How To Pack A Carry-On | Packing Tips

I learned a lot about packing a carry-on from the various business trips and other fun trips. Today I am here to share with you my eight tips for packing a carry-on – how to pack the most in a small space and how to travel with just a carry-on. Let’s get into my tips!


I love my marble suitcase by Calpak because it is expandable, which means that you can pack more! When I go on a trip, I try to not expand it on the way there to restrict the amount of things I bring on the trip, but expand it on the way back home so I have space for the goodies I shopped for during the trip. I also love this suitcase because it has eight 360-degree spinner wheels that make it super easy to bring around, and it’s super lightweight while being very durable. And of course, it has a TSA-approved combination lock.


You are allowed to bring a carry-on and a personal item on the flight, but your personal item does not have to be a small purse, it can be as big as a backpack or duffel bag. Bringing a duffel bag allows you to have WAY more space to pack! I love my Longchamp duffel bag because it is very spacious and sits perfect on top of my suitcase so it’s easy to roll around the airport. I will usually pack my laptop, shoes, and toiletries in here. This duffel bag is actually expandable! While I have not needed to expand it yet, it’s good to have the option there. It is also super easy to wipe clean and very durable.



These are life-changing, seriously. I like to group by function, so tops in one cube and bottoms in another. Mine are from Calpak, but there are soo many options on Amazon (here, here, and here). They not only save space, but also keep me organized. When you pack your clothes in packing cubes and zip them up, it pushes all the excess air out, leaving you with a compressed cube. Now you can pack way more!



I like to use smaller bags to separate the rest of my items, and I like to group the compartments by function. One bag for makeup, one bag for toiletries, one bag for jewelry, and one bag for electronic cords. This makes things very organized and when you pack smaller bags, you can fit them into the cracks on the side.


This next one goes hand in hand with packing compartments. When I go on a business trip, I will also bring my work tote, but I can’t bring a work tote PLUS a duffel bag and a carry-on, so what do I do? I put all my work-related things (laptop, notebooks, cords…) in my work tote, and I put my work tote in my duffel bag! The extra space in the duffel bag is for shoes and other compartments (each with their own purpose). You can also use this “purse-ception” idea for your going out purse, backpack, and so on.



I used to like to pack different options so I have a lot to choose from on all days of my trip. However, this always ended up in overpacking and still not having anything to wear. Since then, I have learned to pack outfits that can mix and match. The two outfits that you must bring are a comfy outfit and a dressy outfit. All the other outfits depend on the occasion – beach trip, mountain trip, or business trip. If you pack pieces that go well with each other, then you can pack fewer items.


I wear my bulkiest and heaviest layers on the flight so they don’t take up space in my carry-on. Plus, it gets cold on flights. This photo is not the best example, but I like to wear my coat and sneakers on the flight to save space and feel comfy.


Travel size lotion, travel size blow dryer, travel size straightener. Travel size everything! If you have a travel size of your favorite products, you will save a lot of space when packing toiletries and hair tools. The only thing about travel size hair tools is that they are often not as powerful. I really like amika’s mini blow dryer and mini straightener because they are just as good as the normal size product. Yes, I know that hotels have blow dryers, but why not pack my own when it’s so cute, small, and strong?


Those were my eight tips for packing a carry-on. And here’s a little something extra – OOTD! Just because : ) [p.s. follow me on Instagram for more outfits]


White bell sleeve top / Blue jeans / White sneakers



I hope these packing tips were helpful! I will definitely be doing a travel essentials post sometime in the future, so stay tuned for that. Thank you for stopping by : )



  1. March 15, 2017 / 12:54 AM

    OH! Love this post! I just followed you! Would love to connect with you! I’m Chy from Her Lost Mango! Nice to meet you! I just posted my Switzerland and Amsterdam trip! Paris, Italy and London is going to be up too! Some of my Europe trip is up now! I just posted too my favorite fashion pieces too. Hope to hear from you! XOXO lovelots! – Chy

  2. March 15, 2017 / 2:23 PM

    I am OBSESSED with your suitcase omg! And this was super helpful, I’m still so terrible at packing because I only started traveling last year haha!

    • March 16, 2017 / 2:45 AM

      I’m obsessed too!! The marble is so pretty heh. I’m so glad this was helpful!!

  3. March 15, 2017 / 3:21 PM

    Girl, that suitcase is killer! Love it so much!

    • March 16, 2017 / 2:46 AM

      Thank you!! I really recommend the suitcase : ) It’s stylish, neutral, and super spacious and durable!!

  4. March 15, 2017 / 4:28 PM

    Oh my goodness, you are the most organized!!!! Compartments are literally the best thing ever. Can’t ever have enough of those (esp in purses) Can you just come over every time I need to pack for a trip and do it for me haha <3

    xo, JJ

    • March 16, 2017 / 2:48 AM

      Thank you!! Packing cubes and compartments help me so much when I pack : ) And definitely! I actually love packing hahaha

  5. March 16, 2017 / 12:25 PM

    First off are you an alpha phi?? Second I am the worst packer so these are great tips. Obsessed with your suit case.

    • March 16, 2017 / 12:30 PM

      Yes!! I’m an alpha phi!! How did you know? And I hope this post was helpful : )

  6. Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie
    March 16, 2017 / 12:47 PM

    Really great tips! I always bring a big personal item too, just to have more space!

  7. March 20, 2017 / 3:40 PM

    I am thinking maybe I should try out packing cubes. I keep hearing how much they help with organization!

    • March 20, 2017 / 4:47 PM

      Packing cubes are seriously life changing! It makes packing so much easier : )

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