A Week in a Carry-On: Packing Tips to Save You Time and Money

2 trips, 4 destinations, one carry-on
My last 2 international trips were to Paris via Iceland and to London via Vermont. In each trip, the separate destinations required different wardrobes. Yet, with my new packing strategy, I was able to pack for 7+ days traveling to 2 international destinations in a single carry-on (plus personal item) each time. What’s more, my carry-on followed the WOW Air weight restrictions. Following the guidelines for WOW Air is quite a different task than domestic travel with unweighted carry-ons. You pay for every extra on WOW, so a “large carry-on” that is 22x18x10in and 26 lbs/12 kilos costs an extra $40+ depending on when you purchase the allowance. Half of the point of flying WOW is to keep costs down, so I try to fall into the “small carry-on” category, which is 17x13x10in and 22 lbs / 10 kilos. But WOW is another post for another day!


The first time Sally and I decided to go with the small carry-on, we didn’t know if it was possible…but we saw it as a challenge and got as creative as possible. What that lead to is my new packing strategy for most any trip I take…it keeps you light, and you don’t have to worry about checking a bag or losing luggage.


A note to all the over packers who are terrified of sizing down: I used to be you! Promise. I always took at least 3 extra outfits just in case I didn’t feel like wearing something…and then threw in a few extra pieces for good measure. But let me tell you, packing light is so freeing. And irony of all ironies, even at this scaled down level of packing, I STILL have managed to pack extra pieces that don’t get worn.


Before we dive in, a few caveats: We are not accounting for “special events” trips – i.e. something that requires a whole outfit, shoes, and accessories that are completely different from the rest of your style. Examples would include: interview on one day, gala, etc. It CAN be done, but if you’re going over for something special and adding on a few extra days, might as well just go for the bigger luggage. #realtalk


Ready to go? Let’s get to packing!

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