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Pack For Any Getaway With One Carry-On

by Kimberly Mollo

Sep 3, 2014

© Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

It may sound improbable, impossible or just plain crazy, but packing everything you need into one carry-on item — regardless of trip length or destination — can be done.


Packing light can help reduce overall stress during traveling and save money otherwise spent on checking multiple pieces of luggage. Best of all, you can stroll right past the luggage carousel upon exiting the plane.


The key to fitting everything you need into one carry-on bag is to bring clothes that can be mixed, matched and layered with each other. Colors like black, white and gray can be paired with virtually everything and work in every season.


Here are some essentials to get you through any getaway while feeling comfortable and stylish without breaking your back hauling a heavy suitcase:

  • Toiletries: Pack the shower essentials, as well as any necessary medication, eyewear and other items. Once the bare necessities are packed away, fit your clothes, accessories and shoes into your bag along with your toiletries to gauge how much room you have left to fit non-essentials.
  • One pair blue jeans
  • One pair colorful or black jeans
  • One pair leggings (black, gray or brown)
  • One pair shorts or skirt
  • One dress, for dressing up or down
  • Three t-shirts
  • One knit top or sweater
  • One to two cardigans
  • Two to four tank tops, for layering
  • One nice blouse or button-down shirt
  • Pajamas, underwear, socks and tights
  • One lightweight coat, depending on weather
  • Shoes — one pair of ballet flats and a pair of oxfords, plus sandals or ankle boots, depending on weather
  • Accessories — one or two lightweight scarves, as well as a few necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings
  • For the flight, wear the bulkiest pair of shoes you plan to bring — knee-length boots, for instance, take up a ton of room in a bag. Wearing an additional pair of leggings with a long t-shirt or sweater and a blazer saves even more room in your carry-on.


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