Tomorrow we head away for one month. We have a few long flights/layovers (whose dumb idea was that?!). Needless to say, we’ve both been preparing our small bags for our second lengthy trip doing carry-on only. We do it every short trip, but a month away takes a little bit more planning.

We’re heading to Paris, Prague, Dubrovnik, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Then we head to Canada’s east coast for 10 days, followed by a quick stop in Ontario on the way home.

To help you with your packing, I’ve re-worked my travel list this year based on successes and failures of last summer. I promise, you CAN do it!

All of the items in my carry on suitcase for a month of travel.
All of the items in my carry on suitcase for a month of travel.

This is my “female” list – I’ll post another one for the men based on Billy’s list later.


  • One dress (mine’s actually got shorts inside, win!)
  • One romper (found this one at Gap)
  • One pair of shorts
  • One pair of leggings
  • Three reversible Barcelona camis from Express
  • Three kimonos/cover ups
  • Seven pairs of underwear (stick with cotton for traveling)
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Sports bra
  • Regular bra that can be converted into strapless (it’s great – Victoria’s Secret)
  • One pair of sandals that are somewhat dress but super comfy (Cobb Hill by New Balance, also available at Hudson’s Bay right now for almost 50% off!!)
  • One pair of runners (not shown, will be wearing on the plane)
  • One rain jacket (George at Wal-Mart, great deal)
  • One belt
  • Two pairs of earrings
  • Necklace
  • Sunglasses
  • Poncho/dress/skirt from Buttercream Clothing  (not pictured, will be wearing it on the plane for warmth!)
Three kimonos and three reversible camis.
Three kimonos and three reversible camis.


  • Four 100mL refillable bottles purchased at Wal-Mart (or find similar leak-proof version on Amazon) for shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, and laundry detergent
  • Bar soap
  • Deodorant
  • Make-up: pur minerals SPF 20 BB cream, bronzer, blush, mascara, brushes
  • Solid body butter bar from Rocky Mountain Soap
  • Pocket Pharmacy from Saje Natural Wellness + additional “arrive revived” roll-on
  • Eye mask from Saje
  • Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution (found a 100mL bottle of it at Shoppers Drug Mart)
  • Razor
  • Eye drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Body spray (great for refreshing clothing too!)
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush


  • Universal adaptor
  • Bounce sheets in suitcase to refresh clothing
  • Hair straightener

All of this can fit into a 19″x15″x6″ suitcase. I’ve used Ziploc bags to roll up some clothing (the camis, kimonos, romper) and suck the air out for added space. My bag weighs 7kg and is approved as a carry-on for all airlines (the most sticky European airlines have a 10kg  and 21″x16″x8″ dimension maximum). This little bag was an amazing investment, but I honestly couldn’t even tell you where to buy this specific one. I found it on a buy-and-sell website for $20. If you search “wheeled backpack” on amazon, many different options come up for you. This one has decent reviews, is priced well, and fits carry-on regulations.

It's a roller!
It’s a roller!
It's a backpack!
It’s a backpack!

Remember some tips:

  • Make sure your bottoms can pair with your tops
  • Reversible or items that can be worn multiple ways are best
  • Plan for about a week’s worth of clothing or outfits and do laundry
  • Plan for the weather, but make sure you have warm weather and cool weather clothing (especially for evenings) as weather can be unpredictable
  • Get a cross-body purse to keep personal items close: money, credit cards, passport, camera, medications, etc.

What kind of a packer are you? Any tips or suggestions?