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Week Vacay in a Carry-On

by Rebecca Bertone

May 8th, 2017

So you’ve caught the travel bug, huh? Welcome to the club. Summer is fast approaching and we’re all ready for that summer vacay. Flights and hotels are expensive enough, without the frustration of added resort and baggage fees. Lucky for us, most airlines allow one carry-on size piece of luggage, along with a personal item, for free! What better way to cut costs without compromising enjoyment than to fit everything in your carry-on suitcase. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds, if you prepare. Check out our tips to make it fit.

I’m not a light packer, in any sense of the term. My suitcase is always filled with my “what if” items: the what-if-I’m-not-feeling-those-wedges flats, the i’ll-wear-these-if-we-don’t-walk-that-much sandals, and the I-know-it’s-90-degrees-but-what-if-I-need-it sweater. I’m that girl. Good news is, I made a week’s worth of stuff fit in my carry-on for my most recent trip back to California (cue the LL Cool J song). Here’s how I did it:


Not everything is an essential. If you didn’t get a chance to check out our Capsule Wardrobe post, definitely check that out! To recap, if you bring specific pieces that can be mixed and matched with the rest of your vacation wardrobe, you instantly have way more options than if you bring the navy dress with that specific floral pattern, or the red heels that go with only one pair of jeans. Sticking to the essentials like a white t-shirt, jeans, a black dress, and a versatile jacket, nets you endless outfit opportunities.


These are serious lifesavers. Some of our fave products like OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner, Batiste Dry Shampoo, and Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser are now available in travel sizes. Just make sure to keep it under 3oz a piece and pack them in a clear, plastic bag. Ain't nobody got time for a serious TSA screening.


If you're super tight on space, bring a few laundry pods or a travel size laundry soap. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in a hotel sink or bathtub. Quick washing undergarments, bralettes, and swimsuits saves on space. Laundry soap is also great if anything ends up on that dress that fits you like a dream and you must.wash. it. now.


If space really doesn't allow for a few laundry pods, a spot cleaning pen is another great option to throw in your purse. Tide to go offers mini sizes for travel. Keep your clothes looking fresh and new, even if those jeans are on day 3.


Packing light, often times, means rewearing a few pieces. No shame in that, whatsoever! I love Downy fabric spray for two reasons: it's a wrinkle release spray, so no ironing or specific folding needed, and it smells awesome!


When I saw the words “space saver” next to a picture of a suitcase on the box, I was sold. Ziploc space saver bags were made just for this purpose. Toss all your folded tops in the bag, seal it, and roll it up. Rolling it pushed all the air out of these bags and shrinks the contents down to nearly a quarter of it's original size. I tossed tops in on, pants and dresses in another, PJs and lounge clothes in a third, and I was good to go!

Don't forget, you can pick up all the items mentioned here in our Carry-On Travel Collection. As always, you'll earn cash rewards for every purchase. So, go ahead and have that second margarita in Mexico. You earned it.

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