A month or so ago, I tried out several packing techniques, to see if I could get 11 days of clothes and toiletries into a carry on bag. I was successful, however I discovered that the carry on luggage I owned was 1/2″ too tall to meet the guidelines for international flights.
I ordered a new, slightly smaller carry on. When it arrived, I was a bit concerned! The bag looked so small. When I compared the two pieces of luggage, side by side, I could only see a slight difference. Perhaps it would be okay.
With less than 48 hours before Elissa, Dayan and I board a plane bound for Rome, I decided to do another practice pack tonight, using exactly what will go with me.
In the last month, people have questioned me about the feasibility of packing for 11 days in a carry on. I felt determined to try. And I am not the only one. My daughter and grandson are attempting to do the same. And this fall, four other family members will see if it is possible as five of us travel to Ireland, Scotland and England.
I like the idea of traveling light, with a suitcase I can easily manage. The Italian tour we are joining in Rome only allows one piece of luggage per person. And there is less chance of losing my luggage with a carry on, plus I can by pass waiting for my suitcase to appear at the airport pick up area.
But could I do it, for real? I was about to find out.
My new plum colored carry on has a collapsible handle that tucks into a zippered pouch, making the suitcase an inch shorter than my previous bag. With soft sides, rather than rigid ones, and a more streamlined shape, this carry on looked smaller than the older bag. Doubt was trying to crowd in.
All of those clothes needed to fit in a 21″x14″x9″ carry on. I also had travel sized toiletries, makeup and miscellaneous items such as electrical adapters and supplements.
My first HUGE concern was discovering that all liquids and gels must fit within a quart sized (6″x9″) clear ziplock bag. I was thinking I’d have a gallon sized bag to use, but no. I thought I had accomplished that near impossible feat until I remembered contact lens solution. I hope the Italian hotels have shower soap! I had to swap out my Bath & Body soap.
I created my own travel hack. All of my socks, that I’ll wear with my walking shoes, tucked into my sandals, making use of wasted space. Looks dorky but it works!
First layer, which includes capris, sock stuffed sandals, pjs, a lightweight wrap and eight tops. Rolling each piece of clothing tightly makes an amazing difference.
The next layer added four more tops, a lightweight sweater, two bras and 11 pairs of undies. I rolled those tightly too. I’ve found they tuck in easily among the rolled clothes. I also packed my nose and several wrist bands for Red Nose Day, which is Thursday, May 25.
Hey, it is looking doable!
Lastly, I added travel documents, the tiny baggie with liquids, a clear make up bag with non liquid toiletries and the four supplements I’ve chosen to take along.
And you know what?
It all fit! I’ll carry a journal, a phone charger and earbuds in my purse, but there was room to spare in my suitcase. I zipped it closed without a problem and popped the whole thing on the scales. 14.8 pounds.
I’m packed. In a carry on. For an 11 day trip. I am so glad I tried it this evening instead of waiting until tomorrow night. It is one less thing to think about.
I have a full day tomorrow. And then Wednesday, a dream literally takes flight. My year of inspiration blog will become a travel blog while I explore Italy with my daughter and grandson. And yet, I know inspiration will find me, invite me, tap me on the shoulder, no matter where I am.
I am open and ready to receive.
You can order a carry on bag below:
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