Do I Really Need That? What to Pack in Your Carry On and What to Leave Behind


When I first started travelling I was notorious for over packing. Okay, maybe sometimes I still am…certain trips do call for extra luggage depending on the duration and amount of camera gear I’m taking. However, I prefer to travel light as often as I can. While I can’t pack for an entire month in just my carry on, I’ve certainly improved in terms of my packing habits and it’s completely changed the way I travel. Not having to worry about lugging around a giant suitcase is definitely going to make your trip a lot more enjoyable!

If I’m travelling somewhere for a week or less I usually only travel with a carry on. Today I’m going to show you how I pack everything I need for up to a week in just a carry on suitcase – and what things I leave behind! Hopefully this post helps you with all your future packing needs.

What to Pack  


I mean unless you’re planning on going naked your entire trip?

Of course clothes are going to take up the bulk of the room in your carry on, and this is where it’s so easy to go overboard. Trust me when I say you don’t need to pack three pairs of shoes and six dresses for a week away. Here’s a guideline of what types of clothes I’ll pack for a week-long trip:

7 undies – It’s safe to say you can pack a pair for everyday of your stay

2 pairs of socks – Depending on your preferred footwear you may need to bring 3

1 bra/bralette – Yes, you really only need one! Unless you’re not a girl, in which case you need zero.

1 pair of shoes – You’ve already got the ones on your feet, you don’t need more than two for a week!

1 bottoms – Pants or shorts depending on your destination

2 tops – Comfort over style, and pick one you can layer if it gets cold!

1 sweater – Save your bulky hoodie for the plane and instead pack a lightweight or “going-out” sweater

1 jacket – Again, if its bulky bring it on the plane. Use your carry on to pack a leather jacket or thing trench coat.

1 dress – Dresses are the easiest go to outfit when travelling!

1 hat – I usually bring a hat with me while travelling to cover up my bad hair days and jet lag


This is where you need to be careful due to the airlines rules on liquids. Try to keep your toiletries to a minimum and use travel/sample sizes where you can. Remember all your liquids must be less then 3.4 ounces and just to be safe, keep them in a clear plastic bag for easier inspection. Here are the toiletries I pack for up to a week:


Toothbrush + Toothpaste

Skincare regime (I usually bring sample sizes of most products and rely on coconut oil as a multi-purpose product for makeup removal and moisturizing. See more about my travel skincare regime HERE)

Make-up (Unless you’re going to some sort of event you really won’t need much for a week. I limit my carry on makeup to 1 BB cream, 1 concealer, 1 cream blush, 1 eyebrow pencil, 1 mascara, 3 lip products, and a highlight/contour kit)

Teach Gear

Always, always, always pack your technology accessories in your carry on, even if you have a checked bag as well. Packing your technology accessories in your checked baggage is risky in case they get damaged or stolen, or if your bag gets lost you may be without them for a few days.

As I said before, on some trips I travel with a lot of camera gear like my drone, tripods, a lot of GoPro’s, etc. But for a week-long trip where I’m bringing only a carry on here’s what I’ll pack:

Laptop (Macbook Pro 13”)

Camera (Sony a6000)

Chargers for laptop, camera, and phone

Charging phone case


Don’t forgot any other important items you might need over the week such as any daily medications. And of course be sure to pack your passport and any other required travel documents!


What to Leave Behind

Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to pack in your carry on, let’s talk about the things to leave at home!

Shampoo/Conditioner – Buy it when you get there or take advantage of the hotel ones if you’re staying in one

More clothing options – Trust me, more options will only weigh you down. Limit yourself now to save yourself time and stress once you’re are your destination

Books – I’m always tempted to bring books with me when I travel, but chances are if I’m only in a place for a week I’ll be too busy to have time to read anyway
(If you do want to bring some reading material try using a Kindle)

Razor – You can’t pack this in your carry on anyway so buy it when you get there

And there you have it! Bon Voyage my friends! May your travels be light and delightful! 🙂



For more travel tips like this subscribe to my newsletter!

[wysija_form id=”1″]


You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Rosie March 3, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I used to be a notorious over-packer too. Last year, when I was away for 2 weeks I thought I’d really packed well and cut down on a lot of stuff, but I still ended up not wearing about 1/3 of what I took – though I can kinda blame the weather for that. I have often wondered why people bother doing laundry on holiday, but I will definitely be making use of the washing machine in our Air BnB when we go away in the summer.

  • Leave a Reply