4 rules for packing the perfect carry-on for a weekend away

This weekend I’m in Greece. Here’s the complication with that – when you are going away for a weekend and you only have carry on baggage allowance, you are met with a lot of challenges. This weekend I’m packing for a three nights out and three days out and about. That isn’t easy… only it completely is if you’re ready for it. Back in the day you’d see me carrying a 50 lb suitcase to accommodate for such an event. These days, after taking nearly 35 flights in the past six months, I consider myself a seasoned professional and thought I’d pass on the tricks of my trade. So here are four rules I swear by when packing for a weekend away. 

1. A dress a day keeps the checked-in bag at bay.

Ladies, this one’s for you and it’s one I’ve lived by since day one of my travel chaos. Dresses are the way to go. I pack dresses for every occasion- day, night, travel and more. They are the lightest and easiest option. Truly, they weigh nothing, and they are an easy on and ready to go ensemble. Just throw a variety of accessories in your bag – necklaces, earrings, etc – and your looks are instantly updated. The LBD can see at least two wearings with this practice in play! 

2. Wearing what you can.

While wearing dresses everyday and night is well and good, you will want some pieces for layering. These pieces I wear on the plane. I layer when I fly. Sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, cardigan and more, depending on the weather, all on my person as I board the plane. It’s freezing on those jumbo jets so why not use your own body to carry half your carry-on? Leaves more room in the case for other things, right?

3. Access the toiletries situation ahead of time.

Headed to a hotel or B&B? Make sure you check ahead of time to see what amenities are provided. You’ll most likely be supplied with shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash. That’s the shower kit sorted. Take some time to investigate whether things like razor and dental hygiene kits are available from reception. One less thing for you to worry about packing! The rest? Two tips – pack the makeup and buy everything else at the airport in small bottles. When you’re done, you just leave them behind, leaving more room in the suitcase for your return… which brings me to my next tip. 

4. Leave room for future purchases. 

Now I know this seems impossible, as you already travelling so light, but try and leave a little bit of room in the suitcase. Chances are you’ll be headed somewhere where you will be tempted to purchase. So the last thing you need is to worry about how the heck you’re going to get it home, right? I do have two schools of thought on this. If you’re road tripping, naturally this isn’t a problem. If you’re flying, however, you are limited- constantly. So, leave a little space. You’ll thank yourself for it. I usually do this by packing, unpacking, assessing what I really need and don’t need in the case and then repacking.

For more great tips, from the pros, on packing for carry-on only, check out Expedia’s Summer tips!

Written in collaboration with Expedia.


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