I am about to leave on a road trip with my best friends for 2 weeks. We're heading from San Antonio to Los Angeles, and it is going to be epic. I am only packing a carry-on though for easy travel in the car. Here's how to go about only packing a carry-on for 2 weeks!
First thing is first. You have to realize you are NOT going to be able to bring everything you want. It's just not going to happen. You're going away from home for 2 weeks...you can manage without all your comforts from home. Isn't that part of the fun of traveling, anyways? You aren't at home, so you obviously aren't going to live the same way. If you keep the perspective of "this is only a trip" and that the goal is pack as LIGHT as possible, you're well on your way!
2. Plan it out.
Being the organizational freak I am, I literally planned out what I was packing weeks beforehand. I drew a little calendar and wrote where I would be and what I would be doing each day. Then, I thought about what would be the most comfortable to wear for that day.
Another key part of packing is you want to plan outfits that you can re-wear in some shape or form at least twice. I'm bringing lots of dresses that I will obviously outfit repeat. For every clothing item, I am going to find at least two ways to wear that.
I pack a pair of denim shorts.
I will then pack two shirts I can wear with them.
Those shirts, then must be able to be worn at least one more time in order for me to justify packing them.
One shirt I will wear with a maxi skirt, and once I will pair with a different pair of shorts.
(It's kinda like a game!)
If you have access to a washer/dryer during your trip, you're set. You can wash and repeat and mix-match outfits to your hearts content. But just remember: don't pack anything you don't feel comfortable in or don't normally wear at home. You won't wear it.
3. Suck it up.
After you have your plan, pull everything that you're even considering about packing out of your closet and lay it all out. Try to mix and match and see what will work. You want to try to get rid of at least a third of what you have laid out, but really getting rid of half of it would be best. Really think about each item and ask if you would ACTUALLY wear this multiple times in multiple situations.
Also, remember that the TSA will only let you bring 1 quart size zip-lock bag of liquids (that must be 100 mL or less) in your carry-on. With my makeup, toiletries, etc....I ended up with two bags. At this point, you either really think about what is ABSOLUTELY necessary to bring and buy the rest when you get there, or ask your really pretty, nice, fun, talented, smart best friends if they'll lend you space in their checked luggage. (Hint, hint (; )
4. Fold, fold, fold.
Some people say rolling your clothes is the best method, but that just doesn't work for me. I don't know why. My favorite method is to fold all my clothes and make one big stack. Then I take the stack and turn it on its side in the bag. I don't know, but this has always worked for me and has always saved enough room. I've also heard really good reviews about the packing cubes that you can get on Amazon.com or Ebay. Keep trying to fold and try different methods until it works.
5. Wear the bulk.
Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. The only bulky items I'm bringing is my running shoes. So I'm wearing those, gym shorts, a tank top and a sweatshirt, because it tends to get cold on the plan. If you wear the bulkiest items you can fit more in your carry-on! Voila!
These are the methods that work for me! If you have any fun, packing tips that work for you, let me know in the comments...cause I could always use new traveling and packing tips!