Budget, Organize, Travel

Packing for 2 weeks with Carry on Only

Packing Carry-on Luggage

Packing for Two Weeks with Carry on Only

Well, for my very first blog post I thought that I would start out with what has been occupying my thoughts for several months now…summer vacation. Well actually, packing and planning for our trip to Kauai! I still can’t believe we are really going! My husband and I are both teachers so there had to be some supernatural budgeting.

*Update* Read all about our Kauai trip here!

Plan and Epic Trip to Kauai: Part 1 and Part 2

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Bound for Kauai

Our trip will last 12 glorious nights, but first we will have a very long 14 hour trip from our airport to Lihue, Kauai. I never thought that I would even attempt to only pack a carry on and a personal item for such a long trip, but after doing a lot of research (Thanks TripAdvisor), I learned that you actually don’t NEED too many outfits for a Hawaiian vacation. The picture below may seem hypocritical of that statement. ha!


Packing Carryon Only
 All of my clothes, shoes, and accessories that I am taking to Kauai.

Hawaii has sunscreen, bug spray, and other large liquid items for the same price as my local Walmart so there is no need for packing those. My carry-on duffel bag is a little smaller than the standard carry-on size which is good news for you! You can fit even more than I did. 🙂 My personal item is a small Ozark Trail backpack from Walmart. (see the link below to buy it) Read my full review of this awesome backpack here!

How did I find out about this technique?

I learned about the “layering” technique from Jillee over at One Good Thing blog. Since I came across her blog, I have tried rolling clothes, using pillowcases to organize and separate, and packing devices. Layering fits the most clothes without a doubt! I attempted to use this packing technique for our trip to Cancun last summer, but the inability to purchase a bottle of sunscreen for less than $25 a bottle at our AI (All Inclusive) resort made it impossible not to check a bag.


Layering-In action

I will go into more detail about what I will actually be taking with me on our trip to Kauai in another post. This post will focus on HOW I will fit it into a carry-on bag and one personal item (the backpack).

Find the perfect Hawaii packing guide here!


Whew! If you made it through all that then you should feel like anything is possible. Especially if you knew how much I used to pack for family vacations and church camps. 🙂


What about my liquids?

All of my liquids (mascara, conditioner, toothpaste, etc.) will fit inside one quart sized plastic bag and will be inside my cosmetics bag as well (which will be inside my backpack). We will buy plenty of sunblock, aloe vera gel, and insect repellent when we get there. They have CVS Pharmacies just like we do! 🙂


Now get to packing!

Well, there you have it. All of my clothes, shoes, accessories, and cosmetics packed neatly inside a carry-on and a small backpack. (the backpack will fit underneath the seat in front of me on the plane).

This trip will be care free, and I won’t have to worry about losing my luggage or paying that stinky checked bag fee!

Here is my carry-on checklist that you can print for FREE!

Carryon Checklist

What do you think? Will you attempt the carry-on only vacation style? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to receive updates, exclusives, and more!


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11 thoughts on “Packing for 2 weeks with Carry on Only

  1. Sorry ladies! I am redoing my comment section and lost your comments!
    Angel Lynne

    39 minutes ago
    OH WOW this will come in so handy for my next trip! Basically me packing is hurling piles of clothes into a suitcase and then sitting on it to zip it up. Not very effective…


    about an hour ago
    Love this! Great job with your first post! I do want the packing list, but I don’t want to print it. Can you send me on google doc so I can save it to my google doc? Thanks!


    about 4 hours ago
    This post is a godsend! You have great content! Keep up the great blog xoxo

    Find Your Happy Plate
    about 5 hours ago
    I need to cook more healthy meals, so hard when you’re an Instagram foodie.

  2. I hope you have a great time! Hawaii is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. This post was really helpful… I am going away in August to Italy for a short city break and only have carry-on luggage and wondering how I’m going to manage – I’m yet to check where it’s a bag and a personal item, I hope so!

    1. Thank you Abbie! Yes, it’s definitely a trip that I have always wanted to take. Oh no, you can’t take a personal item? 🙁 I LOVE having my personal item filled with snacks. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I’m a believer in packing as light as you can so I appreciate this post. I actually never heard of the layering technique but I’m definitely going to try it the next time I pack. Thank you for including the visuals—a picture is worth a thousand words. 🙂

    1. No problem! I am looking into adding a video of me packing my luggage in the near future. I’m a visual learner so I need pictures and videos to learn. 😉 Thanks Geneva! 🙂

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