Sunday, July 19, 2009

You CAN travel for a week with only carry on luggage.

Well, I did it. I was able to travel for a week with only carry on luggage. It took some thinkin' and some organizin' but I made it happ'n. I'm still talkin' like I was out West, 'cuz I wuz.

Anyway, we flew out from the east coast on Saturday and flew into Phoenix, AZ. We then drove down to Flagstaff and spent the night. The next day we drove to Williams, AZ and took the Grand Canyon Railway up into the Grand Canyon. If you ever get the chance to go to the canyon, TAKE THE TRAIN! It was great and we didn't have to worry about parking. We met an adorable family from New York on the train and became instant friends. The next few days found us traveling east through the Painted Desert and The Petrified Forest. We ended up in Amarillo, TX to visit with family and celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday. It was a great trip.

Now, about the packing of the luggage. I packed items in 2 1/2 gallon ziploc bags. I packed like items with like. Then I smooshed the air out of the bag.

Here is a list of the items I packed:
Bag #1:tennis shoes, white sandals, black sandals
Bag #2:1 pair pajamas, 7 pair underwear, 2 bras, 3 pairs of socks, 1 bathing suit
Bag #3:4 sleeveless shirts, 4 short sleeve shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt
Bag #4:1 pair khaki shorts, 1 pair denim shorts, 1 pair jeans, 1 pair black crop pants, 1 knit skirt
Jewelry bag: 1 bracelet, 1 necklace, 1 pair earrings
curling iron, medications, feminine needs, make-up samples in a 1 quart ziploc bag.

I also carried a backpack on the plane. In the backpack I took:

reading material, SNACKS, light-weight jacket, wallet, day planner (for phone numbers and addresses), my hiking aqua pack (for drinking water during the hike in the Grand Canyon), phone, and first aid kit and maps for travel.

We were able to zip around the airports quickly and go in and out of hotels without much effort. One of the good things about packing like this is that it limits what you can purchase while you travel. We always buy a Christmas ornament whenever we travel, so we had to vote on a small ornament that would pack easily in the bags. I was able to buy a beautiful pair of silver earrings for myself and a charming bracelet for our daughter (who couldn't come on the trip). There is ALWAYS a way to fit jewelry in a bag.

When we returned home, I had everyone dump their ziploc bags (which were full of DIRTY clothes) in the laundry room and I started washing clothes.

Tonight, I'll sit down to look at the map. I wonder where we'll go next?


  1. Okay, so it's obvious to me that packing this many clothes in a small carry on bag has everything to do with the size of the wearer! This exact same list of clothes in my size would never fit in a carry on!
    Well, it's good to know it can be done - I should have known you would be able to do it! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  2. I am so impressed. Last summer my publisher was sending me to all sorts of conferences and I brought half the house and had more luggage than anyone. I had one bag that was almost entirely snacks because I don't like to eat much junk food and I don't like to ever be hungry. I really need to learn to pack stuff in one carry-on before I start traveling again. I can really used these tips!


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