Vacationing with a Carry On

When I vacation, it is hardly a vacation in the let’s sit by a beach and soak up some sun, or even lets spend 5 days on the mountain. My vacations generally consist of going home to New England to visit friends and family… the whole lot of them.

I have successfully am managing my 4th trip this year (two of which were 10 days, one 3 for a wedding, and another 2 days) with nothing but a back back (mostly because I don’t know how to put work down when I am on vacation) and a carry on with wheels. 


What would make me try to minimize soo much?

The first time I came home (December 2013) I flew into JFK in New York, walked around all day and spent the night in the city, then I had to take a bus/train into Connecticut. In CT I probably ended up staying in 2-3 places. Spent 3-4 days in Boston at 2 different places, and then  took a shuttle bus back to NY to fly home. HOLY CHAOS… and can you imagine doing that with a huge bag, or worse yet multiple bags. Honestly, the backpack and carry on were more than enough. And yes, you are thinking correct — I do not even bring a purse, everything goes into a tiny little wristlet and pops right into the backpack. I am all about simplicity.


So here are some tips on how to significantly pare down your suitcase for a trip.

1) Remember that most places have laundry facilities, and NO ONE is going to care, or probably even notice, if they see you in the same pair of jeans or shirt twice. This means you can pack about half as much clothing.

2) Be sensible about what you pack. If it is cold, bring things you can layer. It is warm, remember to bring one warmer layer if you get cold easily because restaurants are always freezing.

Note: I even managed to mess this one up this trip and have this adorable short sleeved shirt that does not layer well, which based on the snow falling outside, is not going to see the light of day outside of my suitcase.


3) Bring neutral colors with a couple flare pieces. So my top layers are generally, black grey, etc and then I have my bright blues, greens, and even pink this time around (I am NOT a pink girl) to layer underneath and a little flavor to my outfit.

4) Find a versatile pair of shoes or two, but NO More! Ideally, if one of them does not have laces or too much to fuss with wear those to the airport and make your life easier.

5) Since I go to the same places, I know most personal care items (shampoo, condition, soap, toothpaste, etc) are already accounted for. Call ahead if you are staying in a place to see if they have a hair dryer, iron, etc.

6) Finally, if you have room bring a couple closed and sealed snacks and an empty water bottle — this may not save you space, but it will save you a little money in the airport — just don’t forget to fill the water bottle once you get into the terminal.   


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