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  • dearabi

How to Pack just a Carry-on for a 2 week trip.

After hearing about all the CDG airport lost luggage fuckery, I decided to take on the challenge of packing just a carry-on (and a backpack) for a 2 week vacation in Europe. While that shit sounds stressful, the thought of losing my luggage and not having underwear sounded worse. I ended up having to check it in anyway, because it was too heavy, but I still consider it a win. And because I'm not a sore winner, I wanted to share my packing tips for a low-maintenance and efficient plane ride.


Capsule Wardrobe. These items were my staples during my trip along with a few more basic black and white tops, one dress, a cover up, a denim jacket, 3 pairs of shoes (low heels, Birkenstocks, and white AF1s), one pair of shorts, jammies, and of course mad underwear. My rule is to add 3 more pairs of underwear to however many days you're staying there ... and then to probably add 2 more. Hey, you just never know. As you can see, the key is to just be able to just keep switching off tops and bottoms.

Organizers. I didn't use any vacuum sealers or packing cubes for this trip. I did however, use a folding method similar to the Konmari method and packed vertically in my luggage. The following travel organizers allow me to make sure everything has a home and is easy to find.

  • BAGSMART jewelry organizer - I have the small size and it's perfect to store jewelry on the daintier side. I especially love how it doesn't tangle your necklaces.

  • Tech organizer - I bought this specifically for this trip. Prior, I thought it was unnecessary. While you don't need it, I will say it did make my life easier. I didn't have to rummage through the bottom of my bag to find cords and chargers.

  • Hanging toiletry bag with removal storage - The removable pouches are key here, because you can take out just one if you need just a few items quickly. I usually organize my toiletries and makeup by parts of the body, i.e. eyes and lips (eyeliner, eyelash curler, lipstick, etc.), skin (concealer, blush, etc), and hair (comb, oil, hairspray, etc). Say I need to leave the room and am ready, except for my eyes, I can just grab that one section to-go!

  • Stackable toiletry tube thingy - They're advertised here as craft containers, but mine looks pretty similar. I have just one tube with 3 separate sections that screw into each other, and I got it at Daiso for mad cheap years ago. I know Cadence is all the rage, but this shit was $3 and holds enough moisturizer, face wash, and face sunscreen for 1-2 weeks. I absolutely LOVE this item, it also takes up very little space.

Misc Tips.

  • Personal item: For this trip, I used my work backpack as my personal item. It's ugly, but has a gang of pockets and is comfier than using a tote. In it I put all the items I think I'll need during the plane ride and want within reach like my chargers, passport, cc's, cash, water, pen, headphones, blanket, snacks, Clorox wipes, portable hand held fan, and meds.

  • Entertainment: If you have old Apple headphones, bring them. Because you can't plug in or connect to the monitor with wireless airpods. I also bring my Kindle. Although I love physical books, it's just so convenient for travel.

  • Health+safety: If you know me, you know I'm paranoid AF. In my backpack I have one sandwich bag filled with Advil, Airborne, Zicam, Liquid IV, Alkaseltzer, Band-aids, and Theraflu. Then, I have another fillwed with Clorix wipes, eye wipes (for my styes), and masks. I also brought a COVID tests with me for my most recent trip because it was international and I was there long enough to potentially contract it. The last thing I wanted to do was feel sick, board a plane, and potentially spread something.

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