How to Overpack in a Carry On

Time for the third installment of #WeBlogSummer! This week’s theme is ‘Summer Travel’. My ‘Summer Holiday’ this year is actually a trip home, and I’m very excited to be somewhere familiar again! But I’m definitely not excited about the packing…

Seriously, packing is the absolute worst.

I have a reputation for overpacking because I always get super anxious about not being prepared. There’s nothing worse than realising that you needed a sweater, jacket, or pair of shoes left sitting in a closet hundreds of miles away. In the past, I’ve ended up with a huge pile that required a comically large suitcase. My mother would always laugh at the end of family trips and say “You didn’t even use half of the things you packed.”

I can’t help that like being prepared, Mom…

But it there’s anything I hate more than being unprepared, it’s checking my luggage. Nothing causes me more stress at the airport. I get unnecessarily paranoid about trusting strangers with my personal items, so I prefer to have everything with me on the plane. Because of this paranoia, I’m starting to master the art of overpacking in a carry-on. I still pack way more than I need, but I manage to do it in a way that allows me to avoid the dreaded checked bag situation. How do I get away with it? My not-so-secret technique is that I don’t fold my clothing. I roll it instead! You’ve probably seeing this method all over pintrest, so it’s nothing new. Nonetheless, rolling has saved me from a lot of travel stress and checking fees.

Here’s a quick break down of how to roll your clothes. Just for funsies.

Step 1: Lay item on the bed or floor.  

Go Phillies!

Step 2: Fold it in half. 

 Step 3: Roll it up like a teeny sleeping bag (or burrito!) 

 This is all pretty self explanatory of course, but I like taking pictures of things sometimes. Anyway! Moving on to the packing itself. The Viking and I will be in the States for 14 days, so of course I’m bringing much more than necessary, but it all fits in my little suitcase. So whatever.

Here’s what I managed to fit in my carry-on for 14 days abroad.

6 crop tops and 6 tank tops 

 5 dresses and 3 rompers 

 4 pairs of shorts and 2 skirts 

 1 long sleeve button down, 1 cardigan, and 1 super light raincoat 

 1 pair of sneakers and 3 pairs of sandals 

 Here’s what the bag looks like all packed. 

 Also packed: 3 belts, 3 belts, 2 bras and assorted undies. Not pictured: the 3 swimsuits I packed later… 

As you can see, I have enough clothing to last me an extra week, and it all fits in my carry-on! Now, I can relax because I’m prepared for pretty much any situation, and everything will be with me on the plane. To quote Hannah Montana: It’s the best of both worlds.

Are you an overpacker like me, or more of a minimalist? What are your favorite packing tips?

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9 thoughts on “How to Overpack in a Carry On

    1. Thanks! I’m really cheap so I hate paying for checked luggage! So I forced myself to learn how to pack in a carry on 🙂


  1. I’m a minimalist although I hate to be unprepared but I think that whatever you’re missing out can always be bought somewhere else. Unless you’re heading to the wilderness of the Saharan desert, of course.


    1. Again…I’m super cheap! I don’t want to buy something that I know I have at home and could have easily squeezed in a carry on haha! 🙂


  2. I’m definitely an overpacker! I’m impressed at what you’ve got in there. I’m probably going to have a similar post going up once I figure out what I’m packing for my trip! I am going to be checking my gigantic suitcase, though, because I’ve still got things in the US that I need to bring back – but I try to bring as little as possible so I have more room for taking things back.


    1. The Viking and I checked an empty bag that we just filled to stuff from the outlets 🙂 can’t wait to hear about your trip home!


  3. Wow I am the opposite, after figuring out the number of days I’ll be somewhere, I divide it by 2 and that’s how many outfits I bring. Packing tool I LOVE: Eagle Creek compression cubes, I dare say you can fit even more into that bag with some of these babies!


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