Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Traveling in One Carry-on Bag

I'm getting ready to leave on a trip.  Believe it or not, I do know how to travel light!  You just can't base it on photos of all the "stuff" I haul with me to quilt festivals or mixed media retreats:

These are different festivals, and not all this junk is mine, but you get the idea
It looks like I don't know how to edit my packing.
Read on...

If someone had told me 10 years ago I could travel overseas with one carry-on bag I would have laughed! I always took more clothing than I needed, along with too much of everything else. A few years ago I traveled with one bag for the first time, and I swear I won't ever go back! Many people have asked how I do it, and since I am packing for this trip I decided to photo-document the process. Here goes:

I use an Eagle Creek "Load Warrior" 22 inch carry-on. It weighs 6.5 pounds empty.

The empty bag....nothing fancy here

Since it has a retractable handle, I pack small items in the ridges such as my umbrella,
anorak, and a small roll of t.p. (my experience in Europe is that toilet paper isn't a sure-thing).

For the first time I will be carrying a large digital SLR camera and 2 lenses. These additions have presented a packing challenge! I broke the camera down into the smallest components for travel, packing the body in a foam envelope.
Each lens is packed in a sock!

all my clothing is in this packing envelope, also made by Eagle Creek.

I have 2 pashmina scarves, 4 tops, 1 pair of slacks, 2 skirts.
I carry one extra pair of shoes.
Note that everything is neutral but the pashminas. Each item works with everything else.
It all dries quickly. I still might cull a couple more things from the pack...

This cube (also Eagle Creek) holds a couple changes of underwear and socks,
a foldable water bottle, quick-drying towel, 1 moleskin notebook, a packet of watercolor postcards,
a small set of watercolors, & double-sided tape.
I write and send postcards to myself as I travel.
It is a treat to receive them after I get back!

This is my "liquids" clear plastic bag, found at the Container Store.
The surface-area is the size of a one-quart ziploc, but this bag has a base so it holds more.
I purchased several one-ounce flip-top bottles for shampoo, etc., and I have several packets of Woolite for washing out my clothing as needed.
This is what I pull out for my friends at the TSA to look at when going through security. Grrr.

Another of the plastic bags holds all my cords. Sheesh.
I can't help it: I'm a nerd.

My cute little MacBook Air in a lovely red Speck protective cover.
I just bought the padded Incase sleeve. So cute! So lightweight!
(I ditched the sleeve because I don't need it)  Now I carry my ipad, too.

The liquids case and the laptop are situated on the surface so I can quickly pull them out to go through security. Grrrrr. Oh well......

See how nicely it all fits inside?
For this trip I plan to use a small daypack and travel wallet in lieu of a purse
since I'll be carrying my larger camera a great deal of the time.

My dog is not happy to see the suitcase.
Don't worry: she stays with close friends of ours who
spoil her rotten while we are away!


  1. Very impressive and inspiring. Better packing for Houston? LOL. Have a great trip!

  2. Fat chance of this happening for the IQF in Houston, Jamie! LOL! I guess it is something to aspire to....

  3. WOW I'm impressed. On my last road trip I even took a snow-cone machine!

    No matter what, I take my sketchbook, a kneaded eraser, hand pencil sharpener and a pencil.

  4. Ok, SERIOUSLY? A sno-cone machine?? That is one thing I can safely say I have never traveled with. Sounds like a good story, Kristi!


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