Traveling with Only a Carry-On Bag

When it comes to travel I'm all about bringing the fewest bags possible. I'd much rather bring one or two bags than fight with checking a bag, carrying a bag, and trying to remember my purse.


Over the years I've developed a few tricks to help me minimize the amount of bags - and the amount of stuff - I pack for a trip. Of course, some vacations definitely require more than one bag, but for the most part, I can manage with only a carry-on bag and a large purse!


If you're looking for ways to minimize the amount of bags you travel with, check out my packing process here!


Have an Idea of What You'll Be Doing on Vacation

I like to use vacations as an excuse to wear cute outfits and take pictures, but sometimes a large part of my vacations are spent hanging out or doing things that don't require a specific outfit. Especially when I visit my family, a pretty good amount of time is spent in my leggings and a sweatshirt. Be realistic with your packing. If you aren't planning on going anywhere incredibly "dressy" then you probably don't need to pack the cocktail dress and stilettos. If you aren't planning on working out, then definitely don't waste the space on workout shoes and equipment. If you aren't sure, then try and pack an outfit or item that can work for multiple occasions.


Have an Idea of What You Want to Wear

I always like to have a plan when it comes to packing and one of the easiest ways to do that is to plan out my outfits ahead of time. I start by picking outfits for each day I'm on vacation and laying them out on my bed or my bedroom floor. Once I do that, I'm able to see what pieces can be used in multiple outfits, and what pieces may take up a little too much space in the bag.


Check the Weather

This one may seem obvious, but nothing is worse than planning for a certain temperature and getting off the plane to the complete opposite. I always like to check the weather at least a week out and see what I'm about to get myself into. That way I can plan accordingly!


Streamline Your Make-up/Beauty Routines

I'm all for taking your time to get ready, but when it comes to packing items and traveling it's best to have something simple, or at least something that doesn't require 100 products and tools. I'm a big fan of make-up palettes for traveling since you can use them for every look. I also like to only bring my essential hair and skincare items, since honestly I never use more than the essentials on vacation anyways.


Do You Really Need That?

This should be your most frequently asked question when packing. There are plenty of times that I find myself making up excuses for bringing something along with me. Ask yourself whether or not you really need that random accessory or that specific pair of shoes. Chances are you won't even pull those random things out of your bag, so why waste the space?


Organize Your Bags

As I said, I try to only bring a carry on bag and a large purse or tote bag when traveling - if I can manage it. The key to this is keeping everything organized! I love packing cubes and smaller toiletry bags when it comes to organizing my carry on luggage! They make keeping everything organized so much easier! I also try to keep my purse/tote limited to only the items I'll need while on the plane or in the airport; since I will gate check my carry-on bag if the airline gives me the option!


Packing Products I Can't Travel Without

Packing Cubes

Clear Bags

Travel Toiletry Set

Travel Wallet


Do you like traveling with only a carry-on? How do you pack for vacation? Do you have any other travel posts you want to see? Let me know and make sure to follow the blog on Instagram @actuallytho_!

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