The Carry-On Only Life

When packing for trips, are you one of those people who creates a medieval scroll of a packing list and MUST bring clothing for every possible scenario (including a last minute yacht invitation) JUST IN CASE?  I know you. I was you. So, trust me when I say that you too can live the Carry-On Only Life. I know it seems like a stretch, but hear me out while I share some of the benefits of the carry-on only lifestyle in any travel situation.

carry-on only


No More Over-Packing

We’ve all done it…it’s the night before a trip and we’re sitting on our suitcases willing them to close. Inside are a bunch of clothes, shoes and accessories that we will never end up wearing once we arrive at our destination and remember that we’re the same people who wore the same yoga pants all week at home. Take it from me, you don’t need to bring all of the things! I’ve been a carry-on only advocate for the last ten years, which included a trip around the world with two kids and a husband. That trip took us, our carry-on bags and two weeks worth of clothes to  29 countries on six continents and through all types of situations. (No, the yacht invitation never came.) If I can do it, you can do it!


What to Consider Beforehand

There are just a few easy questions to consider as you pack:

  • Where are you going? Weather will play a big role in your choices.
  • What do you have to do when you’re there? Are you going to be active? On the beach? Attending a business meeting?
  • How can you make things work for you? Is laundry an option? Can items do double duty?
  • And finally, do you have the right tools for the job? Read on to see what I mean…

Carry-on only

Avoid the Baggage Claim Headache

When you’re rolling past the long line at the check-in gate you’ll realize that travelling carry-on only can be better than ibuprofen. No standing in line to drop the luggage, no jostling for position at the baggage claim when you arrive at your holiday location. And best of all, no stressing over whether your luggage actually made it. When travelling carry-on only, you know where your luggage is at all times. And when chaos strikes and you need to change flights at the last moment, switching is a breeze.

But just as important as making the decision to carry-on only is finding the luggage that helps you make the most of your limited space. Recently on The Social I shared a few pieces you might want to consider for your next trip. And if these aren’t perfect for you, consider some of their qualities when looking for your next favourite set.

Packing for a Trip with Kids

We’ve talked about packing carry-on with a family before, and we’re back to it with good reason. Kids are possibly one of the toughest groups of people to pack for, but there are some benefits to bringing kids along…hear me out! Kids can  bringtheir own carry-on. Yup! Each person with a ticket is entitled to a carry-on, so even the toddler can have a bag and a personal item on the plane. If your kids are old enough, getting them their own luggage to pack and be in charge of can be pretty exciting (while also teaching them some responsibility). This Logan Suitcase is fun and functional. It can store all of the essentials for travel like clothes and toiletries, while also offering space for entertainment activities. The Trunki cases are another fun option with plenty of themes and patterns. This one is great for toddlers and younger children.

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Packing for a Girl’s Trip

When it comes to a girls’ getaway, being ruthless about your outfits and your jewelry is key! Pro tip: shoes that can be worn more than once are your friend and you don’t need any more than 2-3 pairs. Remember that now is not the time to experiment with your wardrobe. Stick to the looks you know and love and try them on before you go.

Another Pro Tip: Don’t unpack your bag when you get home after the trip. Leave the items you only really use on vacation in the bag. That way they’ll be ready to go the next time the girls’ ring you for a last minute getaway. Trust me, it will make your carry-on life easier. If you’re ready for a luggage glow-up, check out the Quartermaster by Ebby Rane. Everything you need has a compartment waiting for it inside – including a leather clutch for a night out!

Carry-on only


Packing for a Business Trip

A lot of people are back to travelling for business. It’s a tricky proposition because you need a bag that looks neat and professional and can carry a mix of items that will keep you looking fresh and professional. For this, I recommend the Baseline Essential Expandable Carry-On Spinner from Briggs & Riley. This bag is perfect for packing a lot of stuff in a small space. The key? Compression! Press a button to expand the case it and then simply push on the bag to compress the items inside. There are also interior straps to keep things in place. Another perk to this item is the built-in tri-fold garment folder with a foam roll bar that holds 1-2 suits and prevents wrinkling.

Carry-on only


Have you got a favourite carry-on only piece? Share it with us in the comments or on social media.