TRAVEL 5 years ago

Packing in a Carry On - 10 Days in Italy

Hello, everyone! It’s Hannah back on the blog! 

A few years ago, I wrote about how I packed for a 7 day trip to Spain in just a carry-on. It was actually my second contributing post ever! Well, I’m back on my BS, because for a 10-day trip to Italy with some friends I decided to pack in JUST a carry-on. 

1 Carry-on. 
10 Days. 
3 Cities. 

Why did I put myself through this you ask? First, it would be a great blog post. Second, I knew that because my friends and I booked our tickets on the cheap, transferring airlines and such would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry about waiting for my luggage at the baggage claim. 

Here’s How I Did It


If you know me, you know I love to write things down. Lists? Love them. Notebooks? Got a million. So a few days before my trip I sat and brainstormed my outfits using the ‘capsule wardrobe’ theory. AKA: a few good pieces that can be mix-and-matched. 


I know I’m psycho but yes, I tried on all of my outfits to make sure I actually liked them. You know when an outfit looks good in your head but looks like crap when you put it on? Exactly. So to avoid that, I tried it all on. Thank god I did because I ended up switching up a few looks.


I’m so glad I threw in a few extra t-shirts because it saved me! I had one outfit planned that needed a specific bra, but sadly when I wore said bra (the only one I packed) a few days prior- I put it in my dirty clothes bag so by the time I needed to wear it again it smelled like dirty socks. Not cute.

Also, in my case- throw in more socks than you think you need. I ended up wearing my tennis shoes more than I anticipated (we walked 11 miles one day) so I ended up having to buy a pack of socks at an H&M in Rome. 

Large Le Pliage Tote

This Longchamp tote is my work bag on the every day, the only carry-on I take on planes and the perfect travel tote! It’s super light, zips up and can carry anything and everything I need. I’ve also had this bag since my 21’st birthday and it’s held up so great!

Shop My Suitcase

  • Feiyue Fe Lo Classic Sneakers
  • Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket LEVI’S®
  • Urban Outfitters Mom Jeans
  • Cable Knit Sweater
  • Topshop Remi Suit Trousers
  • Malie Wilde Floral Dress ALLSAINTS
  • Icons 53mm Retro Sunglasses RAY-BAN


For beauty, I really tried to slim down my routine to the bare essentials. I have a tendency to bring WAY more products than I actually need so I was extra cautious to avoid weighing down my suitcase with products I wouldn’t even touch.

Here’s what I brought for my skincare and makeup:


  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
  • Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Serum
  • CosMedix Opti Crystal Liquid Crystal Eye Serum
  • Versed Nix It Complexion Solution
  • COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
  • Versed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask
  • Avène Hydrance AQUA-GEL


  • CCC Cream Foundation Cle Cosmetics
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer
  • LAWLESS The Little One Eyeshadow Palette
  • Translucent Loose Setting Powder LAURA MERCIER
  • Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil
  • Glossier Boy Brow
  • Glossier Cloud Paint
  • Kosas Crème Cream Blush & Highlighter Duo
  • Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadow in Supreme
  • HOURGLASS Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara
  • BENEFIT COSMETICS Hoola Matte Bronzer


While I like to think I’m a pro-jet setter, I’m not. I’m still learning as I go, so here are a few things that I wish I would’ve packed: 

1. Dryer Sheets

While I was smart enough to remember a reusable bag to throw my dirty clothes into, it didn’t completely trap the ~odor. Next time, I’ll throw in some dryer sheets or perhaps a small bottle of Febreeze. 

2. Deck of Cards 

My phone service was pretty reliable the whole time I was abroad, but there were some instances while my friends and I were waiting for flights/trains that we didn’t want to waste our phone’s battery or data. We saw a group playing with a deck of cards and it seemed like the perfect lo-fi solution to pass the time. 

3. Check Weight Limits

Even though I succeeded in packing 10 days worth of outfits in a carry-on suitcase, I did not factor in the WEIGHT of my suitcase. Which was, according to both Norwegian Airlines AND Air France- incredibly over the weight limit. I ended having to pay for and check-in my suitcase for two of my four flights. Ooops. 

4. Compression Socks 

My ankles swelled up like balloons. It was ridiculously uncomfortable and I have no one but my self to blame. I don’t know if compression socks would’ve helped- mostly because my feet didn’t swell up post-flight as much as they did on day two in Florence. Photo evidence at the end of this album on IG. Was it all the walking we did? Probably. Was I dehydrated? Most likely. 

After all of that, I can say that I’ll definitely travel in just a carry-on again. It was easy considering how much walking we did with our suitcases. Even though I’ve been back in LA for two weeks now, I’m already itching to travel again. Can you blame me?

Have you all ever done a long trip in just a carry-on? Do you have any tips you swear by? Drop a comment down below! PS if you have any questions about my Italy trip- @ me on Instagram and I’d be happy to answer! 

Until next time, 
Hannah x