Packing a Carry-on for a Two Week Vacation: Part 2

pack a carry on for 2 weeks- tips on packing light

The weather is warming up and spring has sprung. It’s time to pack your bags and go somewhere fun, even if it is just for the weekend. I’m linking this post up over at Fiesta Friday. Head on over there and check it out… Enjoy the weekend!

In my last post a I shared tips on clothing to take with you on a 2 week trip if you are just bringing a carry on bag. In this post I’m sharing tips on how to pack it, what bags to use and how to make sure your your luggage stays in check so you don’t have to check it throughout your trip. 1) Use the bundling method: I used to fold each item separately and cram on the suitcase, have someone sit on it and then zip it up. While this method is a good workout and entertaining, at least the first time, I like the bundling method better for long trips. This method will allow you to cram more stuff in your suitcase, but it still looks tidy. I used this method to pack of all of my trips now. I like how it keeps everything bundled up neat but it doesn’t take a lot of time to pack once you pick out what is going in the suitcase. See videos on how to do it here and here An alternate method is to organize your belongings and compress them with packing cubes. 2) Limit souvenir purchases: I usually limit it myself to one Christmas ornament in each location. Ornaments are small, inexpensive, but we still get them all out and admire them once a year. On our two week vacation through Europe my husband and I each purchased one item of clothing and I purchased an extra scarf for less than $5. The weather in the UK was colder than I expected and I ended up wearing a scarf every day there.

london eye in the rain

View from the London Eye on a cold and rainy day

To make room for our extra stuff I left the paper back books I was carrying to read on travel days in the hotel when I was finished with them. I know, I know, I’m like the only person on the planet who still reads paper books! 3) Limit toiletries and extra on items to the bare minimum: They have shampoo, soap and umbrellas where you are going. I promise! Your hair straightener probably won’t work overseas, so ditch it! Bring the necessary hair ties and clips to get by without much styling and ditch your hair dryer too. After all it is vacation, not a beauty contest! If you have long hair, try a sock bun. It looks nice without much styling. 4) The right gear really helps: My husband and I both purchased carry on luggage for our trip to europe. I travel frequently domestically and the bag I purchased is my go to suitcase for short trips to week long business trips. If my husband and I are traveling for a weekend we also share this bag.   It has backpack straps that tuck away, but primarily I use it as a roller bag. It was nice to have options, and the side pockets are very nice for tucking away toiletries so that I can have quick access to them when running through air port security. However, because it has wheels, some flight attendants on some air lines make me gate check it. Even though it had the same dimensions as my husband’s soft sided luggage without wheels. We don’t use this pack as frequently, and it is a little bit more spendy, but it was nice that it is so light weight. Since we have never had to check this bag it is in way better shape. Do you pack light, or take everything from your closet with you? Do you use the bundling method, packing cubes, or the just cram everything in the suitcase and sit method? Do you bring a second suitcase for souvenirs or do you keep the trinkets small and simple?



6 thoughts on “Packing a Carry-on for a Two Week Vacation: Part 2

  1. Bundling is the best for me!
    I prefer using flat rate shipping to get my souvenirs home. Even international post offices have them. I found it is $15 US within the continental US, and around $40 US overseas. No worries about carrying the extra stuff. Just make sure you fill out the appropriate duty forms for your purchases, and declare “personal effects” for your own clothing.

  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #11 | The Novice Gardener

  3. I just returned from a week long business trip and managed to get all my suits and clothes into 1 folding envelope and 1 packing cube! Yay, except I had to bring 3 pairs of shoes (running, heels, flats), which took up room. When I did travel internationally, I would limit trinkets to small textiles or magnets–it was always hard to resist buying more! Great post!

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