I don't know about you, but there is no better feeling than being good at being a smart packer! When I travel, I am all about packing items that can be worn 2-3 different ways with other items I am packing. I have a lot of friends who end up going way overboard and having a bunch of "options" when they travel (I love you, but you know who you are). My claim to packing fame is being able to pack 2 pairs of shoes and have them work for every part of my vacation. This post will show you that you CAN pack for 7 days and in a carry on! And if you are afraid you can't, think again! You are packing summer clothes not bulky sweaters and jeans!
Be smart and pack items you KNOW you will wear and are comfortable wearing. Don't make your trips about trying to step out of your comfort zone and wear an item you know you aren't too comfortable wearing. I have tried that and it just doesn't work out and ends up being wasted space. Don't be afraid to lay out to many items at first and then slowly narrow it down until you are happy.
Start with "Bottoms"
The best way to analyze what you are bringing and to see what it will go with is to start by laying out bottoms
Lay out more bottoms than you know you will need. This will help you when you begin to lay out tops. It is ok if you start with more bottoms than you know you will want to bring. You can start to pair your tops with the bottoms and narrow out bottoms that don't have as many tops that will work with them.
Tops - Prints vs. Solids
This debate can cause one to over pack. I know I tend to gravitate toward all the fun summer-y prints and forget that these items are more difficult to pair with other items. I end up trying to stick to more neutral colors and more muted prints so that I can pack more efficiently.
I typically don't try and pack bottoms that have prints, but if I do, I will begin to lay out my tops with the bottoms they will go with. If that top will end up working with the printed bottom, I will match them together to see if I will end up having enough tops to go with that item.
Rompers and Dresses - 1 item, 1 outfit
Rompers are my favorite thing to pack for a beach or tropical vacation! These pieces are a great way to have an entire outfit in one piece and is a great space saver! Dresses are also an amazing space saver, however, I don't feel as comfortable in dresses so I tend to not pack as many!
Sweaters and Jackets
I love to pack sweaters and jackets that match a majority of my outfits. I tend to pack lightweight, solid print sweaters to be able to throw over an outfit no matter where I am.
Swimwear and PJ's
Don't forget swimsuits and pajamas! Pack only a few pairs of pj's. You don't need a pair for every single day you are on vacation. Pack swimsuits that can be mixed and matched and you are comfortable in.
For a beach vacation, I tend to pack a few more shoe options because sandals take up a lot less room - score! I will pack one that I can wear at the beach and get wet, one for walking around on the cruise ship and one pair of sneakers.
I tend to be more simple when it comes to accessories. I will usually pack my two favorite earrings, a bold necklace and some rings. I love sunglasses, so I normally will pack three different pairs.
To help you keep your items to a carry on, pack your items in these packing cubes! They are a staple for me and help me not to over pack!
Makeup and Skincare
If you are like me and have subscribed over the years to monthly beauty subscriptions, then you probably have a pretty good stock of travel items. I LOVE being able to take a bunch of packet samples and travel sized items with me and using them up. I get a lot of satisfaction using up products!
When packing for a carry on, bringing travel size items is KEY. You can't bring full size products in a carry on anyway!
When on a tropical vacation, I find myself loving to rock my sun kissed, freckled skin and don't really want to wear a lot of makeup products. This will help to save room in your carry on.
Don't forget to check out the "shop" page where I have compiled a bunch of my travel essentials.