I’ve always been a big advocate for traveling with carry-on only luggage, but this most recent trip to Europe we went even lighter and left an entire side of our carry-on’s totally empty on the way over knowing we’d want to bring souvenirs home with us. This meant that both Nick and I both packed our Tumi hardside carry-on’s in only half of the suitcase and had to figure out how to pack lighter than we normally do in order to make that happen. And here’s what we did!
Ditch the Hair Dryer
On this past trip to Europe, it was the first time I’ve ever done a week trip without bringing a hair dryer and it was so freeing and left me with so much extra time getting ready! I either showered at night and let my hair air dry or I’d wash my hair in the morning and braid it or pull it back while wet. This might just be my new favorite way to travel and it’s such an easy thing to ditch when packing that usually takes up a decent amount of space in a bag. Plus, most hotels (and even AirBnB’s) usually have one, so if you need it, you can use theirs.
Pack Neutrals to Mix and Match
This trip was during the Summer so it was a little easier to pack lighter with light clothes but we do carry-on only in the Winter too, so it’s possible! On this trip though, I packed neutrals and then just mixed and matched different outfits with just a few items. I took two pairs of shorts (one navy, one white with a pattern) and two skirts (one jean, one light pink) and then four t-shirts (two white, one navy, one black) and mixed and match all of those with each other the whole week. Scarves are a great way to change up outfits too that don’t take up much space in a bag. Don’t go overboard with patterns because it’s harder to mix and match them.
Only bring Minimal Make Up or Stuff that Pops
I normally have a very minimal make up routine anyways, but if you’re generally heavy on makeup at home, maybe use vacation as an excuse to cut back a bit. Not packing so much makeup is a super easy way to cut back on space in your luggage and a great way to pack lighter. A fun way to change things up even with minimal make up too is to bring a bright lipstick or something easy like that to add a bit of pop to your routine with minimal items needing to be packed.
Bring a Small Purse
I usually bring a smaller purse while traveling than I carry normally and it’s a great solution to packing lighter. It will be lighter to carry while traveling and easy to stick in your carry on bag when boarding the plane. I bring my Tumi hard side carry on and then a personal item bag that holds my laptop, my toiletries and my small purse that fits easily in when boarding the flight. A small purse, with a shoulder strap, is an essential to packing lighter and your back and shoulders will thank you!
If you’re staying at an AirBnB, Do Laundry There
This past trip we stayed at an AirBnB half way through our trip and were able to do a load of laundry. This meant that we could pack half as many items as we usually need because we could do a load of laundry half way through. If you’re staying at an AirBnB while you travel, check if they have laundry before you go and if they do, that really helps cut back on how much you need to pack!