Travel

Packing in ONLY a Carry-On 

Hey you precious over packers! As an experienced traveler and also a huge advocate of packing everything (including the kitchen sink), I’m here to share with you how we packed for a trip using only a carry on!

I’ve read hundreds of posts, hacks, articles, etc. about people who can pack a million things in just a tiny suitcase. Since the Hubs and I travel all over the world for business, I decided to give it a try. We usually take 2 checked bags each, with 2 overstuffed carry-ons and 2 large personal bags. It NEVER fails that all of our bags are overweight…. except this time 😉


On this trip, I needed a variety of outfits, enough make-up for a full face, same with hair products (all the good stuff), and of course – shoes to match all my outfits… You can see what all I decided to pack in my tiny suitcase in the pic below.


Here you will find:

  • Black Long-Sleeve with Cold-Shiulder cut-outs
  • Black Short-Sleeve with key hole
  • Hot Pink blouse
  • “Be Yourself” cropped tee
  • Basic Black tee
  •  Black Heels
  • Gold Heels
  • Jewel Tone Heels
  • Black Sneeks
  • All my undergarments 🙂
  • Wrinkle-Proof Pink dress
  • Black leggings
  • Jeans
  • Make-Up: Primer, foundation, BB cream, powder, translucent powder,  “baking” pink powder, mascara Primer, mascara, 3-4 eyeliners, fake lashes, lash glue, 2 lip pencils, 2 lips sticks, 1 lipgloss, lip plumper, blush, contour kit, brow pencil, finishing mist…
  • Hair brush and teasing brush
  • Straightener
  • Hair products: shampoo, conditioner, mini mouse, gel, paste, spray, dry shampoo
  • Other cosmetics: deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, body lotion, face wash, makeup remover wipes, face lotion, body wash, razor, contact solution, contact case, glasses 🤓
  • Loptop, charger, and phone charger


As you’ve probably already guessed, all cosmetics are travel sized.

  1. Because I was flying, and carry-ons can only have minis.
  2. Because I didn’t really need huge bottles of everything…
  3. Because I was dedicated to writing the post and making it happen!!

This process actually called for a lot of travel hacks, and I’ll list some of them below:

  • Roll all your clothes.
  • Use packing cubes.
  • Buy mini cosmetics
  • Only pack the necessities.
  • Lots of tops. Only a few bottoms. Mix and Match. People normally don’t notice when you re-wear pants…
  • Less is more. You don’t need a library. Just download audio books.
  • Wear the big stuff.
  • Remember, if it won’t fit and you can buy it there… consider doing that.


Now, keep in mind this trip was just for 4 days. As I write this, I’m sitting in the airport preparing to board for a 3 week trip all over Asia. We couldn’t swing just a carry-on for that, but we did manage to keep it at just 1 checked bag and 1 carry-on. I’ll show you how after we land!

Thanks for reading and feel free to share you packing hacks in the comments below!

– the Wife

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