Traveling with a Carry On

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Back story: In 2013, I went to the Republic of Ireland for about 2 months with my school. I went to 4 different cities. I packed all my clothes in a huge duffel bag type suitcase. The duffel bag was incapable of standing up unless I was holding the handle and it was extremely heavy so I ended up having to pay a heavy baggage fee. The suitcase hurt to pull even if it was just for a block. Every time we traveled to a new city I dreaded it. I had to carry the suitcase up and down lots of stairs because we stayed in historical buildings that didn’t have elevators. I pretty much looked ridiculous anytime I was carrying my suitcase around especially if it involved cobblestone streets. I promised myself I would never pack a large suitcase again.

Before I explain how I packed my suitcase I have to mention that I did check the suitcase and I used the expander zipper when packing. Both airlines I flew with did not charge me for one checked baggage.

What did I bring as my carry on?

A North Face backpack that you would use for hiking or large textbooks.

How long was my trip?

8 days

What season was it?



Everything that went in the suitcase:

  • 7 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 8 undies
  • a bunch of bralettes
  • 1 NYE dress
  • 1 pair of nude tights
  • 10 hot packets
  • 1 curling iron
  • 1 flat iron
  • 1 pair of sparkly gold flats
  • 1 pair of knee high suede boots
  • 2 pairs of tall socks
  • 5 pairs of ankle socks
  • 1 green vest
  • 2 flannels
  • 6 tank tops
  • 1 long-sleeve shirt
  • 1 short-sleeve shirt
  • 1 black satchel
  • 2 pairs of gloves

How did I keep everything condensed in the suitcase?

Large zip-loc bags for clothes. I put all my socks in the knee-high boots.


Did I use everything I packed?

No. I never wore the flats

Did I throw away anything I packed?

Yes. 2 undies, 2 pairs of socks, 2 sets of pajamas, and 1 tank top

Why did I throw them away?

Anything I threw away was old or had a hole in it. The pajamas should have been thrown away a long time ago. They had holes and stains. The tank top that had a hole I wore on NYE during the day with a sweater. The hole was in the armpit so no one would notice and I didn’t wear it all day because I had to change into my NYE dress in the evening. I really liked that tank top but it really needed to go. My mom let me take any of her old socks that had holes.

What did you pack in your carry on?

  • a pair of Steve Madden sneakers
  • 1 nook
  • North Face fleece jacket
  • 1 adapter
  • all of my chargers
  • 1 digital camera
  • 1 bag of make up
  • 1 bag of all the stuff you need for the shower(soap, deodorant, etc.)
  • 1 slice of bread and 1 justin almond butter packet
  • 1 portable charger
  • 1 pair of eyeglasses
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • phone
  • 1 scarf and hat
  • 1 hairbrush
  • 1 pair of fleece socks for my Hunter boots
  • 1 lint roller

My passport and wallet stayed in my hand.

What did you wear on the plane?

  • flannel
  • tank top
  • leggings
  • sweater
  • coat
  • pair of socks( I threw them away too)
  • Bralette
  • Hunter boots

Did you bring jewelry?

Whatever jewelry I wore on the plane is what I wore during the whole trip.

What did I like about packing in a carry on?

It was easy to carry around. I had to switch hotels, take the eurostar, and travel on the tube with my suitcase. It also prevented me from buying stupid things that I would regret later on buying.

What were some negatives of packing in a small suitcase?

Obviously, I couldn’t pack extra stuff so I quickly became sick of having to wear the same hat, sweater, and scarf. I had to make sure every outfit I wore could also be worn at night. Luckily, I didn’t spill anything on myself because if I did then I would be s*** out of luck. All of my outfits had to coordinate with the color black so that everything matched.  All of my shirts had to be long because I wore leggings almost everyday. I packed leggings because they took up less room than jeans.

Would I pack like this again?

Yes. I would change things, but I definitely liked the ease that having a small suitcase gave me.

Is there anything I wish I did or didn’t pack?

I wish I packed warmer shoes. I shouldn’t have packed the hunter boots or the flats. The hunter boots were too bulky for this type of trip and it didn’t rain enough for them to be necessary. I would have liked to have more jewelry with me.I definitely needed a warmer scarf.

Wow! That was a long post. 🙂


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