Fashion 6 years ago

How to Pack for a Week Abroad in Just a Carry-On

Hey, everyone! It’s Hannah again! Thank you all SO much for your amazing feedback on my first post, it means more to me than you’ll ever know. About a month ago, the team and I were brainstorming summer content ideas when Chriselle asked me if I had given any thought to what I wanted my 2nd contributing post to be about. (ICYMI, you can read my first post here!)

“Yes!” I lied (sorry, Chriselle). I had in fact given zero thought as to what my second post would be. So I improvised: “Since I’m going to Madrid in a few weeks, one of the ideas I had was to write about how to pack for a week in a carry-on!”

“That’s a great idea, Hannah!” Chriselle exclaimed, “Perfect for summer. You should totally do it.”

Uh oh.

You see, I’m an over-packer. Like, two-suitcases-for-a-week-at-home kind of over-packer.  Very bad.  I straight up pack a small suitcase to spend the night at a friend’s place. Why is it that I wear the same jeans/sweaters/shoes on rotation but the second I’m packing for a trip I throw stuff I haven’t worn in months into my suitcase? But I wasn’t about to disappoint the boss lady so I embraced the challenge and you know what, it was kind of amazing.

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I knew it was going to be warm in Spain, so bodysuits, cute tops, dresses, and shorts were the way to go. Which luckily, can be easily squashed into a tiny space, i.e, my carry on. But then, I had to decide which shoes to pack and we all know how much room shoes take up. I’ve been known to travel with 5+ pairs of shoes, but I cut it down to 3! (I’m quite proud of myself thank you very much)! I was visiting my younger brother who’s studying abroad, so a huge shout out to him for being such a good sport as I demanded an OOTD photo every day. Here’s everything I wore while in Madrid and a weekend in Barcelona:

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Day 1

For my first day exploring Madrid, I grabbed my cut-offs, some lace up sandals and a cute lingerie top. In this photo, I’m jet lagged, my ankles are still swollen from the flight and I’m standing in the Plaza de España.

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Day 2

For my day 2 look, I 100% completely outfit copied a girl I had seen at a coffee shop the day before. I wore my striped pants, a sweater because it was pleasantly chilly and my tennis shoes ‘cause I did a lot of walking.

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Day 3

Can’t go wrong with a t-shirt, jeans and a top knot, right? My brother and I did a little shopping that day and a whole lot of eating. My hair took a turn for the worst on the trip- humidity forced me to wear my hair up and in ponytails. Rude.

Day 4

Here’s me in front of my Vespa. Kidding. Day 4 was pretty relaxed. My brother had class and I took the time to catch up on some much needed sleep. The same cut offs from Day 1, a black tank top and my new shoes and bag were the perfect casual look for stuffing my face with paella.

Day 5

Thank God for elevator mirrors because my brother had class all day and couldn’t take an outfit photo for me. I wore a super comfy maxi dress and my lace-up sandals for another day of shopping and catching the train to Barcelona!

Day 6

Barcelona had me singing Ed Sheeran and Cheetah Girls all weekend. I wore a knit tank-top, some cute silk shorts and my lace up sandals for a day of sightseeing. I can now say with 100% certainty that everyone should visit Park Güell before they die. It was amazing. Dinner plans?  More paella, of course.

Day 7

For my last day in Spain, I wore a button down dress that I picked up at Zara in Madrid a few days earlier. In LA, I’m not much of a “dress-girl “as I am a “t-shirt and jeans girl,” but this dress might have just turned me. Maximum chic with minimal effort.


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Seeing Red

Back in LA, I have an entire drawer in my bathroom with way more makeup than any one face should wear. Editing down into one tiny pouch proved to be difficult yet liberating. I kept it pretty simple and neutral, but I just had to do my classic red lip!

I arrived back in LA late Sunday night and jumped right back into work on Monday. Though I was physically at the office, I was mentally still in Spain. Looking back at my challenge of packing for just a week in a carry-on, I can say that I was WAY too stressed about it. It really wasn’t that hard! I can also say that I still somehow managed to over pack?! It’s a gift, what can I say.

Would you guys ever pack in just a carry-on for a week abroad? I wanna know! Also, if you have any packing tips that you swear by, I wanna know those too! Let me know in the comments below and keep your eyes out for my next post on the blog!

x Hannah


Photos via Hannah