If you're packing for a week-long trip, you might want to lighten your load by taking the bare necessities. Packing light might seem impossible if you're used to traveling with mountains of luggage, but trust me, you'll love the feeling of freedom you get from this method!
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about packing for 7 days without the backache of bulky baggage.
Traveling with a single carry-on bag is a revolutionary way to travel that'll save you time, money, and energy. Here's my handy minimalist packing list to help you pack light for your week-long trip.
The key to packing light is planning and preparation. You won't have to worry about taking on extra items for unexpected situations if you're familiar with the weather, itinerary, and accommodation schedules.
Choosing the Right Bag
One of the major benefits of minimalist packing is saving money on checked baggages. No more waiting in long lines at the check-in desk or standing around at baggage carousels. You can bring everything you need on your flight. However, you need to make sure that your bag fits the airline's specifications for cabin baggage.
Some tips for choosing the right bag include the following:
A durable backpack from a reputable company is a great investment. Your bag will get thrown around and packed into small spaces alongside other travelers' luggages, so finding one that is travel-proof is essential.
I recommend researching the best backpack brands that fit the dimensions of a carry-on bag. Consider whether you'll need to take your backpack on hikes or day trips when you reach your destination.
There are lots of compact day bags that'll fit inside your carry-on so you don't have to take your main backpack.
Check the Weather
Contact your hotel and ask about the weather during your stay. Internet searches aren't always accurate, so asking a local is the best way to decide what clothing you should bring.
The hotel staff may be kind enough to advise on whether you should bring waterproof clothing, shorts, or a t-shirt.
Plan Your Itinerary
Snorkeling or skiing? There's no point bringing your entire travel wardrobe if you plan on relaxing by the pool every day. Be precise about what you need to participate in your planned activities.
You can ask your travel agent to manage your itinerary or use itinerary planning tools to do it yourself. Consulting with an expert is the best way to make sure you don't miss out during your week-long vacation.
Packing List for a 7-Day Carry-on Bag
Now that you've done your research, you can start packing! Lay every item out onto a flat surface to check that you have everything you need. Remember to wear your heaviest items on travel days to reduce the weight of your carry-on bag.
You don't have to use packing cubes, but it's a good idea to commit to some form of organization when packing. I traveled for 3 months across Southeast Asia with a small carry-on backpack, and packing cubes were my savior! You can separate your underwear, nightwear, and daytime clothing to keep things simple.
Here's a list of what to pack for a general 7-day trip:
You might need to carry jackets or winterwear if you're traveling in a cold climate.
Another useful tip is to roll your clothing instead of folding it. Doing so will prevent creases and help you see your clothing easier.
A top tip is to place extra socks, underwear, and shorts inside shoes or cups of bras to save space!
Try to pack accessories that will pair well with all of your clothing. Jewellery, hats, and scarves should be versatile and worth the space they occupy in your bag. Keep your accessories minimal and wear them in transit.
Some other items you may consider packing include:
- Electronics and chargers
- Destination guide
- Travel snacks
I'd recommend keeping your passport and important documents in a travel wallet or passport holder. Most wallets have space for bank cards, earplugs, your phone, and other things you may need during your flight.
A passport wallet will reduce stress at airports and security checks by keeping all your essential items at your fingertips.
Toiletries and Makeup
You should minimize your toiletry collection for traveling as well. Collect your essential skincare and makeup into a small bag and be strict with yourself! Those sparkly fake eyelashes may have to miss out on this trip for the sake of space.
Check to see if your skincare provider sells products in travel sizes. I have sensitive skin, so I must travel with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to prevent my skin from freaking out! Here are some suggestions for keeping toiletries and makeup simple:
- Powder foundation
- Shampoo and conditioner bars (if your hotel doesn't provide these)
- Soap bar
- Lip balm
- Brow pencil
- Facial cleansing wipes
Remember, your carry-on bag shouldn't contain any liquids over 3.4oz. Check with your airline before you travel to confirm what toiletries are safe to pack. It's useful to stuff a handful of plastic storage bags in your side pocket for security checks to save time. I pre-pack my liquids into clear plastic bags before I travel for ease!
Pack Light for Your Next Trip with Pilot!
You don't need to pack everything to enjoy your next vacation! Keeping your luggage simple will give you more time to make memories and enjoy yourself. Let's recap some of my top tips for packing light.
- Wear heavy items in transit
- Research your destination and accommodation ahead of time
- Plan your activities and pack accordingly
Remember, planning and organization are essential if you want to reap the rewards of minimalist travel! Don't be afraid to contact your hotel or travel organizer to ask questions that will help you pack the right items.
To minimize your stress throughout the planning process, consider using Pilot.