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The Ultimate Carry On Packing List | Spring Weekend Trip

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

I am headed to Spain on Saturday and I cannot wait! The forecast is looking sunny, and 60 degrees is sounding divine. I really should be working on my thesis paper right now, but I just finished packing my bag... And I cannot stop thinking about how efficient I have become!

I have been trying to master the art of packing for the last three years. While I was working in college admissions, I was constantly flying around the states and living out of my suitcase. Now that I live in Europe, weekend and weeklong trips happen every month or two.

I am excited to share with you my spring women’s packing list as well as a few of my favorite products. This list can be used for any trip where you only want to have carry-ons. Comfort has become the number one priority for me. I have high arches, and thus sometimes struggle on extreme walking expeditions (I walked 14 miles in a single day in London in October), so comfortable shoes, as well as a light pack, makes a world of difference.

My Favorite Suitcases

I have tried many different sized bags and different travel equipment. But so far, these are my favorites. The dynamic trio: a hard shell bag for clothes, a computer bag for work, and my handy dandy small backpack—PERFECT for carrying on.

I do love these brands so I will share with you, I tend to buy on the more expensive side. But I don’t doubt that you could find similar items on Amazon for much cheaper.

This hardshell is by Anne Klein and is part of a three-piece set. This computer bag is Vera Bradley, and I must say, it’s one of my best travel cases. It is filled with pockets and a safe case inside for my computer, and most importantly, it attaches to the roller bag.

And this day pack is by Colombia, it also came with a water pack that I often use. I typically always also pack a small purse for over the shoulder use and store it inside my day pack.

*be extra vigilant when traveling with a backpack, thieves are known to slice open the back while people are taking photos. If you are in a highly-populated area, be sure to wear it on your front.

And ladies, I love ya, but only pack the essentials. No matter what happens, or what you tell yourself, I promise that when you travel you’ll find things to buy. You need extra room in your suitcase! I have made that mistake way too many times.

If you can't launch your suitcase 10 feet, it is too heavy. If you can't hit a dead sprint in the airport with all your junk, it is too heavy. If you can't carry your bag up 10 flights of stairs that are wet, again, too heavy. Y'all 15 pounds max, I promise you it makes a huge difference.

I also like to do yoga and run while traveling, so if you aren’t into that, just take out the training clothes below and you could have even more room.

The Packing List


1 jacket

4 underwear/socks

3 bras- wire, comfy, sports

2 pants

3 shirts

1 pajamas

1 scarf

1 workout top

1 dress

1 bathing suit

1 pair of shorts

1 sweater

3 shoes—running, everyday shoes, sandals

1 sunglasses

Now, when you are selecting clothes—choose things that are versatile. And I like to avoid crazy colors, only because they don’t blend super well. In Europe, blacks, whites, and grays are super in anyways.

Pick a sweater that can be cozy at night in front of the TV or go over a dress at a nice dinner. Pick a dress that doubles as a casual dress or evening dress. Pick workout clothes that are easy to wash out at night, I work out 3-4 times oftentimes, and after I’m done with my top- I simply rinse it out. It’s got to be polyester.



Curling iron



I love packing lotions, shampoo, and face wash into the tiny bottles I’ve save from hotels. The less liquid you have on you, the better. And those Sephora face wipes are to die for!




Downloaded podcasts

GoPro/Camera etc.

Be sure to charge everything the night before you travel. I cannot stress the importance of a backup battery either. When your phone dies in the middle of a country that has weird outlets, and no one speaks English, you will thank me. Also, this is a little push for Nook, I adore mine-- it is so tiny and I love having thousands of books at my fingertips.


Sunglasses case


Small lock



Eye mask

Snacks *stay tuned, I may write an entire piece on snacking and travel...

Water bottle


Clothes soap- to hand wash things

Always, always go to the airport with an empty water bottle. And do yourself a favor and buy some of those awesome see-through bags I listed. They are so great when compartmentalizing makeup, chargers, snacks, etc. They will literally change your life!

And too, cash, forever and always. You'll need it to tip the cab driver, and in every country, I've visited I've been in places that don't take cards.

Alright, back to work on my thesis paper! But I hope you enjoyed my guide to packing. This can be used for weekend trips or trips up to three weeks long, you will just simply have to wash clothes.

And forget the computer bag if you are headed out on vacation! All the links found throughout this post are products I use and love, but I am not receiving a commission in any way from them, they are just honest to goodness good products. Enjoy!


Feb 22, 2019

So happy you enjoyed it Ann! I do have European irons now, as well as a blow dyer. I definitely blew my US blow dryer out in the first week.


Ann Schultz
Ann Schultz
Feb 21, 2019

Thanks for this informative packing list- just reminds me to really try and pack light!!!

Did you get a European curling iron?

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