Flying With Just a Carry-On . . . REALLY Possible???

lynninnewmexicoOctober 1, 2012

I've just returned late last night from a long weekend visiting DD at college in Oklahoma and now need to quickly plan and pack for a 6-day trip to Michigan to attend my little sister's wedding. I HATE trying to pack for trips at this time of year as the weather can be so unpredictable!

For example, it was supposed to be unseasonably warm in Oklahoma and so I packed shorts, capris and sandals in Autumn colors. It rained almost non-stop the entire 4 days and I ended up having to go shopping for a few things more appropriate for the weather!

With this trip to Michigan on Thursday morning, I was really hoping to pack it all in one carry-on and a BIG purse so that I could bypass the sloooow baggage pick-up area at Detroit Metro and get through traffic before rush hour starts there. But this past weekend's packing fiasco has me doubting my ability to pull it off.

I need ideas if you have any for me, but I do have to first say that I am NOT a travel newbie. We travel a lot. What I am, though, is totally NOT used to traveling light (LOL)!

I plan to wear my travel outfit coming and going: khaki slacks, black knit shirt, (new as of 3 days ago, gorgeous) thin, black indoor outdoor vest, closed-toed flats and carry a black & tan all-weather coat. I have a very large black leather purse I can stuff things into, but don't want to end up looking like a bag lady with it over-stuffed. I also need to carry my (thankfully) very thin laptop in it. I'm staying with another sister who lives nearby so I can wash and re-wear most anything I bring.

My dress for the wedding is a sleeveless black dressy shift-type dress and I need to wear some kind of jacket or dressy sweater with it. The wedding is in a church, but the reception is in a large event tent on their property, next to their very large pond/small lake. It's a dressy-but-semi-outdoors event. I think dressy flat shoes are called for from the sounds of it, which is perfect since I hate heels. The rest of my time will be spent with my sisters helping Little Sis any way we can getting ready for her wedding and visiting with my family there. No other dressy events to bring clothes for.

I would LOVE to hear from you all on how (if???)I can pull off this trip with only a carry-on and not end up with inadequate clothes . . . again.

Thanks so much for any suggestions and ideas!


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Ha..boy can I pack light ! I had all of my clothes for my 3 month bike trip in 4 1-gallon zip lock bags. Those are the KEY to packing easily. Also everything I take is completely weightless as far as fabric goes and won't wrinkle no matter what. So here is what you do. Make sure the jacket that you want for the wedding is what you are wearing on the plane. Multi-use is the key also. Everything has to do double service or triple. Put the clothes out on the bed and make up the outfits. When it is time to pack make sure and smooth the item out and then fold /roll tightly. The place in the gallon bags the kind with the zipper at the top. Pack it full and then close it almost all the way and press out all the air and the zip the rest of the way !! VOILA !! You will be amazed at what you can get in the bag. Take it all out when you get where you are going and hang in the bathroom and the shower will take care of the steaming or else use the iron that the room supplies.

The key is weightless fabrics and multi use. And then compress the heck out of it. Good Luck and have a great time !! c

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:54AM
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That's good advice, C.! I also would use a large tote like the ones Vera Bradley sells. You can squeeze them in just about any compartment since they're made of cloth.

Make sure you can wear your travel outfit while you're there. If not, wear some nice jeans, etc. As c said, "double duty!" lol

I think you can do it.

We had a beautiful weekend in OK! We've needed this rain forever, and the cold weather. Much colder next weekend, in the 40s! :)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Ditto on the bags; love those things!!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Packing light. Sigh. My husband refuses to check a bag and refuses to let anyone else check a bag and so I've trained myself to do it. I was in Europe for 2 weeks this summer with only a carry on for example. On the plus side, things are much simpler when you travel light, especially if you are on the move in and out of different hotels and rental cars.

I agree with trailrunner, everything has to be multipurpose...and then some. Yes, it does get boring but it's part of being a traveller. I like clothes with some pockets for handy storage. I also like a small light cross body bag with good storage for travel but bring a nicer bag for dinners and going out. It doesn't have to be big. There are very nice envelope clutches now that take next to no room in the suitcase.

The classic advice is to think in terms of thin layers. I will typically bring separates in black or brown then jazz it up with a few scarves, belts, bags, and shoes. I wear my heaviest outfit on the plane. I've learned that I usually end up wearing the same "bottoms" every day and changing tops so I bring several tops and only one or two bottom pieces. One of them is a skirt. I also bring light sweaters that can be layered. One of these is a solid black or brown to match the bottom and the other is a bright color. This time of year I would also pack colored tights.

I use the packing bags from BedBathand Beyond that are like Space Saver bags but you don't need a vacuum. You can push on them with your hands instead, probably like trailrunners zip lock bags. I've seen them at Marshalls and TJMaxx too. If you are at a hotel you can usually get them to do your laundry midtrip. I pack just enough shampoo and toiletries for 1 - 2 uses and buy anything I need at my location. You can't bring those liquids on the plane anyhow. If you have a kindle or nook you don't need to pack books.

For pajamas I bring one pair of black leggings and a soft t-shirt. I can use the leggings for extra warmth during the day under a long tunic length top. Or the leggings go with a t-shirt to the hotel gym. And a windbreaker that can crush into a tiny ball is good. It can keep you dry in drizzle, be a layer for warmth.

I usually skip make up when traveling, except for moisturizer. If I really want something I'll go to a CVS and pick up some cheap brand.

Also, it's worth making copies of your credit cards and drivers license or pass port front and back, especially if traveling internationally. If something happens to your originals the copies come in handy.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:18PM
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A follow up to Judith's last suggestion about making copies of passports and CC cards. Post them into an email account or an even more secure web site - that way you can retrieve them even if you lose both the originals and photocopies.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I don't check baggage, mostly because I hate waiting for it after a flight. I plan out what I'm going to wear when I take a trip including what I'm going to rewear.

Assuming that your 6 days are 4 full days plus 2 travel days:

I would pack no shoes-- I would wear the flats that you're planning to wear to the wedding every day.

On the plane, I would wear a long cardigan, a long-sleeved top, and plain black yoga pants. I would use the cardigan as my outer layer every day I felt cold. The yoga pants could be used as regular pants on a cooler casual day.

I would pack the dress for the wedding, 2 neutral skirts, and 3 short-sleeved or 3/4-sleeve tops. I would bring tights to wear under the dresses/skirts if the day was cold. If I wanted to be prepared for real cold, I would bring 1 set of black Cuddl Duds long underwear-- they're about as warm as a sweatshirt, very thin, and I think they look nice enough to work as casual tops or leggings. And I would bring some lightweight sleepwear.

Since there's a wedding in the mix, I would bring make-up, but only the colors/things I was actually going to use. I would probably also bring some nicer earrings or a necklace for the wedding day itself.

I would bring any medicine I needed, travel-sized toothpaste, and a flat travel-pack of disposable make-up remover cloths. I wouldn't bring shampoo or other toiletries.

I would bring at least 2 books to read at the airports and on the planes and some energy bars in case of flight delays.

I wouldn't wear or bring the vest, the knit top, or the coat you mentioned. To me, the coat isn't essential for this time of year and the other two wouldn't be as broadly useful as other things.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I've done 4 trips in the past year or so - all with carryons only. Granted 3 of those trips were short and to warm climates, but one was 10 days in Scandanavia where we had a variety of weather. The key to me is for your "personal item" bag to be large enough. I like the totes that slip onto the handle of your wheeled carryon and hold a weekends worth of stuff. I have a cloth purse that I can roll up to put inside and to use once I've reached my destination. My biggest problem is fitting all my travel sized liquids into one quart baggie.

Here is a link that might be useful: Travel Totes

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Thank you all so much for the great ideas!!!

Trail: yes, I'll definitely roll lightweight clothing into ziploc bags and squeeze the air out. Great idea! It still amazes me how well you packed for your last bike trip!

Terriks: I've been flying regularly since I was 18 years old, but you've just taught me something new . . . and very valuable! I had no idea that I could carry on a regulation-size carry-on bag and a tote bag! I do have a matching luggage tote but have always thought I could only carry on one or the other. After looking at your link (thanks for that!), I double checked with my airlines and their customer service agent verified that as long as it will fit under the seat ahead of me, which mine does, I can use it in place of a purse. This one thing is going to make my packing so much easier! I can't thank you enough for that info!

Oakley: one pair of nice jeans with a couple thin tops: check! BTW, I'm glad you all enjoyed the non-stop rain over the weekend. I can't remember the last time I saw it rain pretty much non-stop from Thursday evening thru Sunday afternoon anyplace! That dampness combined with the refrigerated air-conditioning everywhere just about froze me, though! But, I have to admit it was very cozy in our hotel room with the heat on.

Funnygirl: love those bags, too!

Judith: Good idea, I'll pack my thin, black leather evening bag. It has a lovely chain & leather shoulder strap and packs small. You're right, I can get by with just my khakis and one pair of jeans. I'll just pack a couple thin long-sleeve shirts and one thin sweater and make sure to keep the colors coordinated. For this trip, probably black, tan & turquoise, I guess.

Maire cate: although I won't be traveling with a passport this trip, this is good info for our upcoming anniversary trip this Winter. Thanks, I'll definitely do it!

Sovra: good point about the shoes. I don't need many. Although I can't wear my dressy wedding shoes the rest of the time, I can get by with only one more pair that I'll wear on the plane,etc. Thanks! Good idea about bringing energy bars just in case and not bringing shampoo, etc. Those things I can borrow from my sis . . now that I think about it, I can probably borrow pjs and a robe from her, too.

OK, am off to do laundry and start repacking for Thursday. Thanks again for all the great usable ideas!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:28PM
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We are leaving this week for a trip to New Hamsphire and Maine. Only 5 days including travel but I already have way too much laid out to take. Just jeans and kakhis, but one for each day. I'm taking a pair of cuddle dud leggings to put on the coldest day - since we will be out in Acadia National Park and then in the White Mountains another day. My problem are tops - I have Cuddle Dud tops too and then light weight 3/4 length shirts and I have light weight sweater type tops. The temps in the mornings will be mid 40's and highs in the 60's. Only one night in the 30's. Little chance of rain. We will on the coast most of the time so wind might be an issue. I'm taking my mid thigh jacket with hood, all weather type and also a fleece hoodie type jacket. Gotta remember I'm from Florida and we are still in the 90's here.

Sorry Lynn - didn't mean to high jack your post. I'm struggling like you are and I'm checking my bag!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:35PM
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I would divorce a man who wouldn't let me bring what I wanted on a trip/vacation! I don't travel light and proud of it! I'm a very good packer though, so I can cram a lot into a medium suitcase. LOL

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Interesting thread - I've never traveled particularly "light" and for me, the benefits of having what I want with me outweigh the disadvantages of waiting a few minutes to get my bag from baggage claim. I am pondering a 2-3 week trip to China and Australia though and considering how to fit everything in one checked bag so this thread caught my eye. Business and pleasure, cold climate and warm one. One way or another I will only have one bag plus my briefcase.

I have to say I'd have a hard time sleeping in the same thing I was going to wear during the day - or working out in something I was going to sleep in or wear during the day as someone mentioned above re: the leggings. Definitely would rather check a bag.....

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Agree with Chispa and Gibby. Kudos if you can do it, but I can't imagine going on a 2 week vacation with one or two bottoms, one of which I may be sleeping in. IMO, a checked bag simply isn't as big of a deal as wearing the same pants every second day. I could never do that without being stressed out. I would never want to do that. What if you spill a drink, or your pants start to looked crumpled & already worn?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:50PM
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i also hate checking bags, so usually try to use a carry on for week or fewer days air trips...i'm getting better each trip i take!
scarves are a nice way to make an outfit look different...
jeans can easily be worn for multiple days without laundering, so i usually fly wearing jeans if i bring jeans. i always get cold on airplanes, so i always keep whatever jacket/fleece, etc i am bringing out of my bag. and i never bring a regular purse- i use a large shoulder type bag and use that for reading material, makeup, the zipbag of yes, it is possible!!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 6:25PM
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It has been cold in evenings/overnight in the Midwest lately. I was outside at 8pm last night wearing jeans, socks, tennis shoes, short sleeve shirt, golf pullover and a fleece jacket. I would have been happier with a long sleeve shirt and a pair of gloves, although the legs/feet were ok. How is the reception going to be heated?

Everyone else has given great advice. My concern would be staying warm.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:07PM
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I think the only way I could do that is if I wore 3 layers of clothing on the plane. However, I think it is truly admirable and wish I could. I have a friend who comes to visit from Europe once a year for 5 weeks with her two kids (both under 10 years old) and she has always just come with one medium suitcase for the 3 of them. They are always appropriately dressed and only buy one or two small things while they are here. I don't know how she does it.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:43PM
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I haven't read through all the replies and hope I'm not repeating what has already been mentioned, but I usually decide on a color scheme and run with it. Accessories are my saving grace. With just a black pair of pants or jeans, a nice pair of blue jeans, black top, a few necklaces and scarves, maybe a vest and a jacket one could have several different outfits. I find if I try and pack black and brown pants, my packing becomes too complicated so I choose one or the other and go from there. A comfy knit-type elastic waist pant to wear around the hotel room, two or three tops, maybe 2-3 scarves, perhaps a vest or two, a couple of necklaces, a belt or two, all of which can be mixed and matched. I almost always wear a silver toned bracelet which can go dressy or casual. At this time of year I might also carry onboard both a light jacket or sweater, heavier coat, and a scarf. I almost always carry a very small purse anyway so will put that inside one of my two carry-ons. Summer is so much easier than Fall/Winter. It's the shoes that get me this time of year. In the warmer weather one or two pair of sandals will do just fine but the colder the weather, the more space the shoes/boots take up.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:52PM
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If you are really packing light then you don't take jeans or any fabric that is heavy. I use Terramar wool undershirts which I get at Sierra Trading Post when they have their 45% off sale . They weigh nothing and are 100 % Merino wool and very warm while breathing . They dry fast and I hand wash when I need to or machine and they always look elegant with silver or gold jewelry..yes..I take earrings on my bike trips !

My pants all have zip off legs and are breathable weightless fabric...they dry while I have them on in hot weather . I can use them as shorts..they are treated for sun and insect protection too...get them at Sierra also. My shirts are all Woolrich and are weighless..white...short and long sleeve..look elegant with jewelry and dry while I have them on !! I get them at...Sierra LOL. Cost almost nothing on sale and last for years. I have camisole tops with built-in shelf bra...minimal and layer the shirts over like a jacket. I add a few items each trip. I have tights for running and wear them or sleep in them when it is cold. I have cashmere gloves, a Smart Wool hoodie and a cashmere long scarf that I can wrap and drape as needed...all ...everthing in black but the shirts. All very elegant and can wash and dry every day if I need to. 3 months worth in 4- 1 gallon bags...and I get compliments and disbelief when I show how I store my clothes. It is all a matter of what you get used to.

Lynn I can hardly wait to see your pics of your packing...please...take pics ! c

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:56PM
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My first trip ever to the USA was for 3 weeks. We had one carry on bag for the two of us! So I guess you could say I travel light! Like others have mentioned, multi purpose and mixing and matching are key. I carry almost no toiletries and minimal make up and jewelry. It is satisfying to return having been appropriately dressed at all times yet without a huge pile of laundry to work through.
Have a safe trip, and a wonderful time at the wedding and visiting your family.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Wear the heaviest/bulkiest items so you don't have to pack them. You can always take them off on the plane if you're too hot.

I saw this on Pinterest-might be helpful

Here is a link that might be useful: Fit 10 days in a carry on

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:53AM
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I never check bags.

For me, the big issues are shoes and toiletries. I have to pack shoes that can be used dress up or dress down. In the winter, I would wear boots on the plane that are nice enough for a dress.

The other issue for me is toiletries. If I am not going for too long, I take things like my shampoo and conditioner and squirt them right into a little ziploc snack bag. Takes zero room. I also use my kids as mules for toiletries!

Because there are five of us and we like to travel to exotic places (one trip involved 11 flights), we really have to do carry on. Every one has one wheelie luggage and one backpack. That really fits a lot. The other key is to take as many things that are hand washable as you can.

We were on a trip once and my son, who was maybe 8, needed his socks washed. I don't remember why but we had the hotel do it. They arrived back in the hotel's signature basket in tissue paper with a ribbon tied around them. It cost $8.

Since then I have read of people who take no clothes and buy them on arrival (jeans and tees and what not). Probably fine if you are a perfect 6!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:20AM
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I have always found hotel laundry services to be shockingly expensive.

There is also the option to FedEx your clothing to the destination.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I just reread your post and I see you're staying with family and you propose to be doing a lot of wedding stuff and not a lot of sightseeing. So casual & seasonal weather. Plus the ability to have laundry available is a big plus.

So I think you can pull it off easily. You need 3-4 undergarments/sleepwear. At least 2 pairs socks and I'd plan to have layers. October it definitely starts cooling off, so some jeans & T's, with a fleece jacket. Bring a minimal amount, 2 pair for example-again, wear them on the plane to save packing space. For your evening cover up for the wedding, I'd probably carry that over your arm on the plane.

Can you borrow warmer over things from your sister?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:04AM
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I was so inspired by all of your suggestions yesterday that I got all of my outfits chosen, laid out and temporarily rolled up tightly and put into one & two gallon ziploc bags to see how they'd fit. I'm awestruck with how much I can pack this way! Thanks again Caroline!

Pesky: that link is fantastic and so helpful . . . thank you!!! It was great for showing just how many things can be packed in one carry-on AND how to layer them effectively. I'm bookmarking that site!

Mboston: No problem. I hope this thread can help you, too. You definitely have a challenge packing for that trip! My bestfriend's husband just left yesterday for a week-long fishing and hiking trip in Maine with friends who live there. Lucky guy! Hope you have a wonderful trip.

Chispa: LOL! I know what you mean. Planning the packing for this trip has been a struggle for me but I think I can pull it off.

Gibby: OMG, what a wonderful trip that would be! I don't envy you packing for it, though! I agree, I would have a very hard time sleeping in what I wore during the day. I'm bringing very lightweight summer PJs, one pair of slipper socks and (if I have room) a lightweight summer robe. My sis keeps her home cozy warm so I think I'll be ok, but I can always borrow one of her heavier robes if I need it.

Rilie: I know, I've been thinking that myself. Pesky's link shows this flight attendant packing several pairs of slacks, and an amazing amount of other clothes. Although I can wash anything at my sister's home, it would be less stressful to have 3 or 4 pairs of slacks instead of just two. Hope I can work that out.

Busybee: good point about chilly airplanes. I'll remember to pack my sweater in the bag that goes under the seat. Thanks! I love the idea of scarves to brighten up an outfit and have several great ones I can use . . . except I really don't know how to wear them :~(
Anybody have a link to a 'Scarves For Dummies' site?

JMC: the event tent at my sis & new BIL's home will be heated with portable heaters "if we eed them" she tells me. I talked with her yesterday and implored her to have them there and ready. She has a wedding planner and is going to tell her to make it happen. I am so NOT used to humidity and dampness! Our recent Oklahoma trip reminded me just how chilly it can make things, especially if you're not used to it. You've convinced me to pack my silk long underwear. They're thin and will take up almost no room in my suitcase . . . a pair of gloves,and a fleece jacket, too. Thanks!

Trail: I can't wear wool of any kind next to my skin. I'm not allergic to it but it makes me itch terribly and I always end up with a rash or hives. I have a gorgeous, silky, elegant, black wool turtleneck sweater that I love but can only wear it with a silk turtleneck top underneath it . . . and the neck has to be totally unfolded up so that none of the wool touches my neck. It's a real PIA, but I unfortunately have to stick with pure cotton or silk next to my skin. I'm envious of your wool clothes, though, as they sound so warm and practical and cozy. The zip-off slacks/shorts sound wonderful. I don't have time now, but I want a pair of those!
As for jewelry, you're probably going to fall over when you hear this but my black dress for the wedding is very plain and looks best with my silver concho belt, so I'm bringing it along with my Southwestern silver & amethyst earrings, necklace and cuff bracelet. So much for packing super light (LOL)!

Daisy: OMG, your friend is a wonder woman! I can't even imagine, but I admire her for pulling it off! OK, that recharged my efforts and I'm convinced I can make it happen with only a carry-on!

Funnygirl: I know what you mean, I love shoes and it's killing me to bring only the flats I wear on the plane and one dressy pair for the wedding, but they do take up a lot of room. You right, coordinating colors is imperative so that I can mix and match. I'm wearing light colored khaki tan slacks and packing one pair of jeans and, if I can fit them in, a pair of black slacks or another pair of jeans. Black, white and turquoise tops. I'm hoping to bring a couple scarves, too.
Sis3: That you can pack like that is amazing and inspiring! I don't think I could force myself to do without jewelry or makeup, though, although I admire anyone who can.

Mtn: that's a good idea about shampoo! I used to pack some of my things in my kid's suitcases, too. I can't imagine depending on buying clothes I needed at my destination . . . although I have been known to frequently (LOL) run out and buy a few more things to wear while I'm there! Friends who recently did 2 weeks in Europe did just the opposite: they brought their oldest tops and undies and threw them away before they flew home, leaving room for the special things they bought as they traveled.

Graywings: Mtn's sock story is a prime example of that, isn't it? I agree and try to avoid the in-house laundry service whenever possible.

Pesky: yes I can borrow things from my sis, although we have totally different clothing tastes. She has light blond hair and favors mainly flowery pastels. But, I can handle them in socks, robes, a jacket or warm sweatshirt if need be (LOL). I would love to bring along my beautiful handwoven shawl to help keep me warm at the wedding. Good idea to carry it with me on the plane. . . thanks! I can drape it over my shoulders and it would look very New Mexican with my Southwest silver jewelry.

Well, again, thank you all for the great ideas, which I'm putting to good use. I want to finish packing today. Waiting until the last minute is always a recipe for panic over-packing for me (LOL)!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:34PM
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Actually, I forgot the best one. In a Zurich hotel, they charged me the equivalent of $52 to press (just press!) my skirt. It wasn't a taffeta ball gown either, it was the skirt to my suit. Oh and it was over 10 years ago. Thank goodness it was a business expense.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:13PM
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Here you go Lynn, how to tie a scarf

That same blog provides packing ideas.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Some hotel laundry services are very expensive but just to demonstrate the range of costs of hotel laundry -- while in Berlin (this past August) our hotel did two full loads of laundry for us for 10 euros. They folded everything immaculately and it was waiting for us in two nylon storage containers. Five euros a load -- about the same as it would cost me to do it myself in a German laundromat (maybe less actually). They had laundry services on-site for their own linens so this probably accounted for the cheap price. It was however a full service hotel in the center of the city right next to the Kurfurstendam and the KaDeWe which is the old center of West Berlin and very very nice so the low price was a pleasant surprise.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:23PM
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I always have a hard time not bringing many pairs of shoes. I don't know how the weather is there now, but if you can, you might want to bring a pair of comfy sandals in addition to the flats and wedding shoes, even just for wearing around the house. I made a note to myself after a recent beach weekend - I brought 5 pairs of shoes and wore rubber flip flops the entire time! I didn't fly, I had my car so it wasn't a problem to bring so many. But not needed!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:45PM
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I took a carryon for nearly a week in San Francisco. My bag has a C-fold garment bag in it, and I can pack a lot. Usually for conferences I only need one outfit for presentations; the rest can be business casual that can do double duty. My motto is that if it doesn't fit, it doesn't go!

I've also heard a slogan that when travelling bring half the clothes and twice the money you think you need!

Instead of using a hotel service, see if there is a local dry cleaner or laundry nearby. Conveniently in San Franciso there was a laundry/cleaners next to our boutique hotel with a wonderfully pleasant lady proprietor. I had my dress pants cleaned, and since DH was stuck working very late before he had to fly out to join me, she washed his jeans.

One time I used a hotel service for my jeans since I went to see a band at a club while at a conference and they smelled like cigarette smoke, and that was the only pair I packed. There really wasn't anything I could about that. The $10 or whatever was well spent.

I have a large suitcase that I used for Australia 10 years ago for a 2-week trip. I also used that suitcase for our wedding and HM. But that's really it in the past 10 years that I've used a large suitcase.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Guess what??? I did it!!!

I finished packing my carry-on bag last night and I actually got everything I needed in it, including (as suggested) an extra pair of slacks, a pair of jeans, a pair of lightweight pj's, my lightweight summer robe, slipper socks, my silk long underwear,a hat & gloves (just in case), 4 tops that coordinate with everything, my dress, shoes, slip, jewelry, purse, nylons and shawl for the wedding!

My tote bag (thank you Terriks for letting me know that I could carry both!) holds my laptop, wallet & all, makeup, camera, chargers, magazine, book, a sweater, a couple of snack bars, and my Ipod & headphones.

Thanks again Trailrunner for the suggestion to tightly roll everything and put them into ziploc bags, squeezing the air out. It worked like a dream!

And thank you Pesky for that amazing Pinterest link, "Fit 10 Days in a Carry-on". It's what finally convinced me that I could pull this off . . . and I did! I followed the instructions exactly and got everything I needed ~and more~ into my carry-on.

Thank you to Mtn, Gscience, Kitchenwitch and Judith for your added suggestions, which I read last night before I started the last bit of packing.

Hhireno: your are such a sweetheart to find that link for me (I'd asked for a Scarves for Dummies-type link) . . . I love it and needed it! I love that every clip showed a woman actually tying a scarf or shawl-type scarf in slow motion. I've bookmarked it for continued reference but have already learned a lot. So much so that I'm bringing along a scarf and a shawl on this trip. Many thanks for taking the time!

Thanks to everyone who helped me achieve what I truly thought was impossible. BTW, my DH and DD NEVER, EVER thought I could do it as I'm such an over-packer. I blew them both out of the water yesterday(LOL)!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Good job Lynn! I knew you could do it. That extra tote makes all the difference for me.

That video Pesky posted was awesome. I usually do a combination of rolling and flat clothes, but from now on, everything will be rolled!

We just got back from 6 days in Maui, and I took a carryon plus tote, and didn't even wear a couple of the dresses that I brought. We were with a group, and everyone else had checked bags. I couldn't believe how much luggage some of the couples had piled up on the baggage carts!

My husband actually packed his pillow in his carryon! Granted it is an ancient down pillow that compresses down nicely.

I have also used the "bring your old underwear and throw them away" trick. It's nice to not have so much dirty laundry in your bag.

I think it's kind of fun to get creative and just take the carryon.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:35PM
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I hope your carry-on has wheels. Once you squash all that stuff into it, it weighs a lot. I am a terrible over-packer, but I am getting better. It's not so much the clothes as the camera, books, a journal, hair stuff, that causes me problems. Then I also have to resist buying more wherever I am going. It's a curse! I admire you.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:58PM
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The next carryon I buy will be of the 4 wheeled variety. My current bag has 2 wheels, and it gets heavy to pull. The four wheeled type just glide along beside you.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Have a wonderful time !! Glad it all worked , I will have to watch the video as I am always open to learning something new. c

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:33PM
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What perfect timing for that flight attendant�s video, Pesky, I needed to see that! I�m going north to New England for 10 days and had been worrying about how to get all the heavier clothing into a carry-on. I will need jackets, sweaters and several changes of jeans, heavy tops and footwear, as well as a favorite pair of boots. Rolling everything appears to be the way to do it. I�m going to do as Lynn did and lay it all out tonight and see how it all fits.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Nanny you might want to look into the pants that are made of wind resistant fabric as they are very light. Also the wool and silk underwear at Sierra is weightless and very warm. You wouldn't need jeans as they aren't warm anyway since they are cotton. I found that the convertible pants are essentially wind resistant fabric and therefore are very warm while taking up no room and drying in minutes. When it got really cold I put on a pair of tights under them and they were exceptionally comfortable..and I am a person that is ALWAYS cold.

Heavy tops take up a lot of room and instead if you layer several light tops you get way more warmth and less weight plus more options. Just a thought to help you with your plans. Good Luck and have a wonderful time ! c

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Am sitting in Denver's airport awaiting my connecting flight to Detroit. It was wonderful not having to wait in line to check on baggage at 6AM this morning. Thanks again for all your help. Am off to my little sister's wedding and lots of family time.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Well, rolling really does seem the way to pack! I was able to get my knee high boots, black leather walking shoes, 6 cotton turtlenecks, 5 heavier turtleneck sweaters, 6 pairs of cords/jeans. a cute fur trimmed wool vest, a long cotton sweater vest, several pairs of knee high socks, a long seersucker robe, 3 pairs of leggings, a couple sleeping t�s, underwear, curling iron and bag of toiletries, all into my standard carry on - without even opening the expansion zipper! That means I�ll be able to pack my heavy jacket in the bag, too, and not have to carry/wear it while waiting in airport layovers. There was still room to spare. Unbelievable!!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Wow nanny, you got boots and all that clothing in a standard carryon? That's amazing! I think it's kind of a fun challenge to just take the carryon.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Good tips on packing but I am wondering if Im the only fluffy lady here. I cant imagine being able to do that although Im going to give it a try. Satine

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:49AM
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When I flew last month, I only had a carry-on and an incredibly large tote bag. It contained my purse, laptop, Nook, snacks, toiletries, & other miscellaneous stuff. It weighed a ton! That's the downside to carrying every on, you actually have to carry it.

Since I took the car this time, I think I have something for every possible situation except a black tie event. If one of those should happen to pop up, I'll treat myself to something new.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:07PM
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hh..even for black tie you can make it work:) I have a black silk jump suit . It fits in a 1 qt bag !! Steams out in the bathroom and looks wonderful. Doesn't need anything but silver dangly earrings or my Mom's black jet and good to go. If you look at fabric rather before anything else you will see how to do this and be very light weight at the same time. That is why I suggested never ever take cotton jeans or any other heavy fabric. I am not usually a fan of synthetics but the new ones for hiking/casual clothes are so amazing and breath and then you add in wool and silk and you have a bag full that is almost weightless. This has been a great thread. Hope Lynn is having a wonderful time !! c

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:49PM
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I've never been able to pack lightly for long trips. My main concern is always the weight limit. I find that Territory Ahead, Travelsmith, (both online) and Laura Ashley (in store) offer a good selection of lightweight clothing. I bought a Laura Ashley dress jacket and sleeveless shell combo that I swear doesn't seem to weigh over a few ounces. Can crumble them up and they bounce back in shape.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Found this on one of the DIY boards that I posted .... very cool ideas ....

Here is a link that might be useful: Found this on one of the DIY pin boards

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Chico's has their "Traveler's" clothes that are fantastic for traveling. They are wrinkle resistance and take up very little room. Really good if you need a dressy outfit or just wear as casual with flats. I have the black capri's and cardigan and tank and dress it up with accessories. Great to wear on the plane because they are so comfy too.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:53AM
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