Home > My Carry-On Only Packing Strategy

My Carry-On Only Packing Strategy

July 2nd, 2014 at 08:47 pm

I love packing - totally LOVE it! Probably because a vacation is a grand experiment in minimalism. Our house is clutter-free and open, but we still seem to have a lot of stuff. But when I pack I edit, edit, edit. I pack in only a carry-on.

I promised to share my packing list, which I will do in the next post, but first, the list of what I DON'T bring:

What I don’t bring:
- jewelry except one pair of earrings that I wear and my wedding ring
- a big jacket (I layer instead)
- a real book (reading on my iphone is fine for me)
- photocopies of our passports - my mom has pdf’s
- things I wouldn’t wear at home (silly hats, money belt)
- belts and other accessories
- towels (have never stayed anywhere they didn’t have towels!)
- travel clock (my phone has everything I need on it)
- computer (I load pdf documents onto my phone)
- hairdryer (I never use one at home either)
- camera/video (this is on my phone; my husband who is a keen photographer brings an SLR)
- guidebooks (before I go, I do a lot of internet research and then put relevant info in a pdf on my phone)

And now, what I pack it all in:
My bags:
- baggallini triple zip (this is my regular, every day purse) It is light, small and can be stuffed into my carry on and the interior is light colored so things don’t get lost inside. You can use it alone or pop it into a backpack or tote. I've seen it for about $26.

- campmor essential carry on - it’s only $30 (frugal, frugal!!!), rugged, has backpack straps that pull out (which I use a lot) and shoulder strap (which I leave at home). It doesn’t have hard sides (which add weight and make it harder to stuff into the airplane bin and also the size-check box. It has an outside pocket for things you need to grab for the plane (sweater, ziploc of “stuff you need to have under your seat”). Also has a handy front pocket for a sweater and a place to put your passport where you can get to it easily but it’s not exposed -

- Eagle Creek packable daypack - sturdy, but packs up small; perfect for day trips. Can pack souvenirs in here if you’re allowed a “personal bag” on the flight home.

- two medium (14x9x3) Ebags packing cubes and one slim (14x5x3)

I promise to show you the packing list next time... I'm an architect and I think visually, so I have a visual packing list as well which I constantly modify. This one is for a trip we're taking to the UK (D's family) and France, so the weather will be pretty varied (could be chilly in the UK, will be hot in France).

4 Responses to “My Carry-On Only Packing Strategy”

  1. SecretarySaving Says:

    Thank you for sharing the links for the items. Great post!

  2. laura Says:

    Boy, I'd love for you to come and help me right now. My living room couch is an assortment of small piles of clothing for seven individuals. Each traveler (me included) is having one backpack and the girls a handbag. Love going on vacation, but hate packing!

  3. Nine Says:

    What is your contingency plan if your phone is damaged and suddenly stops working?

    Before I take a trip I back up my phone of course to both my comp and my cloud account. I also make a complete list of my contacts and PDF it and save it as a draft email in my email system. I can access that anywhere I can access my email via the web. I also save the PDF times you mention (travel stuff, copies of passport, etc) the same way. I can access it anywhere.

    I also only travel with a carry on when ever possible.

  4. Buendia Says:

    I do have everything backed up in the cloud... easy to get to if things go wrong - a very good reminder, thank you, Nine!

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