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Friday, May 20, 2016

How To Pack A Carry On Like A Pro

Today, after I had my last exam this morning (suuummmaaa hooliidaayyy!), I'm traveling to Rome, Italy! Because I'm only staying for four days, I'm only bringing a carry on trolly. When you have such a little suitcase to pack everything in, it does can get hard and overwhelming. 

Here are my tips on how to pack a carry on like a pro:

Mini everything! 

Including a travel version of my perfume, Mademoiselle, Chanel. Remember that you can only bring a total of 1 liter on the plane in the cabin with you in portions of no more than 100 ml each. I always take home the minis I get when I'm staying at a hotel. Most of the time I brought my own shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, so this is great to bring for shorter trips.

I bought tiny empty bottles and refilled them with my facial products. On the long term, this is so much cheaper than buying mini versions of your favorite creams.

These are the things I packed: shaving cream, deodorant, hair oil, nail polish, sun protection and sun protection for lips, plus flacons filled with eye make-up remover, tonic, day & night cream and serum. Instead of taking the mini shampoo and conditioner, I opted for a sample for both which I got at my hair dresser.


Of course, make-up! I took out all of the things that I don't need and only kept the daily essentials. Here I also put my toothbrush, mini dental floss, make-up removing wipes and cotton buds and pads. I thing I learned for when I traveled to New York City for the second time (during a hot May!) is to bring blister pads with you in your bag. Not just to bring it from home, but actually carry around all day. Imagine walking around with a blister in search of a pharmacy, ouch!


I'll bring two long pants (I'll be wearing one on the plane) and two short shorts, which I can wear during the day.

Four t-shirt (plus I'm wearing one). The black one is for night and the middle two can be both worn during the day and night.

Two cardigans (I'll be wearing one) and a nice blazer. As you can see my bottoms, tops and cardigans/blazer are all neutral colors and could be mixed and matched! Think of what you want to wear on your trip and pack in outfits that you can mix and match saves time and space.

The three Ss: shoes, scarf, sunglasses

I'm only bring one pair of extra shoes! Bought these Toms this week and they're so comfortable! Perfect for long walks on warm days. On the plane I'll wear my black vans. Further I'll bring a light, colorful scarf (fun fact: I bought this scarf the first time I was in Rome four years ago!) to brighten up an outfit or to cover up when I'll visit the Vatican or a church. Tip to save space: wear the scarf on the plane! It can get very cold up in the air. And of course, bring sunglasses. I'm keeping mine in the front pocket of the suit case so I won't have to search for it once I've landed.

Hair essentials

Hair straightener, brush and clip on. Luckily I don't have to bring a hair dryer!


I can't stress this enough: world plugs!! They'll always come in handy and the more the better! I even remember from last time I visited Rome I needed these. Plus of course cords to charge your phone and camera!

On board essentials & entertainment

What I'll keep near me during the flight: phone, earbuds,  plus life saver: power bank! Another one I cannot recommend enough! Not all planes have on board charging services so this is a live saver. The first time I was on a plane with on board charging was when we went to Java & Bali, Indonesia. Of course a book to read while waiting on the plane and on the flight, my glasses for the airport, mints for the dry air on board, Purol lip balm for the dry air on board but also I have one with my anytime, anywhere. And I like to keep my camera close to me. Also to protect it better, but also if you want to take pics as soon as you go out of the airport and don't want to open your suitcase only to find your underwear on top (embarrassing!).

These I will bring in a small cross body. Hopefully it won't be mentioned, but recently when we traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, I had to but it in the carry on. No problem now either, I have plenty of space, and space to bring back souvenirs!


The obvious but often forgotten: underwear, something to sleep in, socks and medicine. For example I'll bring anti-pol medicine as last time I visited Rome (also in May!) I was sneezing all the time! And gifts! As a little thank you I'm bringing all kinds of Dutch cookies and candies.

Quick tips:

  • You can not bring more than 1 liter in liquids with you in the cabin
  • Think in minis! But you can easily buy little empty plastic bottles
  • Only bring the most essential day to day make-up
  • Make sure you can mix and match your outfits and that they can easily be transformed to a night outfit
  • Think of your hair essentials! Often hotels already offer a blow dryer
  • Techs! Make sure you can use and charge your electronics and that your phone won't go dead during your flight
  • Tink of the essentials you need to have with you during the flight so that you don't need to open your case while on board!


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