Feminine Lifestyle Travels

Traveling with only carry-on luggage

March 20, 2018
Traveling with only carry-on luggage

As much as I love to travel I really hate all the extra fees that come along with it. Especially when traveling by plane. Ellis and I are planning to go on our first “kid-free” vacation next month. Our goal is to not incur any unnecessary cost or mishaps. When you travel by plane with a lot of luggage you will not only have to pay expensive baggage fees, but you also run into the chance of the airline losing your luggage altogether. Nobody wants that, so here’s how I packed for our vacation with the goal of traveling with only carry-on luggage.

I used a 19-inch carry-on luggage that I purchased from Kmart, but if you don’t have a Kmart in your area you can get a similar one like the one I’m using here. I folded all my clothing very neat and flat. You can also roll your clothing which will allow you to fit more if you are going on a longer vacation. Our vacation will be fairly short, so simply folding it worked out just fine for us.


I plan on bringing a hooded parka jacket which is perfect for warmer weather as well as for the rain. It’s not too heavy or too light so its just right for traveling from the so-so weather in Ohio to humid and warm weather in Florida! It’s also perfect for cooler nights, and rainy weather. I will probably be wearing this during our travel so its no need to pack it. I imagine it will come in handy in an air-conditioned airport as well. Sometimes they can really have it turned up to frost level in those terminals!


I packed a pair of pants (2 pairs if traveling someone cooler), for traveling back to Ohio because the weather in the Spring can be iffy. We are traveling to the Bahamas so I don’t think I’d need more than one pair, but if you already live in a warmer climate and are traveling to the Caribbean or any other tropical destination then you can probably skip the pants. I  packed a mauve skirt, a pair of white shorts, and 2 blouses that have both white and mauve in them so they can be worn interchangeably which gives me several outfit choices.

I also packed a sundress, romper, and a formal (party) dress. The sundress and romper can be worn for any occasion while a formal (party) dress can be worn for you know… a formal occasion. Since we are planning to go on a cruise the formal dress was a must for “formal night”. You may choose not to participate in formal night and skip bringing the formal dress, but I love dressing up so I didn’t want to opt out of this event. If you do decide to bring a formal dress go for something that isn’t too “bulky”. I opted for a simple floral strapless dress that can be worn even outside of a formal evening. It’s less bulky so it folded up quite nicely to place in my carry-on.

I decided to bring 2 swimsuits so I’ll always have a dry one. You can opt to bring only one depending on where you’re traveling, but we’re going to be on a cruise ship that has a jacuzzi, swimming pool, water slides, etc. Pair that with tons of sandy beaches and yeah, I’m going to need that second swimsuit!

Undergarments & Intimate Items

The number of pairs of undergarments really depends on the length of your stay and how often you may need to laundry your clothing. We are only going to be away for 3 nights so I decided to bring 6 pairs of panties. I always tend to overpack when it comes to my panties, but it just gives me peace of mind to have extra, plus panties don’t take up much space in your carry-on anyway. For bra’s, I packed one strapless bra and a regular nude bra. Nude bras can basically be worn under anything while strapless ones are perfect for a spaghetti string and/or strapless shirts and dresses.

Sometimes Mother Nature has her way of showing her ugly head at the most inopportune times, or your vacation may actually fall during the week of your expected period. Whatever the case may be bringing some period arsenal is a must! I absolutely love Thinx panties. They are so comfy and are a wonderful backup to your tampon to avoid sudden embarrassment from unexpected leaks. Since I started using these panties for my period those feelings of being self-conscious are now a thing of the past. I packed at least 2 pairs of these baby’s in my carry-on along with a couple of tampons.


To keep my accessories to a minimum I packed 2 pairs of earrings, a necklace, a couple of bracelets, and hair elastics. I also decided to bring a small clutch, sunhat and a pair of sunglasses. As a word of caution regarding jewelry, I wouldn’t recommend bringing anything too valuable so leave your precious diamonds and gemstones at home!


Including the shoes on my feet, I packed a pair of sandals, flip-flops, and a pair of dressier heels for formal night. Be sure to bring a small grocery bag or plastic shower caps to store your shoes in so they don’t get your clothes dirty in case you pack your footwear in the same section with your clothes.


I absolutely love makeup, but with the restrictions in place on how much liquid one can bring on an airplane, you may have to leave your liquid foundation at home to leave room for more important toiletries. Instead of liquid foundation, I packed mineral foundation, a makeup palette that is compact, but also one that I absolutely adore (very important), and my makeup brushes. I think the best way to make sure you don’t forget anything when you’re packing your makeup is to pack this last. Put your makeup on the morning of your trip and put everything in the bag as you use it. That way you won’t forget anything!

Makeup for carry-on luggage

Toiletries / 1 Quart Plastic Bag

So now comes the tricky part! What to pack in that 1-quart bag? Well, I just went with the basics first. Mouthwash, lotion, conditioner, shaving cream (travel size), and hairspray. I then added a small roll-on perfume, my mascara, lip gloss, and small makeup primer. You’d be surprised what you can fit in that 1-quart bag! I also opted for baking soda to brush my teeth, bar soap, facial cleansing wipes, disposable razors, and my toothbrush. I placed my travel-sized shaving cream in my hubby’s 1-quart bag since he wasn’t using it to its fullest capacity.

Tip: If you don’t have room for your shaving cream your conditioner can double as shaving cream!

1-quart bag carry-on luggage

carry-on luggage toiletries

Well, that’s how I packed a full wardrobe for traveling with only carry-on luggage! Do you have any packing tips that you think will be useful to this article? Please share them in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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