Here’s Exactly What I Pack in My Carry-On {with Tons of Room to Spare!}

Posted On Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Filed Under: shopping, Style Guide, Travel on a Dime

I’m sure you’re probably tired of me saying I’m the queen of the carry-on. Well, I am. I’ve shared a few tips on how to pack a carry-on like a pro but I realized I’ve never shown you the exact items that are in my bag when I travel.
Well, here it goes. If you’re still struggling with paring down your fashion choices when traveling, here’s exactly how to do it.

A few weeks ago I went to the Bahamas and as usual, I stuck with a single bag {I don’t do the checked baggage life!}. And not only did I have a single bag, but I had room to spare and even enough space to fit a leather jacket.

Here’s exactly what I packed and a few strategies you can use as well.
Have a Color Scheme
When it comes to clothing I try to stick with a color scheme. For you that might be all neutrals, but even if you love prints and patterns, you can still mix and match. I packed clothes that had red, coral, maroon or anywhere in that family. That meant I never had to worry about one item not matching with another.
One and Done
One pieces are the way to go. Though I had a pair of cut off shorts and leggings, the remainder of my items were dresses, rompers and a light weight button down tunic. These are the good “one and done.” No need to match a top or bottom, they’re good as is.
I made sure everything was layer-able. This is really helpful if you’re traveling from one climate to another. It was 27 degrees when I left NYC, but 72 degrees when I arrived in the Bahamas. The solution for that was to take what I’d wear in the Bahamas {a printed lightweight dress} and add a few pieces for warmth {light jacket, black leather jacket, thick fleece leggings and booties}. So I had a look that was warm enough for departing NYC, the flight {which was freezing!} and I just removed the layers when I arrived in the Bahamas. I had enough space in my bag that I was able to fit my leather jacket in my carry-on once I arrived at the airport.
On mornings when it was chilly in the Bahamas, I wore the tights and lightweight jacket along with my romper or long tunic. Sorry I didn’t photograph my footwear. But the only shoes I packed were a pair of nude sandals and flip flops for the beach.
Limit Accessories 
And my accessories are kept to a minimum. I have a small canvas tote that fits under my seat on the plane and it contains the essentials {book, chargers, ID, boarding pass, etc.}, but I also use this when I reached my destination. It’s a great bag for a day out or sight-seeing. And then there’s a small cross body with tassel drawstrings that I used for nights out. I feel vacation isn’t the place for bold flashy jewelry, so I limited myself to a few pairs of earrings, thin bangles, small rings and a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses.
Double-Duty Beauty 
And when it came to beauty items, I packed pretty light as well. Again, that carry-on life means nixing full size products. But there’s a way to do it so you’re not sacrificing your must-haves. The key? Sample size products. You know the samples you get from beauty counters or that come included with the purchase of full size items? Save those for your trips! Also, when I have products that come in small containers {night creams, serums, etc.}, after the product is used, I keep the container. Just fill them with the items you need and love. And you know I’m all about using the contact lens hack to score beauty products.
Sometimes it’s tempting to stuff your carry-on bag to the max, but this is what you absolutely do not want to do. Allow yourself some wiggle room so you can fit a piece of outerwear and/or souvenirs.
How do you pack a carry-on bag so you have room for souvenirs? What do you always tend to overpack {clothes, accessories, beauty products, etc.}? 
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