Travel Week: How to Pack for a Week in a Carry-On Suitcase

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How to Pack for a Week in a Carry-On Suitcase

You all know how much I love my Samsonite Winfield Carry-On Suitcase. It used to be that I only took the bag on short trips, but since learning tips for how to pack for a week in a carry on suitcase I’ve been able to take this suitcase on week-long trips with no problem. I recently look it on our vacation to St. Lucia and I felt like I arrived with less luggage than anyone else at the resort, though I had quite a bit of stuff with me.

As a recap, here’s my suitcase:

Samsonite Winfield

It’s just about the size of Bacon if I lay it on its side.

Here’s all of the stuff I was able to fit into the suitcase:

Packing for St. Lucia

That’s 11 Tank Tops, 5 tee shirts, 3 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of sandals, pjs, yoga pants, 3 bathing suits, packing cube with unmentionables, makeup bag, toiletries case, travel surge protector, travel adapter, wet bathing suit bag (not pictured) assortment of sunscreen in a waterproof pouch, Gorjana scarf, Amrita Singh coral necklace, and waterproof band-aids. Needless to say, I didn’t really skimp when it came to packing and I never actually got around to wearing everything I packed! (In the interest of full disclosure, we attended a wedding in St. Lucia and the dress I wore did not get packed in this suitcase, so were I traveling alone to this wedding I probably couldn’t have used this case.)

It used to be that I couldn’t go away for a weekend using such a small suitcase, let alone for a week. The reason I’m able to pack for a week in a carry-on suitcase is exactly what you see above: I roll my clothing to make each piece as small as possible! Not only will rolling your clothing help you fit as much stuff as possible into your suitcase, but it will also prevent your clothes from wrinkling. With a little bit of practice you’ll be able to stuff more items into your suitcase than you ever thought possible!

packing efficiently: roll your clothing

Pack your suitcase by putting your biggest items on the bottom. Above I’ve rolled and packed 3 dresses and a pair of shorts. Rolling your clothing will also help you fit items between the bars that are at the bottom of every suitcase. Make the most of every little inch of space!

Pack clothing as efficiently as possible

Keep rolling and packing items, creating multiple layers within the suitcase.

Packing for a week in a carry-on suitcase

Finally, I put the white items on top. I feel like this will help keep them cleaner for some reason, but it probably doesn’t matter.

I have three full layers of clothing in this side of the suitcase, which is almost all of the clothes I needed to pack. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without rolling my clothing and fitting the items into the suitcase like a jigsaw puzzle. The only items I wasn’t able to fit into this side are my swimsuits, pjs, and unmentionables, but they’ll easily fit with what’s left on the other side of the divider.

Final Suitcase: Pack for a week in a carry-on suitcase

I put the items mentioned above, as well as all of my other accessories into the left side of the suitcase. I stacked one blouse that wouldn’t roll easily on top of all of my other clothing, and then placed my Ame & Lulu Shoe Bag on top of everything else.

Close the divider, and the suitcase easily closes… with a week’s worth of clothing, accessories, and necessities enclosed inside! Learning how to tightly roll my clothing has really changed the way I pack, and made it so I can bring my smallest piece of luggage on almost any trip.

For more travel fun, last summer I shared how to pack a carry-on bag for a long plane trip, and I packed a very similar bag this year when we went to St. Lucia, with the only change being that I brought along the Microsoft Surface instead of my old work iPad.

Do Tell: What are your favorite tricks for packing for long trips? What travel tips do you have that we didn’t cover this week?



4 comments on Travel Week: How to Pack for a Week in a Carry-On Suitcase

  1. Kelly
    July 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm (1 year ago)

    how do you keep the rolled items from unrolling?

    • Lisa
      July 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Kelly- Most items won’t unroll! I put the one shirt that I couldn’t get to roll on top of everything else, but most cotton items/denim/tees/tanks, should roll and stay put… especially when you’re cramming as much as possible into your suitcase! :)

  2. Kelly
    July 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks!!

  3. Yelena
    July 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Doing this next month when i go on my cruise