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How to Travel Internationally With a Carry-On

think gypsy with carry on suitcase
I just can't wait to pack my suitcase... said no one ever!!! I don't know if it's just me but when it comes to packing I always put it off to the last minute. Don't get me wrong I love being able to pick out my outfits for different spots I have planned on my trip, it really gets me in that vacay mood! But when it comes down to deciding what clothes actually get packed I legit feel like I get anxiety and just end up packing everything.

So you can imagine the struggle when all I have is a carry on for an international trip! It's like telling a little kid to go into a candy store but only pick one thing. The struggle is real! But it is doable. I have traveled internationally with nothing but a carry on twice, once for a month and once for a week!

Here are a few of my tips to getting the maximum amount of packing into a carry-on:

1. Know the Airline that you are flying on:

Most airlines have the same regulations for sizes and weight restrictions for your carry on but it always helps to double check! A lot of people buy these teeny tiny carry on suitcases and don't fully take advantage of what they are allowed to bring. My personal favorite is the carry on from Calpak! They are hard shell and super lightweight.

2. Don't forget your personal item:

A carry on AND a personal item. People always forget that! A personal item isn't the jacket that you are carrying, it can actually be a larger backpack. So if you aren't using that extra room for things like camera equipment, books, electronics, and even extra clothes then you are missing out!

3. Use packing cubes:

Get these little zipper bags on Amazon called packing cubes and watch how much easier compact packing becomes! I used these when I went backpacking for a month and it was crazy how much stuff I managed to fit into my bag once everything was rolled up into these pouches!

4. Remember to mix and match outfits:

So the number one concern when traveling with nothing but a carry on is that you won't have enough outfits for the whole trip! Trust me I totally get that! The key to beating that is your planning. Personally, I'll start with the shoes and see what pants or skirts match the same pair. Then move on to a few different shirts that match the pants and the shoes. Before you know it you'll have a ton of outfit choices!

5. Pack in order of necessity:

When you are traveling with such small luggage space, it is super important to pack things in an order that makes sense when unpacking! Trust me, the last thing you want to do is go digging through everything to find that top that you buried all the way at the bottom!

6. Avoid bulky or heavy items:

As much as you may love that long coat, I guarantee that it will take up wayyyy too much room! Make the sacrifice and pick a jacket that will fold up a bit more! Also when it comes to those heavy boots that you really want to bring, wear them on the plane!! It may look a little odd but I always wear my heaviest shoes so I don't have to worry about fitting them in the bag!
Traveling with nothing but a carry on can seem impossible when you first lay out all of the things that you are trying to pack! But just take a deep breath and start using those little packing cubes. Before you know it you'll be a packing pro!
think gypsy with carry on on airport