How to Pack for 2 Weeks in a Carry On Suitcase

Whenever Kevin and I fly we almost always carry on our luggage. Not only does it save tons of time by not waiting to collect your bag at baggage claim it also guarantees that your bag won’t get lost along the way. So after traveling nearly every month of 2016 and several times already this year, I finally feel like I’ve nailed down my packing game. And that comes from someone who used to be a serial over-packer. I mean, last weekend I wore every item in my suitcase!

Below is a solid plan of what I typically pack on a 2 week trip. There are few items not on the list that I always include, my travel essentials, if you will. These items are definitely worth a look because many have become indispensable, like my bright pink travel wallet.

What to pack

  1. Your favorite pair of jeans; mine are Madewell’s 10″ hi-rise skinny jeans.
  2. Pack a pair in another color; I like black ones because you can dress them up.
  3. Overalls. Definitely my most-worn article of clothing these days. Oh-so-comfy and perfect for fuss free adventures (the side zipper makes them easy to remove).
  4. Jumpsuit. Swap with your favorite dress if you’re not a jumpsuit kinda gal. I prefer this one lately because it can easily go from day time to night.
  5. Favorite tank top in 2 colors; perfect for layering. I love this because they aren’t too fitted and have a higher neckline to protect your skin from the sun.
  6. Striped t-shirt. It can be worn with everything!
  7. Sleeveless white cotton shell, similar. Pair with a great statement necklace for night time.
  8. Comfortable walking sandals. My favorite are Abeo Brynn sandals in brown leather. Available in 3 different footbeds perfect for long days walking or anyone with chronic foot pain like me.
  9. Sneakers. A solid colored sneaker like these gold Vionic Syra sneakers work with jeans and dresses alike.
  10. Comfy flats. Who wants to walk miles in heels? I love these Vionic Posey flats because of the good arch support.
  11. Cardigan. Perfect for layering and a must for chilly flights.
  12. Raincoat. If you’re heading to a destination where it rains often I like packing a raincoat because it can also be used a light weight jacket when it’s not raining. My Joules Coast Waterproof Jacket has a soft, jersey lining and comes in lots bright colors (and black too).
  13. Toiletry bag. I’ve tried tons over the years and the small Reisenthel Toiletbag one tops them all. It’s small enough to be carried in a backpack but large enough to hold the essentials including makeup. It’s available in tons of cute prints too.
  14. 2 bras. I like to bring a “real” bra bra (one with a wire) and a comfy bralette or two. My favorites are the Lively T-Shirt Bra (which converts to be a racerback) and the Lively Mesh Trim Bralette.
  15. Smartwool no-show socks; while they are kinda pricey I promise you’ll never wear another brand of socks again. They are the first no-show socks I’ve found that don’t slip off your heel! And even though they ae made of wool they don’t feel scratchy on your feet.
  16. Panties; whether you prefer bikinis, thongs, or boyshorts these are so comfy! 6 are shown above but pack more obviously.
  17. Rolling carry-on suitcase; I like this American Tourister Z-Lite 20″ suitcase because you can wheel it upright. Game changer when maneuvering in train cars and narrow airplane aisles.

Packing Tips

After traveling a ton, here a few of my favorite travel tips I’ve learned along the way.

Store things in your shoes! Mini lint rollers, socks, panties, whatever. This extra bit of space is super valuable and often gets over looked. Also, you probably already know this but try to wear your largest pair of shoes when you fly. So if it’s winter that means boots!

Pack a light weight scarf. It can be used as a wrap if you’re cold on the flight and it’s a great way to give some oomph to a previously worn outfit.

Did you know Google allows you to download a selected map area directly to your phone for offline use? This one is especially helpful when traveling aboard.  It even keeps all your starred locations so you can figure out how to get to that matcha cafe you saw on Insta. You just need to be connected to wifi and note that if you want to download a larger area (I saved the southern U.K.) it can take up about 1+ GB of storage on your phone.

Do you have any other packing or travel tips? Leave me a comment below!

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  1. Anastasia Reply

    I loved this post, Sarah. Great tips and a lovely insight into your fab wardrobe. Would love to see more wardrobe related posts – your style is to die for!

    • Thanks so much, Anastasia! I’m definitely considering adding more style content!