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2 Weeks in One Carry On – Can It Really Be Done?

Don't overpack, it's not worth it.On Tuesday Addie and I leave for an almost two week journey through Florida and the Eastern Caribbean. Packing for Addie? Piece of cake, especially knowing we’ll have laundry facilities available. Packing for me? That’s a little trickier — 5 days of our journey will be spent in a hotel on land, doing multiple adventurous things. The other eight days will be spent on a cruise ship with a whole different itinerary, including two ‘cruise formal’ nights. (I’m sorry, but the last thing I want to do after spending a day in the sun and sand is get all dressed up to go to dinner.)

My friend Allison managed over three weeks in Europe with nothing but a carry on and personal item for each of her three family members, surely if she can do three weeks in Europe, I can do two weeks on beaches and boats using only a carry on.

Suddenly all those travel centric catalogs my mom received in the mail when I was a kid are starting to make sense, packable pants, multi-functioning layers and basic colors. I’ve been cruising forums (pun!) and posts about what to pack, what to leave behind and what to invest in when it comes to packing for this trip. The most overwhelming advice is to go easy on the shoes (which is easy for me) and to roll your clothing. I’ll be trying this little trick with Addie’s already packed suitcase tomorrow.

I’ve been on two cruises, and I can say I ended up wearing and using a lot less than I thought I needed. The biggest issue was things getting dirty and smelly, which is why this time I’m bringing laundry soap and fabric refresher, which should make the biggest difference in the amount I need to pack.

I don’t have to keep everything to one carry on, but I’m willing to give it a go. I have had a pretty serious over-packing problems in my past, this seems like a pretty good opportunity to redeem myself.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far to lessen my load:

  • Wear my heaviest layers on the plane, biggest shoes included.
  • Bring laundry essentials (I have a few laundry soap pacs, a wash and stain bar for touch up/in-sink washing, and a spray fabric refresher.)
  • Black. Lots of black. Dress it up with jewelry and scarves.
  • Multi-tasking products (lotion/sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, relying on hotel and cruise line toiletries.)

What other sage advice do you have for me? Are you a super light packer or even better, a reformed over packer?

Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.

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