How I pack for 12 days with just a carry-on || Travel Tips

I never in a million years thought I could travel for 12+ days with a simple carry-on bag. What if I forgot something? What if I needed this? Or that? No, I couldn’t do it, I thought.


With traveling becoming more a part of my lifestyle for business and pleasure, I decided it was time to try it out – pack everything I needed in a carry on for my trip to Morocco.

This was a little risky – it was my first time in Morocco so I wasn’t totally sure as to what the weather would be like, how often I would need to launder, etc. But I figured I would take the plunge and do it!

So how did I do it?

First look at your itinerary. Where would I be and for how many days? There were 5 times in my 12 day itinerary that I would be in the same place twice. Nice, I thought, I can do some hand laundry if needed and even give to the laundering service as well. If you know you are going to be in a place for more than one night, it makes for easier packing – you can circulate pieces and then wash them when you have the two days. You can also hand wash smaller items like under garments and they usually dry overnight…unless of course you are in a really humid place like, say, Essaouira, and you had to leave them out for TWO nights to dry. 😉

I wear my bulkiest clothes on the plane – in this case (photo below) it was some jeans, a thicker Old Navy tunic, my signature red scarf, and walking shoes. I also carry along my UNIQLO jacket that can be literally squished up and shoved in my personal bag if I dont want to wear it!


Plan your outfits. I know, I know… it sounds like a bummer..sometimes what we put together beforehand doesn’t “feel” like something you want to wear days later. That’s when planning your outfits so they can mix and match and you can use several pieces with other pieces gives you more “choices” and lets your mood choose for you! I travel with lots of solid colors and then add accessories – my infamous red scarf, necklaces and bracelets add character to my initially plain outfits and take up virtually NO space!


Toiletries. I know what you are thinking…”I CAN’T go without my facial regime every night!” I get it. Really, I do. 🙂 I have a travel toiletries bag ALWAYS ready to go at home. It has my essentials. I never bring big bottles; simply buy the reusuable little bottles and put your products in there. It saves SO much space. But what if you run out??? Well, I can guarantee you that using hotel or local stuff for a couple days will not ruin your hard work. Or simply use water and exfoliate if you are allergic or have sensitive skin. It’s entirely possible to not bring your entire bathroom when you travel. 🙂


Now for the delicate subject: the shoe department. This is tricky. Because if we are all honest, we LOVE shoes. When I travel I wear my bulkiest, which happen to be either boots if I’m traveling in the winter/fall, or my outdoor hiking sandals for summer. I then bring some basic flats that go with EVERYTHING. I got my latest ones in Morocco and wore them the ENTIRE time in Turkey and was bummed I even brought my outdoor hiking sandals as I didn’t wear them and they took up precious shopping space! Hahaha. But seriously. Wear one pair, pack the other. YOU CAN DO IT!


So how do you put all the items into said 10kg carry on? The best way – It’s true. The amount of space it takes to roll them versus regular folded in there is crazy! You will be amazed at how much space you STILL have!

And I even pack tunics and blouses but I don’t roll those – I put a tshirt in between and give it some flat space on top of the rolled stuff. It works. Here’s how I do it:

1) Roll the pants and bulky shorts and wedge them in the side of the suit case that the handle makes the wide grooves inside to utilize the space.


2) I pack yummy smelling sachets in my suitcase so that my clothes always smell fresh!


3) Accessorizing! I bring a few pieces that aren’t too bulky and that I can wear with many outfits. I also wear some on my flight so I have that many more. 😉 And I get these really awesome pouches from The Happy Project that have really awesome quotes on it. I found this one, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, and KNEW I had to have it. 😉



4) Like I mentioned before, I roll everything but my tunics/shirts/blouses. I don’t always know if there will be an iron at my disposal so in order to keep them fairly wrinkle free this is what I do:




Then I place them in the flat side of the suitcase once folded…


And stack them, adding sachets when needed, of course 🙂


I tuck some rolled tank tops in the spaces at the side, along with my underwear that fits in there quite nicely.


Place my accessories and jewelry on top and then zip it up!


Some things I don’t pack are a hairdryer and books. Almost ALL hotels have a hairdryer. And if they don’t you can probably go one day without washing your hair…wear a hat or a bandana. And books…really? you REALLY are gonna have time to read while you are gone? Put it on your kindle app on your phone and save space if you REALLY think you will read.

As for packing the other side of the carry on…

My swimsuits and bras, along with my other two tanktops, bathing suit, toiletry bag and shoes in a reusable bag (that I use for dirty laundry!) get all put in there and there’s still space to spare!



There you have your carry-on and the ability to live out of it for 12+ days. But wait!


This is what keeps me packing only a carry-on for my trips: Buy a bag or pack it in a box and….Check it on. It’s the end of your journey, so who cares!? You have at least a 22kg check-on allowance. Have at ‘er!! 🙂

You will never pack the same again. Ever. 😉

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What are some of your tricks when you pack for travel? Leave them in the comments…I would love to read them!




 Let me know how you do!



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