When traveling, I never check my luggage unless I am forced to. I like to know where my stuff is at all times. One of my biggest fears while traveling is arriving at my destination without my luggage.
When traveling for long periods of time, especially overseas, it can be hard to fit everything you want to bring into a carry on.
When traveling to Greece, I wanted to be sure to only bring a carry on but have a good variety of outfits to style and wear. Here are my tips for packing a carry on for a long trip!
When I know I have a long trip coming up, I don’t wait until the last minute to decide what I want to bring. I start a month in advance and I go through my closet and put together outfits. This way if I don’t like what I have, I can still shop and not be rushed.
For our recent trip to Greece, I knew that I was going to be spending most of my time in swimsuits or light cotton skirts and flowy outfits because it is so hot there. After looking in my closet, I wasn’t too happy with my selection so I was able to order a bunch of outfits for my trip.
Two Piece Sets:
Two piece sets are awesome because you can mix and match the tops and bottoms to make multiple outfits out of one! It not only saves room in your luggage, but you can usually dress these sets up or down.
I wore this yellow two piece set from Free People to dinner but then wore the pants over my swimsuit and with another crop top on different days:
This two piece skirt and top set comes in multiple colors and I love that you can literally wear this skirt a million different ways!
Here I wore it as a complete set:
Here I wore the same skirt in white but over my swimsuit:
I only brought 4 pairs of shoes to Greece with me, and as a general rule, I try to pack as few shoes as possible because they take up too much room. I always pack the following:
-One pair of dressy, neutral heels. I brought my favorite black ones.
-One pair of tennis shoes for working out, hiking, and for my travel days. These are my current favorite tennis shoes that I wore on our trip.
-One pair of shoes that literally go with everything I brought. For Greece, these brown Zara flats were my every day essential shoe.
-One pair that I may not wear every day, but that goes with most of my wardrobe, in case I want to mix it up. For Greece I brought my Gucci mules.
Rather than bringing a purse, I always bring a large backpack instead. I couldn’t fit a purse in my carry on bag and a backpack provides extra space for additional items.
You can bring a carry on and a purse or backpack, so why not choose the option that will give you the most space?
In my backpack I put my shoes, my camera, a sweater for the flight and my makeup bag. By putting my shoes in my backpack, I was able to save so much room in my carry on for all of my clothing and swimsuits.
People often ask me how I travel with all of my hats.
There are two ways that I do this: I either put them in my carry on and pack things around them so they don’t get damaged or I wear multiple hats on my head. I know this can look ridiculous but I honestly couldn’t care less what people think of me.
No one really ever said anything or gave me weird looks before, people usually say “what a good idea!”
Any other small accessories like belts and jewelry just get packed snuggly into a corner of my bag.
The best way that I save room though is by putting my shoes in a backpack and not bringing any purses with me. If you really want a purse, you can take a smaller one and put it in the backpack or find room in your carry on.
Roll Your Clothes
Rather than folding your clothes, roll them really, really tightly. You won’t believe how much room this will save you! I can fit twice as many items in my luggage if I roll them and I have also found that they wrinkle less this way!
-I never bring a hair dryer because I’ve never been to a place that doesn’t have one. Worse comes to worse, I air dry my hair and then curl it. I always bring a curling iron when I travel. My hair is naturally straight so I rarely bring a straightener.
-Buy toiletries when you get to your destination. Other than deodorant and my facial creams, I don’t pack soaps or shampoo. I either use the shampoo and soap provided by the hotel or I buy them when I arrive at my destination. This saves a ton of room and doesn’t cause any problems for me when trying to get through security.
-Do laundry if you can. While in Greece, we did laundry halfway through our trip. The key is to not use the hotel laundry because they charge an arm and a leg. Instead find the closest dry cleaner and drop off and pickup your clothes. We paid $24 euro for two large bags of clothes to be washed and our hotel would have charged us $300 euro! It was so easy, we simply dropped the laundry off in the morning and picked it up the next day.
Those are basically my travel tips for making the most out of your carry on space. I don’t remember the last time I checked a luggage!
I think if I were going somewhere cold, it would be harder because sweaters, coats and boots are bulky but warm destinations are pretty easy!
I had a lot of questions about my Greece outfits and posted photos of most of them in this blog post and wanted to link them all up here for those who were interested.
I also linked up items that people were most interested in here: