How to Pack 3 Weeks of Clothes into a Carry-On Bag

While I am traveling this week and part of next week I will be republishing some of my older and earlier posts.  It seems that I can’t always get to a computer – it might be because the sun and surf are calling my name.  Thank you for continuing to read some of these older posts.

Blogger Hubby is ALWAYS telling me to pack less particularly when we will be schlepping our luggage from place to place, up very narrow staircases and in and out of trains.

I admit it, I am an overpacker and would go to a support group if I could find one. “Let me pack this just in case I might need it” is something he hears frequently.   At the end of every trip, I admit to myself (never out loud so he could hear it) that I brought too much and also brought home things that I didn’t wear or only wore so I could say that I wore it.

photo courtesy of blog.chegg.com
photo courtesy of blog.chegg.com

I googled about ways to pack more efficiently and learned some important tools.  Choose a couple of complementary colors.  In my case, since I was taking a fall trip, I choose black, grey and herringbone pants.  My tops were a teal, black and a black/grey/white print –  colors that would go with any of those slacks.  Also in my suitcase was a scarf that I could wear to dress up the tops, put over me as a blanket on our flight over and wear with my solid color dress that I needed.  I brought two pairs of shoes – good, sturdy walking shoes and a pair of Mary Janes.  Since my dress wasn’t overly dressy, the Mary Janes worked.  I also brought a thin roll-up water resistant jacket, a sweater (not bulky) and a thinner turtleneck sweater that I could layer under the sweater or wear alone.  Other than my 3 pairs of travel underwear (wash at night and by morning they are dry)and three pairs of Smart Wool socks and my nightgown that is all I brought for clothing.

By staying with a few colors I know that everything will match, blend or coordinate with each other.  I will admit that it made travel much easier by only having one carry-on size suitcase and I didn’t struggle everyday as to what I was going to wear – I only had so many choices.  I’ve learned to roll my clothes to keep them more wrinkle free than regular folding.  I also bring with me a small spray bottle (that I fill with things while packed in my suitcase) so I can give those clothes a quick spritz when I hang them up – perfect for getting wrinkles out.

How do you pack?  Do you have a secret that makes it easier or do you bring everything?  Please share your secrets.

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7 thoughts on “How to Pack 3 Weeks of Clothes into a Carry-On Bag

  1. As an expat, when on international flights where I want to bring a lot more things than the luggage allowance grants, I actually use a golf club travel bag. I pay one small fee (or none depending on the airline) and can cram tons in there! I’ve been known to bring maple syrup, peanut butter, and crest toothpaste when I’m restocking in the States.
    As for traveling light… I’m looking forward to taking your advice!

    1. There are many, many suitcases that have the standard size (22 x 14 x 9) but what my experience has been is that the suitcases that come in a set (let’s say 3 pieces) have a smaller carry-on suitcase. They generally have a 20 or 21 inch carry-on. A few years ago I looked up in Consumer Reports for recommendations for suitcases and they recommended Delsey which I can find at one of my favorite stores – TJ Maxx. For the serious travelers many use the TUMI or the Briggs and Riley. What is important to them is how lightweight and durable their bags are. For the type of traveling we do, I am very happy with my Delsey and what I paid for it. Hope this helps.

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