Friday, November 15, 2013

How to Pack 7 Days Worth in an American Tourister Carry-On Bag!

Let me start by saying if you are packing for a week long trip in a warm climate, it's easy to pack 7 days worth of clothes in a carry on bag! If you're going somewhere cold, I doubt anyone could pack that way, but I could be wrong!

This summer, I traveled to New York City and Washington DC for 7 days and only packed in a carry on bag and my 1 personal item for the flight- which was a backpack filled to the brim!  When I received my American Tourister Colora Bag to review, I immediately wondered if I could pack for a week long Walt Disney World vacation in just this carry on bag.  So guess what I did!?  I started packing just to see if I could do it!

The first thing I do prior to packing is lay all my things out on the bed by outfit.  Above you can see what I planned to pack:
  • 9 pair of underwear and 4 bras
  • 7 pair of socks
  • 3 pj sets- t-shirt and pj pants
  • long sleeve t-shirt
  • zip up hoodie
  • fleece sweatshirt
  • tennis shoes
  • flip flops
  • swim suit and cover up
  • toiletries and make up
  • 7 t-shirts
  • 4 shorts
  • 3 capri pants
When we go to Disney, we keep it very casual.  I did not feel the need to pack a dress or anything too cutesy!  Basically, all Disney themed t-shirts with shorts or black capri pants.  If you do need to pack nicer things, consider packing items that can be mixed and matched along with accessories to change up the looks!  You can search Pinterest all night long for tips on these topics!

Once I have all my items out on my bed, I sort the clothes by items.  I make a stack of all the t-shirts, shorts, pants, pjs, etc.  Next, I lay all the 'like' clothes on top of each other.  With shirts I fold the sleeves in and alternate the direction they are laying.  With the pants and shorts, I fold them in half and start by laying the longest pair of pants on bottom and work my way up.  I also alternate the direction the pants are laying.  The long sleeved items are laid flat and only have the arms folded in.   Once all the clothes are laying in piles, I stuff my shoes with the socks and underwear.  Any that would not fit in the shoes would later be used to fill in gaps in the packed suitcase!  Finally I start rolling the clothes as tightly as I can.  

You can see the final product above!  I started with the tennis shoes (stuffed with socks and underwear) at the bottom of the bag closest to the wheels.  Some people even wrap their shoes in plastic shower caps to keep shoe grime off their clothing.  Next I added the rolls of shirts, pants/ shorts and pjs.  These all fit nicely next to the shoes.  In the space below the rolled items, I was able to fit the bulkier long sleeved items that were rolled together in a longer roll.  Extra underwear was stuffed in the gaps!  In the mesh zipper pocket, I was able to add my swim suit, cover up and bras.  The flip flops and toiletry bags could easily lay on top of the rolled clothes.  And I still had room to spare!  I could have easily added a few more outfits.

Tips for traveling:

  • Wear your bulkiest clothes while traveling along with bulky shoes.
  • If flying, keep all liquids in a quart sized zip lock bag and easily accessible!  Remember the 3-1-1 rule.
  • If it's at the hotel, plan to use it instead of pack it! (shampoo, hairdryers, towels, etc.)
  • If things come in solids or wipes instead of liquids, pack it. (deodorant, make up remover wipes, insect repellant wipes, hand sanitizer wipes, etc)
  • Get all your toiletries in trial size.
  • Know the size and weight limit for carry on bags for your airline PRIOR to flying!  You don't want to find out at the check in counter that your bag is too heavy to carry on, even if it's the right size.
  • Take full advantage of your "personal item" when traveling by plane!  There is no weight limit for this, so pack your heaviest things in your personal item and not your carry on (even though you are carrying on both!)  Just remember this "personal item" must be able to go underneath the seat in front of you.
  • You can always buy some things once you get to your destination! :)


  1. Great tips Beth! Love your pictures and graphics!! I'm a big space saver packer too. Make every inch count:)

  2. Fabulous packing tips Beth!! I'm pinning this for future reference!!