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how to pack a carry on for a week
Budgeting,  Packing,  Sustainable Travel,  Travel Tips

How to Pack a Carry On for a Week-Long Trip

So you want to pack light for your next trip? Are you leaving for a week and need to know how to pack a carry on and nothing more? Or perhaps you aren’t quite convinced and need a reason why… well, let me give you several. For one, it’s super easy to get around with only one bag. From start to finish, slinging a single bag over your shoulder is less work than keeping track of luggage. Of course, getting through the airport is a breeze as well. You can do online check-in without worrying about checking a bag. This also means departing the plane is quick and skipping the baggage claim becomes a possibility. Plus, it’s cheaper when you don’t pay baggage fees and, as I’ve explored in previous posts, it’s more sustainable! 

Have I convinced you yet? If so, here is how to pack a carry on for a week in a bag like the one above. I used this Marmot backpack (and only this backpack) on three different trips and it was extremely convenient and cheap!

How to Pack a Carry on for a Week in Warm Weather

An Outfit for the Plane

First and foremost, wear your bulkiest items on the plane. For a warm weather trip this means warm layers in case it gets chilly at night, etc. Also wear your comfortable walking shoes during boarding, otherwise, they take up a lot of room in your bag.

  • Leggings
  • Comfortable T-Shirt
  • Sweatshirt/Sweater and/or Light Jacket
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes

The Carry On

When I travel in warm weather, I LIVE in rompers and dresses. One pieces are so easy to slip on and take up so little room. Usually I will only pack rompers and/or dresses. However, I know not everyone is into that, so I added shorts and shirts to my list below. Check it out!

  • Dress x1
  • Romper x 2
  • Shorts x2
  • Shirts x2
  • PJ’s x1
  • Swimsuit x1
  • Cover-up x1
  • Hat (if you wear hats, which I do!)
  • Undergarments (incl. socks) x7
  • A Small Bag with Carry-on Sized Toiletries in Reusable Containers (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash/Soap, Face Wash, Deodorant, Hairbrush, Hair-ties, Make-up, Lotion, Sunscreen, Medications, etc.)
  • Sandals/Flats x1
  • Electronics & their Chargers (including converters if you are going international)

Your Personal Item

Don’t forget you get a personal item to take along with you on the plane!
  • Purse with wallet, passport, phone, headphones, sunglasses, a book, and other essentials you want on hand
how to pack a carry on for a week
how to pack a carry on for a week

How to Pack a Carry on for a Week in Cool Weather

An Outfit for the Plane

Just as before, you want to wear your bulkiest items on the plane. For a colder weather trip, you will need to layer more on the plane because you’ll need more clothing overall! Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to have just a carry-on if you’ll be doing any kind of winter sports. However, if you are okay with just having one warm coat and a pair of boots, this will work!

  • Leggings or Jeans
  • Long-Sleeve Shirt
  • Sweatshirt
  • Coat
  • Comfortable Boots

The Carry On

When I’m travelling somewhere cool I usually choose comfort over style, with one or two exceptions. The reason for this is to save space in my carry-on. Winter clothes are definitely bulkier than summer clothes, so keep this in mind. And remember, leggings are your friend (they roll up super tight)! Check out my pictures below to see how I dress in colder weather while traveling with only a carry on.

  • Leggings x 3
  • Jeans x1
  • Shirts x5
  • Dress/Nice Outfit x1
  • PJ’s x1
  • Undergarments (incl. socks) x7
  • Sweater/Cardigan x1
  • Vest x1
  • Hat & Gloves
  • Sneakers x1
  • Electronics & their Chargers (including converters if you are going international)
  • A Small Bag with Carry-on Sized Toiletries in Reusable Containers (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash/Soap, Face Wash, Deodorant, Hairbrush, Hair-ties, Make-up, Lotion, Medications, etc.)

Your Personal Item

Again, don’t forget your personal item!
  • Purse with wallet, passport, phone, headphones, a book, and other essentials you want on hand
how to pack a carry on for a week

It might seem like an impossible task, but yes(!) you can travel with just a carry-on. You may need to limit your clothing and accessory choices more than you are used to. You may also need to become comfortable with wearing a few items twice. However, many hotels and hostels have laundry machines available for use, so bring some change along! You can also bring carry-on sized laundry detergent and wash some clothes in the sink. Leggings, underwear, and socks dry very quickly hanging up in the hotel bathroom post-wash! You may have to get a bit creative, but it’s worth it for your wallet, your convenience, and the environment!

Save These Pins to Pinterest!

how to pack a carry on for a week
how to pack a carry on for a week

Owner and creator of Travels with Kayy. Travel blogger and adventure enthusiast, creating content to inspire and help fellow travelers plan amazing itineraries and explore all the corners of the earth!

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