I consider myself a pretty seasoned traveler and I like giving myself these dorky travel challenges: going through security without setting off the metal detectors (on the first try), using a max of 2 bins on the conveyor belt, seeing how many days I can pack into a carry-on bag…
You see, I thought I got the last one totally nailed when I spent 4 days in Atlanta and only packed a carry on, but I forgot to bring underwear, so that’s sort of a false victory. (I ended up going to Target to remedy that situation, by the way). In about a week and a half I’ll be embarking on a 7-night stay in the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend. Oh, and I’m flying to Maryland to meet him one day early, so we can travel together. So that’s a total of NINE DAYS of clothes I need to account for. I’ve never been gone that long before unless it was a family road trip—thus oversized suitcases were never an issue. However, a conversation with my co-workers and my dorky desire to test my travel prowess provoked me to attempt to pack this entire trip into my trusty pink Delsey carry-on (BTW, the blue valet I use in this video is a Baggallini).
I’ve seen other folks online successfully pack multiple days in a carry-on but they employed a level of clothing reuse that I felt was suspect. Besides, I’m stylish. I like to have options and not recycle anything other than a pair of jeans. So here’s what I decided to bring… brace yourself:
- 2 pairs of jeans
- taupe long sleeve blouse
- gray long sleeve shirt
- Betsey Johnson long sleeve tee shirt
(Those are my airplane clothes. I wear pants and long sleeve shirts when I fly because I’m always cold)
- orange maxi dress
- peach shirtdress
- white/floral tube dress
- white shorts / Lacoste top
- white sequin tank / jeggings
- green walking shorts / orange beaded top
- black tailored shorts / black & white sleeveless top
- pink romper
- white romper
- green “brunch dress”
- multi-color party dress
- swimsuit cover-up
- 3 swimsuits
- 4 tanks / 2 shorts (pajamas… it’s a formality)
- 4 brassieres
- 9 undergarments
- 2 belts
- black clutch purse
- gold flip flops
- black wedges
- yellow/neutral flat sandals
I couldn’t even really fit all the stuff on the bed to show you guys.
Here are the shoes—and for people that know me, three pairs of shoes on a trip is nearly unheard of. I’m just bringing the most versatile ones.
The swimsuits, pajamas, “airport security socks”, my Ritz-Carlton travel candle and my trusty valet.
Now let me tell you something about those last two items. I have shared a hotel room with several folks at a time and you do NOT want to be in a situation where the bathroom gets blown up and there’s no recourse. A scented candle is both allowable and necessary. And the valet, I like to call that CVS in a bag. I’ve got makeup AND brushes, makeup remover, toothbrush, flosser sticks, a nail file, Band-Aids, emergency “femme products”, razors, safety pins, earrings, a shower cap, deodorant, lint removing sheets, dress tape, and a tube filled with OTC pills that will remedy headaches, tummy issues and allergies.
All my products considered, I used the following method to pack.
I had to admit, I was feeling very skeptical. But I folded everything over and even wedged in my travel candle. It was important that it be packed near the top and easily accessible since sometimes airport security wants a look at it.
Much to my disbelief, I closed the suitcase EFFORTLESSLY! Note my bags in the flat zipper compartment for my dirty laundry as the days pass.
I reserved the small zip compartment for a pen and the cords and chargers for my devices.
And the larger one is for my flat iron, brush, comb, headscarf and 1-quart bag of liquids that needs to be accessible.
That stuff ends up getting packed last because I’m usually using it before I go. Finally, here’s my travel outfit.
I’m wearing my bulkiest shoes and carrying a large tote as my personal item. In there I will have my passport, wallet, laptop & charger, iPod & headphones, as well as the clutch purse I’m bringing on the trip. My airport security socks will go in there as well. I considered bringing a book, but my phone has a Kindle app that I’ll make good use of without adding weight to my tote.
And THAT, my friends is how you pack for 8 days in a carry-on bag.