5 Tips for Packing in a Carry-on (or any bag)


I pride myself on packing light. There is nothing more stressful than worrying about your luggage being lost, or worse…actually losing your luggage. You don’t have to worry about waiting at baggage claim when you reach your final destination. Instead, you can get right to the fun! I’ve found that packing in a carry-on isn’t as difficult as one might think. It does require a minimalist mindset, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of taking your favorite outfit or accessory. Here are a few quick tips to help you pack better whether that be in a carry-on or a full size suitcase.

Fold it like Marie

I was always told that rolling your clothes saves the most space. The lie detector test has determined that is a lie. As someone who has traveled a good amount in my short twenty-four years, I’ve found that folding your clothes like Marie Kondo is the best method. It saves a TON of room. All of your items stack and pack neatly in the suitcase without too many wrinkles. You can really see what you have as everything can stand on its side. 

Packing/Compression Cubes 

Honestly, I was a little skeptical about packing cubes for a long time. However, I’ve found that its fairly easy to stay organized when you have everything divided and organized into cubes. They help you determine just how much you can actually carry since they stack and fit perfectly in most suitcases. I almost always use them for small things like underwear or swimsuits, but cubes aren’t the solution every time. Sometimes it saves space if you just put your clothes directly into your bag. 

Utilize ALL of your Space

I’m talking EVERY. SINGLE. INCH. If you’ve paid attention to the bottom of your bag, there is usually two bars running the length of your suitcase. For smaller items (like gloves, scarfs, flip flops, etc) lay these items in between the bars. Larger clothes and items can’t reach into these spaces, so it is often left as empty (and valuable) space. Also, shove things in the sides, front, or bottom of your bag. Leave no space left unpacked. 

Pack Must Haves First

These are the things you absolutely cannot live without. Your absolute favorite outfits, shoes, items, or whatever else you travel with. Pack all of that right off the bat. That way you can weed out the things you don’t like as much. This also ensures you don’t forget essentials needed on your journey. For example, I always pack my toiletries bag first. My thought process is that I can always buy clothes wherever I am, but I know the products I like and they can’t be found everywhere. Then I know how much room I have for everything else. 

Carry a Day Pack

Most airlines allow one carry on bag and one personal item. If you’re allowed to bring it, why not bring it? Having a small backpack or purse can really come in handy. Put all of your odds, ends, and personals in there. You won’t have to be digging through your larger bag for stuff and it leaves more room for other things. It gives you just enough extra space that you can usually pack a few extras that you would have otherwise had to leave behind. 


Packing really is an art. It takes a lot of practice. You won’t be good at it right off the bat. I still pack my bags three to four times per trip before I’m satisfied. The more you do it, the easier it gets. To get my complete packing list, click HERE or visit my social media pages for a video tutorial.

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