Learn To Edit
Understanding and accepting what you can live without on a vacation is probably the most challenging part of packing and simultaneously the only way to get to carry on travel status. Scaling back means making tough decisions. A good way to tackle the decision is to pull out all the clothes, shoes and accessories you’d pack if there was no such thing as weight and size restrictions then edit down until it can fit into a carry on. Do the same with your hair and beauty products, keeping in mind you can use the hotel toiletries or buy travel size minis to save space.
Start with the obvious in the first round of cuts. Duplicates like multiple pairs of jeans, sneakers, even jewelry that can be done away with. Commit to one evening shoe, one day shoe and/ or one sneaker that will go with most or almost everything. Look to dresses that can make for one piece to reduce the amount of tops and bottoms. Think of clothing you could get away with or are willing to wear twice. I find wearing the same outfit of the bulkier (and cozy) pieces like jeans, sneakers and jacket on my departure and return flights saves a good deal of space in my carry on.
If staying in a hotel edit out anything that the hotel will provide and you’ll use like toiletries, hair dryers and even beach towels. Check to see if they have laundry service too. Could be a space saver if you know you can wash a few things. In the end you should have a tight almost sparse selection.
Last key to good editing is knowing what to keep in. There are a few items that you do not want to travel without. Don’t edit out your must haves. Think things you look for when you’re travel weary, are hard to get in a foreign country or after hours. If you’re traveling locally you may not need as much. For me any trip without an eye mask, earplugs and headphones is a disaster. Remember you have a secondary small bag which is a great place to stash such crucial necessities along with travel documents, medications and electronics.