How to pack for a 10/15 day trip: The carry on challenge

It seems like more and more airlines are moving toward the industry practice of charging passengers for their suitcases, only allowing them a free carry on. To which we say “challenge accepted!” So, with the news of American Airlines and other big names in the industry making these changes we decided to give it a shot for one of our trips!

Carry On Challenge Tips

  1. Make outfits that you can mix and match
  2. For coolder weather, layer!
  3. Think of everything you want to pack, then cut that list in half. And half again if you need to!
  4. Keep your base items in solid colors
  5. Keep it neutral OR all in the same color scheme so things can match.
  6. Sometimes less is more, sometimes you just have less to wear. Be okay with that.

Things to Think About

Obviously what you need to pack will vary on where you are going and what you are doing. But some of the things are pretty universal like undies!

  • 2 pairs of shoes max!

One super comfy pair to wear until they fall apart and one nicer pair just in case. And make sure they are weather appropriate, I know it goes without saying buuuuuut…

  • Jeans

Even if you aren’t normally a jean wearer, we all have to admit that jeans are durable and versatile. Consider throwing a pair into your bag or if you wear them while you travel you have more room in your bag since they can be a bulkier item.

  • Light sweaters

They are great for layering if it gets too chilly and don’t take up a whole lot of room

  • Hair Styling Tools

Consider going all-natural on your travels! When it comes to Tim and I down sizing, I gain the most luggage space in the hair and beauty department. By the time you add up a straightener and 2-3 bottles of product there is a lot of space to be saved when they stay home.

  • Bath and Body Items

There are 2 options here. You can either pack small travel versions of the products you need with a focus on multi-use (think hair oil that can also be used as a moisturizer or a shampoo bar that also works as a body soap) to save space. Your other option is to just buy products when you arrive to your destination, if that is an option.

  • Tanks and Camis

As a woman, layering is your friend. Camisoles and tanks allow you to build up a warmth layer your clothes and give you options to change up your outfit so that all your pictures don’t end up looking like they were taken on the same day.

  • Jean Jackets

Jean jackets and the sort are your friend! They are light enough to wear on a summer night or a cooler day. They don’t take up a whole lot of space and look good with everything!

  • Borrow from your Buddy

Tim and I wear the same hoodie size so I am able to borrow clothes from him if I ever find myself in a squeeze. If you are traveling with a buddy AND happen to wear the same size, coordinate and borrow from each other.

We will be putting our carry on challenge to the test when we head to Cuba for a weekend sometimes in the next month or so. Keep an eye out as we will make a list, check it twice, take pictures, and report back on how we did. And if the task seems too big, remember people pack for Patagonian trips with what they can carry so you can surely meet the carry on challenge.

A key to packing efficiently is a good suitcase! Check out these awesome pieces from ikase!




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