Your flight leaves tomorrow, and you're sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of clothes, attempting to squeeze them all into one carry-on case. Sound familiar? Recently I found myself in a particularly tricky packing situation. I was travelling from New York to California for a week, only to hop on a plane straight back and then on to Paris for another seven days. The catch: With not enough time between flights to check a bag (I had to switch airports—it was a rough day), I had no choice but to carry on for the entire time.
Spoiler alert: What initially seemed to be a total nightmare ended up being a blessing in disguise. Packing light forced me to be ultra selective and taught me a few lessons along the way. I have a bad habit of packing stuff I never end up wearing, but this time around, I actually put everything I brought along to good use. Curious to learn a few of my personal secrets for mastering the art of the carry-on? Check out my eight hacks below and then shop pieces to help you travel light—without feeling like you're missing something important.
shop pieces for mastering carry-on packing
First things first, make sure to pick a reliable carry-on that can handle whatever the elements throw your way.
Definitely bring along sneakers for your daytime activities.
A simple striped button-down is easy to dress up or down.
Pack heels for any fancy occasion during your getaway.
Pack one simple skirt for mixing and matching.
Opt for jeans you know will work with sneakers or heels.
Be prepared and make sure to pack a pair of leggings.
Skip accessories that take up too much space, and stick with easy to pack styles instead.