How to Pack for One Week in a Carry On

How many times have you been on a trip and when you finally arrive to your destination, it takes forever until you get your check-in suitcase?

I've been on many trips, both domestic and international, and over time I've learned how to pack my suitcase efficiently. I'll be heading to Oahu, Hawaii soon with my husband for a much needed vacation and I wanted to share with you how I normally pack for a one week long island vacation, all in a carry-on suitcase. I use the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside 20" Spinner as my carry-on which, in my opinion, is amazing. It surprisingly fits A LOT and I have managed to go on several trips with just this one suitcase + my backpack. That's it! No checking in bags, no waiting at the luggage carousel for who knows how long for that check-in bag. Just grab it, and go!


Here's how I pack:

1. Roll instead of fold

I find rolling my clothes a lot more space efficient. The great thing about going on island vacations is that you'll be packing light. Most of my clothes always consists of mainly bikinis which doesn't take up much room. Any shirts I bring will be of very light material and easy to roll up. I'll throw in a few pairs of cut off shorts and maybe one sweater with still enough room for more

2. Limit your footwear

Since you'll be on the beach most of the time, you probably won't need to bring much footwear. You'll be barefoot more than half the time! But I always bring one pair of sneakers which is one of the bulkier items that I wear on the flight. I'll also bring one pair of flip flops and one pair of more decent pair of sandals for when you go out to eat. I always do just fine with these 3 pairs.


3. Bring only the essentials

This goes for any beauty needs or toiletry essentials. Items like sunblock, moisturizer, eye cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, leave-in conditioner, etc — try to fit it all in one decent sized bag. Most hotels provide a blow dryer so you won't need to bring one. Remember to consider that any liquids you bring must be in a 3 oz. sized bottle. And don't forget those quart size zip lock bags to store them in!

4. Leave room for any extras

If you're the type that frequents island vacations most of the time, then you're probably one of those people that always brings your snorkeling gear. I always make sure to leave just enough room for them. Depending on the size of your fins it may or may not fit in your carry-on, so make sure to check the size first. Also leave room to pack your GoPro to document your snorkeling adventure ;)

5. Take advantage of your personal item

If ever you run out of space in your carry-on and still need a little more room, this is where your personal item comes in. I always use my Herschel Retreat Backpack because it's easy to bring around and it's pretty spacious. Also make sure to have any ID's, credit cards, passports, and important documents safely stored in your personal bag.


Now this is just a general idea of the method I use to make everything fit. But I hope this is a little bit helpful for those going on a one week island vacation. If you have other ways of packing efficiently, feel free to comment below! I'd love to hear them :)