3 Weeks in a Carry-on

1 more day and its off to Egypt and Jordan for 3 weeks!

This is going to be my longest trip yet and I was determined to fit everything into my 2 backpacks! One of my bags is a small daypack which will also act as my purse during the trip, and the other one is my backpacking backpack from REI! I will admit I was a bit nervous when I was packing for this trip, but I think I did a good job at cutting back on my shoes and clothes which always seems to be a struggle for me! Now, I am not claiming to be a pro at packing, but I have had some experience with traveling using only my carry-on and I always seem to make it work so I think I can share a few tips!

Let’s start with what isn’t going into a bag:


This is my airplane outfit! As an airline employee it is kind of expected to dress a little nicer when traveling since it is our place of work. I still like to be comfy since I’ll be traveling for 2 days, so for this ride I will be wearing loose black slacks, a white tee, and an oversized cardigan. I will have a pair of old sunnies that I used to love but don’t wear a lot anymore so I won’t be bummed if something happens to them on vacation, a watch because I have gotten into the habit of wearing one at work, and some black loafers!

Aside from this photo, everything that I will need for the next 3 weeks will be tucked away in my bags!

Inside the Small Bag:


This will be the bag that acts as my purse, lunch box, and entertainment bag during my 2 full days of travel! In this bag I have:

Items you would find in a purse:

  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Work ID
  • Pens
  • Lipgloss
  • Tampons (sorry boys for TMI)


  • The Keeper of Lost Things (however I am trying to finish this before I leave so I can bring a new book)

Sleep aids:

  • In the white bag I have a ton of medicine that I will show you later, but it includes sleep aids
  • eye mask


  • Canon 70D DSLR camera
  • my two lenses
  • lens filter
  • spare battery and charger
  • phone charger
  • headphones

My snacks:

  • 2 RXbars in pumpkin spice and gingerbread flavors
  • 1 Larabar
  • Biena Chickpeas (THE BEST) in sea salt and ranch flavors
  • My Swell water bottle

Flight Attendant Treats:

  • Lifesaver gummies (because they are lifesavers, duh)
  • Also, variety of chocolate that will be with my friend Erica (not pictured)

Medicine bag!


Inside the medicine bag:

  • 1 million packets of Emergen-C
  • 2 inhalers
  • handful of insect repellent wipes
  • variety of band-aids
  • tissues
  • 4 mini packs of flushable wipes
  • pill kit includes: Charcoal pills, daily allergy meds, emergency allergy meds, psuedophed, sleep aid pills, sleep aid gummies, ibuprofen

Yes, all of this stuff fits in this backpack and for the next photos know that even though the pictures show the items outside of the bags, EVERYTHING fits inside my small bags, and all my small bags will go into my large backpack to look just like the cover photo!

Inside the Large Bag:


Inside my bag there are 3 zipper compartments.

In the largest compartment I have:

  • 5 pairs of socks
  • Underware for each day
  • 2 normal bras
  • 3 sports bras
  • 2 Hijabs
  • 1 belt that goes with my Abaya (muslim cloak to wear at temples and tombs)



In one side zipper compartment (aside from my beach blanket which lays on top of everything in my backpack):

  • 2 one-piece suits
  • 1 two-piece suit
  • 1 swimsuit cover up



In my last zipper compartment:

  • 4 RXbars
  • 4 Larabars
  • 2 Questbars

Now for clothes:


I roll all my clothes in airtight bags that I bought on amazon and I swear by these for space! You simply fill the bags and roll them so that the air releases from the bottom of the bag! No other tools are needed!img_1962.jpg

In one bag I have my bottoms:

  • 2 pairs of loose joggers
  • 2 maxi skirts
  • 3 pairs of leggings (to sleep in or hike)
  • 1 pj set with shorts
  • 1 abaya


In my other bag I have all my shirts:

  • 5 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 3/4 sleeve length shirt
  • 4 under shirts (2 long sleeves and 2 camis)
  • 3 sleep shirts or hiking shirts


For shoes I have the pair I am wearing on the plane plus:

  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of nikes
  • 1 pair of water shoes

Now for toiletries:


For my toiletry bag (little blue bag at the bottom) I have:

  • toothbrush
  • deodorant
  • stick sunscreen
  • bar shampoo (will put in a baggy once wet)
  • bar body wash and a carrying case (doesn’t fit in my blue bag)
  • wipes
  • mini wet-brush
  • mini razor
  • comb
  • headband
  • quick dry towels, 1 for body and 1 for face (don’t fit in my little blue bag either, but goes by it in my backpack)


Liquids bag:

  • 2 bottles of conditioner
  • 1 spray leave-in conditioner
  • 1 packet of sample body wash
  • 1 mini tube of toothpaste
  • face primer
  • 2 foundations (high maintenance, I know, but I have to mix colors)
  • concealer
  • 3 mini body lotions (have to have small sizes for the liquid rules on the plane)
  • 1 sample body lotion
  • 1 sample face mask
  • face moisturizer
  • facial sunscreen
  • face cleanser
  • overnight clearing gel for breakouts


Makeup bag:

  • all my needed brushes
  • 1 sponge
  • mini bronzer
  • mascara
  • eyeshadow
  • 2 overall face powders (1 is almost empty)
  • blush
  • highlighter

Yeah, I know it seems like a lot, but I SWEAR this all fits in my bag and then some! I forgot to picture my straightener, but I am bringing one (don’t judge me) and still have to show you all my electronics that are going into my backpack!


In this bag I have:

  • a spare old phone (if someone steals my phone, or I don’t trust taking my primary phone out, I will use this one)
  • GoPro
  • 1 floating GoPro stick
  • 1 GoPro extended stick
  • 1 spare memory card
  • 3 GoPro screws
  • mini flashlight
  • 2 spare headphones (I always misplace them)
  • 2 phone cords
  • 1 backup battery cord
  • 3 outlet converters (1 converter has 2 usb plugs)
  • spare usb block
  • 2 spare battery packs!

And last but not least!img_1967

In the outer pocket of my backpack I like to travel with this silk sleeping bag liner! I love staying in hostels but I don’t trust hostel sheets and always feel better sleeping in these little silk sheets! They are so easy to tavel with and it just gives me a little peace of mind.

Hopefully this post inspires you to pack using only a carry-on for your next trip! Remember, you will want a little room for souvenirs (I’ll probably get traditional clothes) and anything that you forget, you can find a substitute along your travels! For more packing tips and advice, check out my older carry-on post: How To: Pack Using Only a Carry-on


One thought on “3 Weeks in a Carry-on

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