Only Want To Bring A Carry-On? Here’s Your Long Weekend Packing Guide


Heading off on a weekend away, but worried about maximizing your carry-on capabilities? We’ve got you. You want to look cute while packing light and it’s totally doable.

We know you’re not leaving your laptop behind, so here’s how to maximize your packing space without sacrificing your electronics.

If you’re stuck on a budget airline and only have under the seat space…

Oooph, you’ll have to play the ultimate minimalist packing game. But capsule wardrobe to the rescue, you can still have a good-looking weekend with very little suitcase space. We’re talking mix and match basics, with small packable accessories.

Here’s how to transform the choices in your closet into a couple outfits in a backpack.

Choose your color scheme. Pack one pair of pants, two shirts, a dress and a sweater, blazer or light jacket. Make sure your bottom layers match the top — in other words, that sweater needs to be cute over either shirt and the dress.

Pick some statement pieces. Jewelry doesn’t take up much space in a bag, but it can elevate an outfit from basic to glam.

Think through your shoes. The dream is to double up on shoe-use. For fall/winter/spring trips, you can’t go wrong with a classy boot. (Summer is easier since sandals are so small.) If you only have a backpack, you might have to give up on bringing heels – unless you want to wear them through the airport or on the bus.

If you have a full carry-on…

Hooray, you’ve got more room! That means it’s possible to bring that second dress, or another pair of jeans (it’s hard to pick between blue and black washes, okay?).

You can also throw in some additional accessories. Think scarves, tights, or a couple extra shirt choices.

Keep in mind…

Give up on outfit options. We know, it’s hard to decide on the look you’ll want for each outing while you’re traveling. But for expert light packing, just bring your absolute favorite outfit that suits any mood. Your suitcase will thank you.

Leave behind the “just in case” items. You could end up in a business casual situation on a quick visit home, but it’s not likely. Don’t use the space.

Be honest about your plans. Are you really going to go on that post-Thanksgiving dinner run? If not, don’t use suitcase space for your running shoes. Maybe just stick with the basic cross-trainers.

Some extras are worth the space. You never want to run out of socks or underwear. It’s worth it to pack some extra panties.