How To Pack a Carry-on Suitcase Like a Pro // Brittany from Boston

How to Pack a Carry-On Suitcase Like a Pro

Posted on Posted in Travel Advice

I am strongly anti-checked baggage! No matter where I’m traveling or for how long, I pack a carry-on suitcase. It makes my life and my travels so much easier, because it’s less stuff to keep track of and carry around, and it helps me take the focus off my clothes and put it on the destination (as it should be!). If you’re traveling for a week, two weeks, a month, or 6 months, you CAN pack everything you need into a carry-on suitcase. Yes it’s possible, and I’m going to show you how!

How to Pack a Carry-On Suitcase Like a Pro // Brittany from Boston

Stick With One Color Scheme

Just pick one neutral color that is the basis of your travel wardrobe, and stick with it. For me it’s black in the winter and white in the summer. That means all the clothes I pack are that color or some variation on it. This way, each piece can be used in many different outfit combinations and you get more use out of each piece of clothing.

Pack Only 5 Outfits!

On that note, only pack 5 outfits, no matter how long your trip is. You DO NOT need your entire wardrobe with you when you travel. You’re going to see the place not to be seen there. Besides, they have laundry everywhere in the world. 5 outfits can last you a lifetime of travel. I’m serious, pick your favorite 5 outfits with the same color base, check to make sure you can pull off different outfit combinations with those pieces, and leave the rest at home!

2 Pair of Shoes Limit!

I’m being really strict with you guys, but you’ll thank me later. You only ever need 2 pairs of shoes when you travel: one for walking around (like a cute pair of sneakers) and one nicer pair (either nice sandals or a pair of heels or boots, depends on the trip and the weather). You wear the heavier pair to the airport and put the other pair in the suitcase. I know, it’s so hard to choose just two, but it’s a sacrifice you won’t care about in the least when you’re off to see the pyramids in Egypt, or walk the Great Wall in China, or wherever else in the world your travels take you!

Buy a Light Suitcase

I hate it when my luggage is overweight and I have to check it! Solution: buy the most ultralight carry-on suitcase you can find so that all the weight allowance can be used on the stuff you’re putting INTO your suitcase.

Bags Inside Bags Inside Bags

Keep everything organized and compartmentalized with packing cubes. Pack your clothes and accessories and toiletries into separate packing cubes. I promise you’ll feel like your carry-on suitcase is twice as big when it’s well organized!

My Rule on Toiletries

I only pack toiletries like shampoo and soap if I’m not staying at a hotel. If you’re staying at a hotel, just use the freebies they give you. It’s one less thing to pack. If you’re staying at a hostel, pack your own but only a 3oz container or smaller. And just bring one set of toiletries…if you run out, they sell soap everywhere in the world! For Airbnbs and other accommodations, check to see what’s included.

You’re Allowed 5 Make-Up Items

Here I go, giving you a strict limit again, but trust me you’ll thank me later. You are beautiful, you do not need more than 5 make-up items when you travel. Your make-up bag should not take up more space in your luggage than a pair of flip-flops. Get your foundation, blush, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick and hit the road. You’ll save space in your bag and time every morning by simplifying your beauty routine!

Don’t Skimp on Undergarments

This is the one thing I won’t limit you on. Pack enough undergarments for 2 weeks. It takes up basically no room at all, and it gives you peace of mind to know that you have a fresh pair. I will re-wear jeans five times before I wash them but panties get one use only!

I hope you learned a thing or two from my advice on how to pack a carry-on suitcase like a pro. When you travel full-time like I do, it’s important and inevitable to become a packing pro. Give it some practice and you’ll master the art of the carry-on suitcase as well!

Get your carry-on suitcase & packing essentials here:


 How to Pack a Carry-On Suitcase Like a Pro // Brittany from Boston


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4 thoughts on “How to Pack a Carry-On Suitcase Like a Pro

  1. Hi Brittany!! What kind of camera do you use? I am preparing for a two month solo trip to Australia and New Zealand and cannot decide if I should upgrade from a regular digital camera to a lens canon or Nikon!

  2. I agree. Everything you say makes for a more enjoyable trip. I fudge when I can, but I follow your advice pretty much to the tee. I have provided my readers my own packing tips, but I’m sending my readers to your post to re-remind them of how key this is to enjoyable travel. Happy Trails!

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