Thrifty Traveler: How To Pack Your Carry On For A Trip Abroad Like A Pro

Virginia Annable
Virginia Annable is a writer, reporter and blogger passionate about people, the environment and vegetarianism. When she isn't busy writing and sipping coffee in a local cafe she is daydreaming about endlessly traveling the world or thinking up what to cook next. All said, she is a 20something girl constantly looking to the future and working hard to get there. Follow her misadventures and triumphs on Twitter and Instagram: @annablevl

Packing for any trip can be stressful and daunting, especially an international trip of any duration. Not to mention, fitting all the outfits you want to bring on your glamorous vacation can seem like a stretch. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can dress stylishly and pack it all in a carry on size bag!


Step 1: Find a bag

Start off on this seemingly impossible task by finding the right bag. Look for one within the size restrictions of your airline, usually 22 inches by 14 in by 9 in. Choose a bag that’s structured so you can stack everything and it will stay in order. My go-to is a rolling bag, because lugging around all of my clothes on my back is definitely not ideal.


Step 2: Narrow down your wardrobe

I know, this isn’t going to be pretty. Choosing between your two favorite jeans may seem like I’m asking too much, but trust me on this. Choose one pair of dark jeans — they hide stains and always look more put together. Pack dark shirts for the same reason. Dark jeans and dark shirts may sound boring, so brighten up your day-to- day look with light, colorful scarves. Not only are they cute and easy, but they come in handy if you need to cover up at certain attractions you’re visiting.

Pack a few (or more than a few) dresses next, because casually sipping espresso in a cute dress on your Italian vacay will absolutely make your next Instagram post (and favorite memory). Dresses also make a whole outfit without taking up as much space!

Pack comfortable shoes that are still cute, because after you’ve been walking around touring all day, you’ll never wear those cute heels you just had to pack.


Step 3: Learn how to pack

The key to packing your carry on is packing it right. This packing video shows a technique called “bundle packing” and it’s the future of all your packing. The technique keeps your clothes wrinkle-free and flat.

For your socks and underwear, stuff them in your shoes to use up space that wasn’t being used before. Since you’re taking this bag as a carry-on, be sure to put all your liquids in a plastic bag for security (aka tiny shampoo bottles!).

These guidelines will get you on your way to packing a glamorous wardrobe in a tiny bag that is sure to impress even the most well-traveled of your friends.

Narrowing down your wardrobe can be hard, but the biggest thing is learning how to accessorize and mix and match your clothes. Once you learn to pack like this, you’ll never go back to checked bags.

Source :


Share this post

Want to join 20something?