- Make a list of what you want to bring. Start by thinking of all the outfits you feel your best in and feel most comfortable wearing. Put everything on the list that has to come with you including things like your camera, laptop, phone charger, etc.
- Come up with an outfit for each day you’re going to be away. Just one outfit for travel to and from your destination. I suggest wearing your bulkiest items in one outfit, provided they all work together, so you don’t have to take up space with that pair of boots, jeans and a chunky sweater.
- If you collect pieces that are within the same color family, you’ll be able to mix and match your pieces to create different outfits using fewer items of clothing. For my trip to Paris I was gone for seven days and I packed one pair of skinny jeans and one pair of black skinny jeans. I wore black leggings for my flights. Then packed more tops that I could layer/change from day to day and coordinate with the bottoms.
- When I have my list complete, I have pull those items from my closet and dresser and lay them out on my bed. Here’s where you take a close, hard look at everything before actually putting them in your suitcase. See if you can remove any items.
- Pack clothing that travels well and roll it up to save yourself a touch up with the iron when you arrive at your destination. This obviously doesn’t work so well when you have a formal occasion to attend or business attire to bring with you, but do what you can.
- Gotta tell you, my biggest ordeal when trying to get myself on a carry-on only travel diet was paring down my lotions and potions. This girl has an extensive collection of skin and hair products. The first thing I did was ask “is this absolutely necessary or can I live with out it?” On a recent trip to New Orleans, I left my travel hairspray because I knew it would be humid and it wouldn’t be any use - I’d just style my hair in a way that didn’t require hairspray - braids, buns and top knots. Other life-savers when it comes to complying with the TSA’s 3-1-1 requirement - small refillable travel size containers so you can bring your favorites with you and sample sizes from your favorite beauty lines. I’ve used a sample size eye creme from Aveda for my last few trips.
Have you ever traveled carry-on luggage only? Any tips to share? If you haven’t tried it yet, but are thinking you want to, just go for it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll never go back to overpacking any paying to check that giant suitcase full of things you may not even wear. Good luck and happy traveling!