Even the most masterful of travelers can always learn a thing or two when it comes to packing lighter, smarter, and more efficiently. There are many of us who are chronic over-packers who always are bringing way more clothes and “necessities” than are really necessary, while some of us are under-packers who never seem to bring enough toothpaste or socks to get through a trip.
Luckily, there is a happy medium—and it can be found in a carry on. Forget the long lines and turning carousels at the baggage claim and never be worried that your luggage might not make it to your destination. By packing everything you need in a way that keeps you from losing time (or even your possessions), you will never want to check your luggage again. Here’s what you need to know to pack everything you need for a two-week trip in a carry on.
Size Up Your Carry-On
Forget checking a bulky bag. When you check a bag, there's a chance that it may not arrive at your destination. Plus, it adds time to your trip, because you have to wait for it at the baggage claim, and sometimes it even costs extra. So choose a carry-on instead.
First, make sure that your carry-on meets regulations for your airline’s standards. All Eagle creek Creek carry-ons are pre-approved to fit airline sizing standards. It helps if you have a bag that can be used in multiple ways, —such as the Switchback 22. By having a carry-on that you can roll, carry, or strap to your back, you will be able to carry it in the most comfortable way possible since it will probably be a little heavier than your average, iPad-toting carry on. Make sure that you utilize all compartments of your carry-on. Put your chargers and other small items that you will need early and often in any external pockets that are located on the straps or the side of the bag.
Pack Clothing Carefully
When it comes to packing clothes, remember that versatility and layering is key. Pack mostly neutral-colored tops and bottoms so that each item will be interchangeable and match the others. Dresses are also great for women because they are outfits that don't take up a lot of suitcase space. Roll all of your clothing as tightly as possible and put the heaviest fabrics, such as jeans and jackets, on the bottom. It’s best if you can compress your clothing to maximize space.
Stack rolled shirts on top, and tuck rolled underwear and bras along the edges of the your bag. It is best to have two pairs of bottoms (pants, shorts, or skirts) for each week that you’ll be staying. Plan on bringing four shirts per week, and two jackets to layer for warmth (if you're traveling to a cool or cold destination). For a two-week trip, you need four bottoms and eight tops. Pack one or two dresses if you plan on going anywhere fancy, and bring athletic gear if you think you'll hike or exercise. Now you will have clothes for any occasion—from a hike to a dinner out on the town. Be sure to wear your bulkiest clothing items on your travel days. That means your biggest jacket and a pair of sturdy shoes—like boots or tennis shoes—to save the space in your bag.
Add a Personal Item
Treat your carry on just like you would treat a full-sized luggage carrier. Keep it for your travel apparel only so you can get enough clothes and two pairs of shoes in there to last all 14 days. The magic of carry-ons is that besides a carry-on, you are also allowed to bring one personal item on your flight as well. Bring a tote, duffel, or backpack to carry everything that's not clothing: laptop, books, and any important documents (like a passport). It’s also smart and space-savvy to pack your toiletry kit inside your personal item to maximize room for clothing in your carry-on. Use a toiletry kit and TSA-approved travel-sized bottles to store your shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, makeup, and the like.
Having everything that you need with you while you travel is not only efficient, but comforting. Nothing feels better than no longer being the person who over-packed or under-packed—but the one who got it just right.
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
THE ART OF THE DEAL: FIND CHEAP AIRFARES SO YOU CAN TRAVEL MORE
WHAT I DISCOVERED BY QUITTING MY JOB TO TRAVEL THE WORLD
Eagle Creek Product Recommendations:
Silicone Bottle Set
Pack-It Compression Set