You just planned a long vacation – 10 whole days away from the office and your responsibilities to just enjoy yourself. You’ve already decided you’re going to take off your work email from your phone and now you’re counting down the days until your flight. That moment of pure bliss is soon diminished when you read on your confirmation email that a checked bag is going to cost you extra.
Not only is packing a tedious task in the first place, now you have to decide if you want to shell out more money or if you should just squeeze everything in a teeny tiny bag. Both options sound like a lose-lose situation, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tips, you can easily pack for 10 days in a carry-on and we’re going to tell you how. Afterwards, check out our Top 15 Backpacker Essentials. Top 15 Backpacker Essentials.
How to Pack for 10 days in a Carry-On
Get the right suitcase:
There are so many great carry-on suitcases out there, so do your research. I personally use the Away Carry On and I’m obsessed (and I swear this isn’t an ad, I just love the brand!). It is a little pricey coming in at $225, but I seriously use it for every trip I go on. Whether we’re hopping in the car and going on a quick weekend getaway or if I’m going to Europe for two weeks – you’ll see me with this bag. This suitcase has two compartments, one for hard items, like shoes, and the other for clothes. It also has as a zipper pouch for delicate items that also acts as a compression pad to squeeze in as much as you can. It has four wheels, making it really easy to maneuver and the best part – it has a USB charger that will charge your phone up to 5 (!!) times. A literal life saver.
Another option we recommend is the Osprey Fairpoint Backpack. When backpacking this is our preferred choice. It has so many great features and we love that it opens up like a suitcase.
Pull out your Type A tendencies:
I used to be the worst at over packing. I would pack every single thing I thought I might even remotely want or need. Now, I actually plan out how many different types of outfits I’ll need. If I’m going to the beach, I’ll need x amount of bathing suits, x amount of day outfits, and x amount of night outfits. Fill in “x” with how many days you’ll be gone – you get the gist. If I know I won’t go out every night, then I’ll bring a few less of those outfits. It’s not rocket science, just be mindful of what you’ll actually wear and need.
Be an Outfit Repeater:
Think about it – you probably don’t need more than one outfit for traveling and you don’t need a different bathing suit for every single day of your vacation. I’ll typically wear the same outfit for traveling to and from my destination and I always bring clothes that I love to wear. A key strategy for me is to bring one pair of jeans or shorts and a bunch of tops to mix and match. If I find myself pulling out clothes that I never wear at home while packing, I re-evaluate it. If I don’t wear it now, why would I wear it then?
Roll your clothes:
I KNOW, I know. Everyone and their mother tells you how you should fold your clothes to be a maximum space-saver, and I am completely aware that this is exactly what I’m doing. Each person is different, so this might not work for you, but I personally swear by the rolling method. It’s easy, it doesn’t wrinkle your clothes too much, and I feel like it leaves me tons of room. Side tip: if it’s fall/winter and you’re bringing boots, shove socks and rolled tops down the boots to buy yourself some extra space.
Packing cubes are the newest edition to our packing arsenal. We are currently using them while traveling Southeast Asia and they are a god send. It keeps everything tidy especially when you are living out of a suitcase. We love Eagle Creek’s packing cubes. Jay has these and I travel with these.