How To Pack For A 10 Day Trip In A Carry On...When You're A Chronic Over Packer

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Okay, so I keep seeing all of these articles and videos pop up on my Facebook feed about how these ninja packers are able to pack for their entire trips in just a tiny carry on and and personal item.  And you know what?  I feel jealous...and in awe....because I'm all over here like:

Really, I have been wanting to try this whole packing light thing for a while.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a bit, know that I used to work in the airline industry.  And frankly, I hate having to buy plane tickets now, let alone baggage fees!  So, I am all about trying to fit everything I can into one tiny bag.  But I swear, I am the worst over packers, so I had my doubts on if it could be done.  But you  know what??  I DID IT!!!  And wait til you see how much I shoved fit inside that bag!  There is hope for the rest of us yet!

For my trip, it was summer time and we were coming from South Carolina and heading to Canada and upstate New York.  Weather would be between the 50s-90s,  I had to pack for all sorts of weather conditions.  Now, I'm not gonna lie, there was a moment during my packing where I was just like, you know what??  Forget it, I'm just gonna get on the plane like this:

(Ha, I am always down for a good Friends meme, still love that show!).  But really though, take a peak, this is what went into my carry on:

In case you can't tell in that mess of clothes, that is exactly:

  • 3 jeans (1 was worn on the plane)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 10 shirts ( 6 tank tops, 2 short sleeve shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts) Wore 1 tank and 1 short sleeve shirt on plane
  • 5 sweaters/cardigans (wore 1 tied around my waist on plane)
  • 2 pajama pants
  • 1 pajama shirt (tanks doubled as pajama shirts too)
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 dress
  • 1 pair of flip flops (wore sneakers on the plane since they were bulkier)

Not to mention a bunch of underwear (2 of which were Thinx), some bras, etc.  I also fit in there some medicines, thermometer, mini shower essentials, deodorant, razor, hair dryer, straightener, curling iron, brush, toothbrush, makeup.... (Hi, I'm Kelly and I'm an over packer.)

And this is just a small roller bag, not even the biggest size you can carry on.  So as you can can be done...even for the over packers among us!

In case you're curious, my "personal item" included my empty purse rolled up inside, passport, book, airport snacks, camera, important travel info, wallet, etc.

I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of myself for my first attempt at doing this longer than a couple days.

So, how exactly does it all fit in there??  It's all about folding.  I know, we've heard it time and time again, but it's actually about how it's folded.  I wasn't sure that it would work, but here's the proof!!

Start with your pants.  Put each pair on top of each other, flat:

Grab all of them and fold lengthwise:

Now, fold them in half the other way.  Grab the waist and bring them down to the ankles:

Put them first in your carry on:

Next, grab your long sleeve cardigans/sweaters/ and even short sleeve t-shirts.  Put them on top of each other, sleeves out stretched:

Next, grab all of the sleeves on one side and cross them over the chest, like this:

Next, take the other arms and do the same.  Fold them across the chest, over the top of the other sleeves:

Finally, fold- don't roll- the bottoms, up to the neck:

Put those on top of the pants in your carry on:

Doesn't look like there's much room left  does it?  Oh, but there is!

Time for tank tops and fitted short sleeve shirts.  Put them all on top of each other:

Start rolling from the bottom up to the neck:

There's probably room to put them right at the front.  Shouldn't be on top of pants or anything.

I had one casual dress I was bringing too.  I did this separately, but the same way as my tank tops, but I folded it in half first, like the pants:

I found room for that bad boy along the other side of the suitcase.  (Packing like this actually really helps with things not being wrinkly when they get to your long as they start out that way, lol)

Voila!  Put underwear/bathing suits, etc in first, under the pants.  And you know what?  I still found room for my hair dryer, straightener, curling iron, etc in their.  I used the pocket on the top half of my carry on for toiletries, medicines, and other small items.


There are a couple ways to go about this....either try to pack mostly neutrals and spice up your wardrobe with jewelry or scarfs.  The other option is to pick one staple piece of clothing and make everything else fit around that.  Pretty much the idea is to make every item fit together with the other pieces of clothing so that you can have the most options of mixing and matching and easy to pick any items together and throw them on.

Bring layers.  Less bulky sweaters and more thinner items that can be worn over each other for warmth.  (I was still able to fit a couple heavier sweaters in there.  1  of which I tied around my waist at the airport to save room.)

Book a few hotels that have laundry facilities available for you to wash and dry your clothes and strategic points throughout your trip.  We only needed to wash clothes once, halfway through the trip.

Seriously, try to pack less.  Yes, I fit all of this stuff in my bag, but I didn't even wear everything.  It would have helped to have more room for souvenirs that I picked up along the way.

Do you have more tips on packing light?  Do you live in the same clothes at home but pack for every possible scenario when you travel too?  Are you a huge "Friends" fanatic like me??  Let me know what's on your mind in the comments below!

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