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How To Pack in a Carry-on!

I have heard there are people out there who pack for their trips entirely in a carry on and have always thought there's no way I could do challenge accepted!

I love having options when I travel, so to limit myself sounds awful. I do, however, like the idea of having a travel capsule and not over-packing ( because that's what ends up happening -I don't wear all my clothes, just lug them around and still have to wash them when I get home because they've been stuffed in a suitcase). My intention with this challenge is to simplify -lighter packing, less decision making, and less laundry.

My first attempt at a travel capsule (not in a carry on) was when I traveled to Italy in 2013 with my sister. I started the planning about two months prior to the trip (mostly because this really excites me). I spent hours pouring over blog posts, taking in all the tips out there and make them into something useful for me. I was pleased with the results and truthfully, I did add a few extras in and really didn't need them.

Now, I'm getting ready to go to our family cottage for over two weeks. The question is, can I pack everything I need in a carry-on?

Here are some things I kept in mind:

  • Most of my time will be spent at the cottage, with a few day trips to Ottawa and maybe Montreal where I may want to dress up

  • I will have access to a washing machine and hand washing

  • Weather is really warm, but there's also possibility for rainy and cooler days

  • Colours -I want some variety, keeping it relatively neutral so items can be mix and matched

Let's get started with what I've packed (not all items are exact, but representative):


I went with neutral tops to gain the most versatility. This category was really hard for me because I love variety in my tops, however cottage life is all about spending a lot of time in swimsuits, so really no need for more tops!


There may be some chillier days, so having one pair of jeans and a long pair of lounging pants will be great for that, but I won't need more than one of each.


Dresses are my favorite, so to limit myself was hard (hopefully I don't add one in last minute!).


Part of planning a small wardrobe is having things that work double duty. I will be able to wear these items for both working out/running and lounging (thankfully I have access to a washing machine!!).