Carry On Luggage Tips & Tricks

I use to be a terrible packer and have paid my fair share of oversize luggage fees! I now travel a ton with work and Clayton and I love to get away as much as we can and I absolutely REFUSE to check luggage, no matter how long the trip! The 30 day Asia trip we did this past December, only carry on haha! Anyone can do carry on luggage it just takes some time, coordination and organization! Depending on if the trip is for work or pleasure or maybe a little bit of both you can always fit everything you need into a carry on!

For a week trip I usually take 2 skirts (one short/one long), a pair of pants or capris depending on summer/winter and a pair of leggings. I match the bottoms with 3 tops all of which work with every bottom (that is the key, coordinating outfits so all tops and bottoms work together giving you a total of 12 outfit options) and if its in the summer I will always bring one or two dresses (again one more dressy and one more casual). Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to making packing carry-on luggage easier:

  • You can fit a lot more items in your luggage if you roll everything
  • Your carry on bag should always have an expandable zipper, for all the stuff you bring back!
  • Put smaller items like bathing suits or underwear inside the shoes you are packing otherwise it’s just wasted space
  • Since you are allowed a personal item (i.e. backpack/purse) on the plane, I bought myself a Stella & Dot Getaway expandable bag which is an absolute life saver (link here) especially if you do more shopping than initially planned, oops!!! I will put my purse inside of the getaway bag so I will carry the getaway bag and my rolly bag to equate for my two pieces of carry on and on the way home I can unzip both bags for added storage!
  • If you are traveling with a spouse take advantage of the additional space you will have, most of the time I can fit all of my clothes and the majority of Clayton’s clothes in my rolly carry on, the remainder of the clothes/shoes and accessories will fill a small portion of Clayton’s rolly bag but still have your spouse bring a backpack/personal item even if it is empty!

The liquid situation can be tough. Each liquid item must be under 100mls. You can purchase the travel carry on empty containers at shoppers, I  use these for shampoo/conditioner/body wash/body lotion/hair products etc (if you are going to be staying in a hotel the likelihood is there will be body wash and lotion there so don’t bring it)! I also have a smaller see through plastic case that all my liquids go into. I put this liquid bag in my purse because they always ask you at security to remove your liquids and put them in the bin, that way you are not fishing through your neatly packed bag while unhappy travellers are snarling behind you (I speak through experience:))!!

On the plane I will wear the pair of leggings, my boots, one of the tops, a scarf and a sweater or jacket. Besides my boots I will bring one pair of heels and one pair of flats (again all shoes will work with all of the 9 items of clothing you’ve packed. Lastly I will toss in a couple pairs of earrings and two necklaces (one long/one short) as well as my makeup kit, hair tools and you’re set!

I have added a picture below to show all of the above and how I packed for my upcoming trip to Regina! As you can see Ive packed for a week and there is still at least another row of clothes that could go in as well as additional space in-between the shoes! I hope this helps you become a more efficient packer and helps save you money on those oversize luggage fees haha:)

Sarah xo


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