freeze for long periods of time. It’s a good thought, though! :)
Hi Annie! Try this link ( https://youtu.be/AoszvpB12ZM ). It should be working now. :)
Rachel C Baird says
The video won’t load for me :( just keeps thinking. Don’t know if that’s a common issue.
Hi Rachel! Try this link ( https://youtu.be/AoszvpB12ZM ) and it should work for you now. :)
Bethan Axford says
Love the video Caroline! As a bit of a packing nerd, I really enjoy in seeing how you do it.
My top tip for maximising your packing (and you may do this, but it didn’t feature in the video) is to stuff your shoes with underwear and rolled base layers. This helps your shoes keep their shape and maximises that “dead air” they otherwise hold hostage. You can also include small items like chargers as well, but this is a little less efficient and not quite as kind on your shoes!
Thanks for the excellent tip! :)
Loved this post and the video! Keep them coming ;) Love the coat from Aritizia. Do you think you would need to size up from your normal size to accommodate bulkier sweaters underneath?
Hey Christy, I actually think the jacket runs large, so I sized down for a fitted look. If you get your normal size, it should accommodate bulkier layers underneath just fine! :)
I like the video! And the KonMarie packing method is genius. How did I never fumble across this until now. I’m going to be traveling more and will be trying out your tips for packing. One question, does the standing clothes method keep wrinkles from forming or do I need to just break down for a travel steamer (and if so, is there one you recommend?)
Hey Amanda, some clothes seem to wrinkle no matter what — although the rolling helps a little bit. I still recommend purchasing a travel steamer like this one: http://bit.ly/2dbkZvP It has so many uses, since it kills bacteria as well! :)
Really loved the video. Yes, I would like more. Sometimes it’s just hard to visualize the process. I also liked the content and style.
Lee Vosburgh says
LOVED the video!! More please :) Such great packing tips and tricks too. Now I just need to book a trip somewhere! xo
Marie Therese says
Loved your video! I do the KonMari method at home, but I’ve never thought to do it in the suitcase. Thanks for the inspo :)
ok, i might be your first youtube subscriber ;). Very helpfull tips and God! you are so lovely and well spoken ,please make more yt videos!!!
Madeline Mudd says
Love that you followed up the last post with a video! The last couple of posts have been so helpful, so thanks a ton!
Katie garlick says
Hi there caroLINE :) wHAT SIZE FLANNEL ARE YOU WEARING IN THE VIDEO. I SEE THEY ARE FINAL SALE SO IF I GET ONE, WANT TO MAKE SURE IT WILL FIT. THANKS!
Hi Katie! I usually get a Small in their flannels but I got a Medium for a more oversized look. :)
Nicole LaRock says
YES to more videos, that was FANTASTIC. Thanks Caroline.
J. owens says
Great video! Your blog is a great source of outfit inspiration!
This is a wonderful series, Caroline, thank you. And kudos to you on your first video. It’s spot on. Cheers, Ardith
Really helpful, thanks!
When you travel, do you wind up using your suitcase/carryon as a “drawer” to store your clothes in, or are you generally able to unpack and hang things up or put them away properly? I ask because that might change how one folds or what type of suitcase is used (open-lid vs. lay-flat).
Love that you make a point of using clothing you already have rather than buying something special just because of one activity Also agree about being willing to check luggage if necessary.
Hey MK, I do unpack at my destination to feel a little more settled in :)
Good job on the video! You’re a natural.
I feel like such a geek, but I loved this! I was like, “there’s no way all that is going to fit in a carry on!” so it was very satisfying when it did. Where do you get the shoe bags?
And also – did you pack the travel steamer?
I did! It was in the brown bag with triangles on it. :)
And the shoe bags are just plain muslin bags that you can buy in bulk: http://bit.ly/2kW8NSG :)
Where did you get that bag? Super cute!!
Packing light may sound daunting, but it is so incredibly worth it! I travel quite often (27 trips by plane in 2 years, trips ranging from two days to two weeks) and only pack in a carry on. I don’t even own larger luggage! I find it freeing to have only what I need for the planned activities and weather. No decisions of what to wear while traveling, because I’ve already thought that out. Just get up, get dressed, and go on an adventure!
I have never used packing cubes, but my sisters swear by them. A recent addition to my travel (and everyday) bags is Cuyana’s zipper tote. The flexible shape and zipper closure has been a game changer in travel for me. I can fit so much in there and slide it under the airline seat without issue, never having to worry about something falling out.
I thought your Hold Lightly concept in yesterday’s post was really interesting. I find that I hold lightly to my idea of fashion when I travel. By this I mean I limit myself to items that work well in multiple situations. I can’t justify bringing the shoes that work best with a dress if they ONLY work with that one dress. If you travel lightly, you need to make sure that everything that takes up space earns it’s keep. Even if you only end up wearing it once, you should have the option of wearing it multiple times while traveling.
Natalie Harney says
Thanks for this, and the video, I’m going away to Amsterdam next month and I’ve wondering how to pack, especially with the need for bulky knits!
Good job on the video! It was very helpful for this topic. I know videos take a great deal of time, but it would be nice to see more here and there.
I used to use space bags, especially for long haul trips overseas, but I now use the Kon Marie method for folding too and it works. I even use it when I pack for the hubs and he attends several international conferences and is all about that carry on life.
Great video! Very organized, simple, and great ideas. Love the “book ends.” Would like to see your travel grooming tips. Too, i love my bright pink packing cubes. I might venture off without them. Guess it depends on activities planned? Thanks for your great advice!?
Kathryn Curtis says
It’s great to see you “in person”, Caroline! ; ) As a major YouTube fan, I hope to see more videos from you. Loving the packing series. Your packing blogs always have me dreaming of travel.
Thanks for the video! Fun idea :)
Will by trying this shortly on a 3 week trip to South Africa!
LOVED your video, please do more of this kind of thing, it’s so helpful :)
Definitely feeling the video vibe! You are just as adorable and approachable on video as you are on your blog!
Thanks for answering my question about the Away suitcase. I’m super tempted to get one now :)
Samantha Lee says
Loved seeing how you pack your bag! I’ve heard of rolling your clothes but not just simply standing them upright – does that really seem to save a lot of space? Either way, I’m going to try it next time I have to pack, haha.
I loved seeing you in a video + the tips you gave are very useful. You should post more videos! Especially for us fashion and style dummies.
I have been reading your blog since not so long ago but I don’t miss any posts now. I think you are my style doupleganger both in the types of clothes and colors you were. And I love the bags and shoes you have… Oh well, this is all of the fangirling I will do for now,
P.S. I love that the blog is called UnFancy, I feel very represented whit that.
Loved the video, I think it would have been really great to have photos + video :) so enjoy reading your blog!
Is yours the regular sized carry-on, or the big carry-on? And do you ever wish you had bought the other size? (I’m in the market for a new carry-on and mostly travel domestically, so the big one would probably be fine, but I’m dithering.)
Hey Renee, mine is the regular size :)
Love this video! I’d like to see more details regarding what’s inside of your toiletry bags and your undies/workout/PJ situation. Also more videos would be great in the future :)
I don’t think I’ve ever heard your voice before! love it ;)
I’m loving this KonMari folding method!! Can’t wait to try it. Great video, thanks!
Hey Caroline!! Small confession here…I have been stalking your blog, Lol!! I have gone through ALL your archived posts and have finally caught up!! One word…INSPIRING!!! I have loved watching your style evolve from 2014 to now, and another confession…I am 43 and you kick my butt as far as knowing your style goes!! Thank you for being you and inspiring do many other women along your journey!!! Love and hugs!!
I agree with everything you just said, Nanci-Jean! So happy I stumbled upon such a great blog! :)
Great tips and video! Where is your bedspread from in the video? I love it!
Hey Sophie, thanks! The bedspread is fairly old from West Elm. This one is similar: http://bit.ly/2kS13oq and Anthropologie might be worth checking out too! :)
Keep the videos coming!! It was awesome :D
Girl & Closet says
Such great tips, Caroline! Plus, loved your video… you’re a natural, and can’t wait to implement what I learned next time I pack my carry on!! xo
Ida Pahus says
Great post just in time to read before travelling to Greece in 2 weeks! Great content Caroline!
Chandler Divers says
I love your video! Please do more of them and it was nice to hear your voice and see more of your personality :)
Caroline! This video was great!! I cannot wait to try this!
Yes to more videos! So helpful to see your tips in action. :) Also, splitting up toiletries into smaller bags… such a clever trick that sadly I’ve never thought to do!
Brittany Eastman says
Loved the video! Definitely subscribed and excited for more video content.
JESS LIVELY says
Thank you so much for inviting me to share! Sending you so much love, my friend!!
I just found your blog a few months ago, and I love it! The video was fantastic, and so helpful for visual types like me. Thanks!
Found your blog a couple months ago and have DEVOURED every post! Your style is exactly my style, but you do it so much better! I’ve learned a lot from you already and am really enjoying paring down my closet to the best of the best. Love the blog, love the video, love your style!
Did you fit your travel steamer in your carry on or did you put it in your tote? I didn’t see this in your video… I find that my travel steamer still takes up a fair amount of room, especially when not checking a bag.
Love your bag for toiletries, where could I get something like that? Love that it has your name on it!
John Lopez says
I just got an Away Carry On as a present from my wife…..I travel 50 weeks out of the year, mostly on business. Your tips here are really valuable and I can say, having used them for the last few weeks, tried and true! Thanks for adding the video and folding tips as well.