Does the thought of packing two weeks of travel gear into one carry on bag send shivers down your spine? Leave you wondering just how all that stuff will fit into one teeny tiny bag? Have you pondering what could you possibly leave behind? Ponder no more! With these seven space saving tips, you really CAN pack two weeks into one carry on bag.
Seven Space-Saving Tips For Packing A Carry-On
Carry-on bags are designed to hold only a few day’s worth of travel gear. So traveling for weeks with just a carry on bag might seem a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be! This family of four has done it, and so can you. Here are seven tips that can have you packing two weeks into a carry-on bag in no time.
1. Begin With Efficient Packing Equipment
Efficiently packing two weeks into a carry-on bag begins with the bag itself. There are lots of good quality carry-on bags to choose from that won’t break the bank. The key is to find the one that works for you.
Traveler’s Tip: Explore different styles of carry on bags at local retailers before you buy, and decide what features are most important to you. It’ll be worth it in the end!
Next on the equipment list should be several packing cubes and space saver bags. They can transform an ordinary carry on bag into the ultimate two-week travel bag. My favorite are the Eagle Creek Pack It Cubes.
Traveler’s Tip: Use both packing cubes and space saver bags for maximum space saving and organization.
2. Pack A Versatile, Color Coordinated Wardrobe
Versatility and color coordination are tantamount to an efficient, functional travel wardrobe. Select a few key pieces, then plan your travel wardrobe around them. Think of it as Garanimals for the whole family!
- Pick one color scheme. Start with a neutral base, then add one or two pops of color.
- Pack pants that convert to shorts, swim shorts that double as walking or hiking shorts.
- Leave that funky-fun outfit that doesn’t match anything else at home. Unless you happen to have enough room to squeeze it into the bag! 🙂
3. Pack Lightweight Performance Fabrics
Clothes made from performance fabrics tend to be lightweight, breathe well and are easy to pack. They also tend to be easy to clean and wrinkle resistant. All are essential features for more efficient packing. Think clothes made from PrimaLoft, Coolmax and Tencel.
Traveler’s Tip: Jeans are weighty, space sucking clothes. Consider performance fabric pants instead. There’s lots of sweet designs to choose from – some even look like jeans! If jeans are a must, limit it to one pair, and wear them on the plane. That’s what we do.
4. Leave The Big Bottles of Liquids At Home
Big bottles of shampoo or other liquids take up valuable packing space, and if flying, they will probably be snagged by airport security. Follow TSA 3-1-1 Carry-on Rules that limit the amount of liquids you can bring on a plane, and leave those big bottles at home.
What to do if you just can’t leave home without your favorite shampoo? Use travel bottles that comply with TSA 3-1-1 requirements. My favorites are GoToobs. They work great, are TSA 3-1-1 compliant, and can hold a wide variety of liquids.
- Pack just enough liquids for a few days. Once at your destination, pick up the liquids you will need for the rest of the trip.
- Pack bar soap or pre-moistened cleansing toweletts instead of liquid body and face soaps. Ponds, Olay and Neutrogena all make great facial cleansing towelettes.
- Pack bug wipes instead of bug spray. Two favorites are Natrapel 8 Hour Wipes and Ben’s Wipes. They are easy to pack and are perfect in a day bag for those unexpected bug attacks!
5. Wear Bulky Stuff on The Airplane
Just gotta have those boots? Save on luggage space and wear them! Same goes for those coveted jeans, that must-have jacket or sweater.
Traveler’s Tip: Too warm to wear that sweatshirt or jacket? Don’t pack it. Instead, tie it to the handle of your carry on bag. Not only will you save on packing space, you now have an easily accessible extra layer or pillow for long flights or cool cabin temperatures.
6. Wear-Rewear-Wash-Wear Again
Save valuable suitcase space by rewearing items, especially pants and shorts. You’re on vacation! Go on, wear the same pants three times. With different shirts, practically no one will remember you wore those pants two days ago.
Traveler’s Tip: Pack performance fabrics. Easy to clean up small messes in the hotel room if there’s no time for laundry. Refer to the above section on Performance Fabrics.
7. Plan A Laundry Day
Doing laundry once can cut your packed clothes in half. It’s not that hard to do, really! Most hotels have guest-accessible laundry facilities. Just one to two loads of laundry about half way through a two week trip should keep your family neat and clean.
- Fill a small zip-lock baggie with enough powder laundry detergent for one load of laundry. Two baggies if you plan for two loads. They are small and easy to pack, and you will avoid paying those crazy hotel laundry dispenser prices!
- Use down time to do laundry. Perhaps it’s an afternoon of reading by the pool, or an evening of pizza and games. Laundry won’t seem so tedious when you are just hanging out with a book, regenerating for the next day’s adventures.
What’s Your Favorite Packing Tip?
How do you pack your carry on bag? Do you have any tips to share? Let us know in the Comments section below.