Carry-Ons: How to Pack and Make It All Fit!

by Paul Konrardy

by Jenny E – Our Travel Blogger

It IS possible to get what you need for a week’s trip or less into a carry-on bag.

If I can do it – a working woman who has to look professional, loves shoes, and packs clothes and sneakers for working out – then anyone can.

I’ve even done singular business trips where I went from tropical temperatures to snowy destinations with what I could pack in one carry-on bag.

Here are my top tips for packing light:

What/How to Pack


In order to get the most out of what you pack, consider a few base pieces such as neutral colored slacks, pants or skirts, which can be made to look different by packing a variety of tops, shirts, ties, and accessories.

Dress It Up or Down

Depending on what you pair with a shirt, you can dress it up or dress it down. Accessories such as a tie, scarf or a statement piece of jewelry can give the outfit a different feel than if worn without.


I love unique and kicky shoes, but you typically can’t wear them with a lot of clothes. A neutral shoe can go with several outfits. Neutral shoes also blend in and don’t draw a lot of attention to the fact that you’ve worn them every day. I’ve found I need 3 pairs at the most (one of which I can wear on the flight): a pair of dress shoes, a pair of casual shoes and a pair of sneakers.

Sneakers: Many athletic shoe companies offer a shoe specifically designed to be lighter and more flexible in order to take up less space in a suitcase. Although many of them would not be appropriate for high-intensity exercise on a daily basis, they can get you through a couple of workouts on the road.

Small Items

Socks and undergarments should be put in last as they can fit into small spaces after everything else has been packed. They can even be placed inside shoes to save valuable space.

Are there pieces of clothing that can easily be washed in the sink, hung up to dry and be worn again? I often do this with socks – even cutting back on a few pairs of socks can leave room for another small piece of clothing.


I stay in a hotel on average 3-4 times per month and have yet to be in one that does NOT have a hairdryer in the room. It may not be the most powerful, but it gets the job done. Leave yours at home.

Top Tip for Women

I have become the queen of the wrap dress. Most of them are wrinkle resistant and take up very little space. I can throw a pair of jeans or pants on underneath for a more casual look if I need to.

Also – don’t leave home without … our Travel-Packing Checklist. Print it out to make sure you don’t forget anything!!

Have a great trip!!!

Photo Credit: STIL

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