How to Pack a Carry-On for 2 Weeks
Eagle Creek's travel expert is at it again. Watch as she breaks down the process of packing a carry-on. Learn pro tips on how to make all your clothes, shoes, and accessories easily fit in your carry-on bag. Easy preparation tools for that 2 week vacation!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 high visibility pouch.
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?!).
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?
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By Jessica Dodson on June 12, 2019
Jessica was in-house with Eagle Creek for more than 9 years and loves sharing her passion for travel with others. She’s been all over Europe, to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, Russia, Argentina, Uruguay and so many more places. She is a legit world travel and loves connecting with people and places through authentic experiences. You’ll see Jessica hosting Eagle Creek’s packing and product videos… and she remains a close friend of the brand. If you want to give her a follow on Instagram (@jdodsonian), she’ll be hiking the Camino del Santiago and living her best life in Europe and South America in the very near future.