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September 26th, 2018

Video: How to Pack for 2 Weeks in a Carry On

So, you have a trip coming up, more or less two weeks, and you’re feeling overwhelmed with the thought of trying to shove everything into a carry-on. Good, you have successfully navigated yourself to the perfect guide and carry-on packing list. Our Travel Expert, Jessica Dodson, illustrates the physical process of successful, minimal, and purposeful packing for a two-week vacation.

 

Choose Your Bag Wisely

The Tarmac Carry-On wasn’t chosen at random for this video. Besides the obvious carry-on size, there are two beneficial features when it comes to a tight squeeze. First, this bag has two wheels compared to the four-wheeled carry-on bags that are gaining popularity,. What you might not know is, two wheeled carry-on bags generally have more internal space because there is less structure in front. Second, the Tarmac has an expandable zipper, which will be advantageous later when adding in those cool souvenirs you’ve collected from your epic adventures into the unknown.

Think About Your Agenda

What are your plans while you’re on vacation? Think about those main attractions and activities that are planned prior, and prep accordingly for those. If you’re planning an active hiking adventure or a beach vacation, you’ll need a different set of clothes than, say, two weeks sightseeing in Europe. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you should know details for every hour of every day, but preparing for what you DO know is easiest. Lay-out those outfits in particular, and those items are a great starting point—don’t worry, you’ll adjust your full packing list later, as you continue the process of editing your wardrobe down to carry-on compatible.

Fewer Pants

Now, pick your pants wisely. Pants take up the most space, but they’re also best to repeat (aka the repetition is way less noticeable by the general public). Try to choose three pants/bottoms in total. That means, wear one on the plane and pack the other two in your bag. For example—leggings on the plane, a pair of jeans, and one more item of your choice, be it shorts, skirts, or a pair of high-tech pants.

More Shirts

This is where you get to splurge a little bit. Shirts take up less space than pants, and are a tad more difficult to repeat (aka repetition is way more noticeable by the general public). We suggest choosing neutral colors that you can mix-and-match, and then bring along fun accessories such as scarves, hats, belts, and jewelry to add more flare and variety. For those smaller items, use a circlet so that items roll-up nicely and don’t get tangled.

Undergarments

You’ve never really traveled until you’ve washed your underwear in the sink. Seriously, it’s a thing. Handwashing is best with delicates, anyway, so no need to go crazy with underwear. If worse comes to worst, washing them during the trip is totally doable. Also, the same rule applies with bras—keep to a minimum. Wear one on the plane, and possibly a sports bra if you’re going on more adventurous activities. If your bra has removable straps and can become a strapless when necessary, even better. Lastly, the socks. Once you know what shoes you’re bringing, your sock options will become clear—think through your outfits and make sure you have enough socks, but not too many.

Key Toiletries

They may not be your number one choice, but most hotels do offer shampoo, conditioners, lotions, and soaps—take full advantage! Then, be picky with the rest of your toiletry selections. Ask questions like:Do I really need that fancy face lotion? Can I live without those items for just ten days?’. Not only do liquids need to fit in 3-oz bottles but try and condense all liquid containers into a 3-1-1 pouch.

Shoe Selections

Shoes are those awkward, irregular shaped, heavier items that also need to be minimized. Point being, pick the best travel shoes for your trip and don’t bring two pairs of sandals—just bring one. Wear your heaviest shoes, like boots, on the plane, and then pick whatever pair of comfortable walking shoes go best with majority of your (mostly neutral) outfits. Throw those shoes into a shoe sac and call it a day.

Fold & Compress

And this, my friends, is how we get everything to fit. Packing folders work their magic best with dressier items that often wrinkle. With a folding board inside (directions included!), all your items will perfectly fit to the folder’s dimensions. Then compress those other space-taking items with compression cubes. Trust me, once you go compression cubes, you’ll never go back (because…why pack air?!).

Miscellaneous Additions

No, we definitely didn’t forget about the chargers, snacks, headphones, journals, etc.! Edit these miscellaneous items down to the essentials—there are a surprising number of things you don’t need when traveling. Then grab yourself a set of packing sacs and organize those items appropriately for easy access and visibility. These items and a neck pillow should go into a small daypack that can easily slide under the seat in front of you for some plane entertainment and comfortability.

Now, travelers, let us know your own secret tips for how to pack everything you need for 10 days in a carry on?

Related Eagle Creek Products:

Tarmac International Carry-On

Pack-It Original™ Quilted Circlet Set

Pack-It Specter™ Shoe Sac

Pack-It Specter Tech™ Compression Cube Set S/M

3-1-1 Travel Sac

Wayfinder 40L

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

What to Pack: The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist

5 Things to Know Before Embarking on Adventure Travel

8 Must-Have Items To Pack In Your Personal Item

by Jessica Dodson

Jessica has been in-house at Eagle Creek for more than 7 years and currently hails as Eagle Creek Employee of the Year. What’s most interesting about her, is her passion to travel and connect others with authentic experiences. Having been all over Europe, to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, Russia, and so many more places, she is legitimately a world travel. You’ll see Jessica hosting Eagle Creek Instagram stories and hosting our packing and product videos.

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