The numerous stories of lost baggage this summer should motivate anyone traveling by air to commit to a carry-on bag. It’s not difficult once a strategy is in place with the discipline to heavily edit being key.
I start by collecting everything I’m considering to pack and then specifying where and when I would wear each piece. Nothing makes it in the bag if it is a stand alone item that doesn’t work with a number of looks. That’s fairly easy once a strict color palette is established. Mine is usually anchored in black, white and a neutral.
I always pack at least three comfortable shoes (which includes a pair of sneakers) for day plus a pair to elevate my dinner looks. I’ll wear my most bulky shoes on the flight to free up suitcase space.
Toiletries and valuables (in case my carry-on gets gate checked) go in a large tote bag that fits on top of my suitcase. I’ll also put my handbag and any inflight necessities in the tote including a pouch filled with things I like to access easily – lip balm, wipes, glasses, moisturizer, etc.
If I’m traveling to multiple destinations, packing cubes keep everything organized and take the head ache out of frequent repacking. A flat expandable tote slides into one of the outside pockets of the carry-on. If I need extra space for purchases, I’ll use it as an additional suitcase and check the carry-on bag for the return flight. I’m less concerned about a delayed bag when the final destination is home.
See my other packing guides below: