How To: Pack Using Only a Carry-on


2 weeks. 8 flights. 4 destinations.

Last fall Delta gave their employees 2 positive space tickets (not standby like I normally fly) to anywhere that we fly! I told my little brother that he could pick the destination and we would go during his small window of college summer break. After some deliberation, he decided on Cape Town, South Africa! The time has finally come and I head out this week! Before venturing to Africa though, I am making a few pitstops! First, I will be flying out to Salt Lake City for a quick little day date, then the next day heading down to Phoenix to spend Mother’s Day Weekend with my family! After that, its time for the real adventure! The only thing left to do: PACK!

Here is how I fit everything I need in only my carry-on luggage and still somehow manage to overpack! Yikes!

Lets start with my bags! I will be carrying my favorite travel accessory, my REI backpack, and a stylish backpack that I use as a purse that will go under my seat! The small bag I got from TJ Maxx a few summers ago!img_3188

Inside the Bags: Small Backpack

In this bag I have all the items that would go into a purse. I have my passport, wallet, sunglasses, lipsense, pen (who doesn’t travel with a pen?), my favorite Swell water bottle that I literally take with me everywhere, and the newest book that I picked up from Target! Also, I am tossing in all my electronics which include:

I have a few other items that aren’t pictured such as a few snacks and medicine.

Inside the large backpack:

I have clothes for everything! I am not too sure what the weather is going to be like since Africa is currently into their fall season and Arizona is well over 100 degrees, so I packed for it all!

  • 3 pairs of leggings (2 full length, 1 3/4 length)
  • 2 pairs of pajama shorts
  • 9 sleeping/ hiking/ simple tees (probably way too many)
  • 2 dresses and 2 rompers
  • 1 pair of jean shorts, 1 pair of joggers, 1 pair of jeans, and one skirt
  • 3 bathingsuits
  • 5 actual tops
  • 1 baseball cap, 1 jean jacket, 1 black hoodie
  • 1 pair of hiking boots, 1 pair of brown sandals, 1 pair of black flats
  • Not pictured. Several pairs of underwear and a couple bras and pairs of socks

Also, I am missing my picture for toiletries, but I am actually bringing my curling iron and straightener. Usually, I would leave these items behind, but since I do have other things planned and I had the room, I figured why not? Also, I have a toothbrush, makeup items, hairbrush, and hair-ties. In a separate ziplock, I have my liquids. This includes any liquid makeup, shampoo, conditioner, face moisturizer, bug spray, toothpaste, and sunscreen.

A friend of mine told me about these packing bags she uses for her trips and after purchasing some for myself, I am obsessed! I wont travel with my backpack without these bags ever again! They are travel vacuum bags and they save you so much space! I usually use 2 bags so eventually I can move all my dirty clothes to one bag and keep the other bag for clean clothes! Here is a link to some on Amazon: Travel Bags. After using these bags I was able to make everything fit! Plus in my side pockets I have my quick dry towel and my large sand cloud beach blanket!


I hope these packing tips help you all out for your next big adventure! If you want to follow my travels/see pictures while I am away, follow my instagram! Otherwise stay tuned for more blogpost when I get home!


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