Packing for a Longer Trip (Week 26)

May 4, 2014

One checked bag, one carry-on bag.

One checked bag and one carry-on bag.

In this post, I talked about shopping for an upcoming trip to a warm location (86F day, 77F night).  Here is what I packed for an 8 day, 7 night trip by plane.  Activities included: beach time, outdoor hikes, biking, horseback riding, casual strolls, and a resort dress code for dinner.  DH and I had his and her checked bags, one for each of us, and one carry-on bag for each of us that could fit under the seat in front of us if the overhead bins are full by the time we board.

In recent trips, I have not had much luck with my carry-on bag when it is large enough that I can only fit it in the overhead compartment.  By the time I board the plane, I am always one of the people having to gate check my bag because the bins are already full.  So now I avoid bringing a larger carry-on bag that will only fit in the overhead compartment.  The blue bag has been my carry-on bag for the past 5 years.  It can hold a LOT of items, and fits in the overhead bin or the seat in front of me.  It also has wheels, which gives my shoulder a much needed break when trekking from one end of an airport to another.

What I packed and what was inside the suitcase (the bags photo at the top of the post):

Beach capsule.

Beach capsule wardrobe.

Beach capsule wardrobe (beach bag, sun hat, 3 swimsuits, 2 coverups, 1 gear swimsuit, sunglasses, were in the suitcase and 1 pair of flip flops that I ended up purging before we left and replaced with a different black pair that went into the carry-on bag) (I store swimsuits in ziploc bags just in case they are still wet when having to pack for departure)

Underwear, sleepwear and individual toiletries are not shown but also went in the suitcase.  Underwear and sleepwear are stored in ziploc bags, the toiletries fit inside the gray case, and a flat iron slips inside an open spot in the suitcase.  Socks were stuffed inside of the sandals (which are in the yellow and polka dot shoe bags) to help retain their shape.

Activity and dinner capsules.

Activity and dinner capsule wardrobes.

Activity capsule (1 jean, 2 shorts, 7 t-shirts, 1 hoodie, were in the suitcase and the sneakers and a t-shirt were worn on the plane)

Dinner capsule (3 dresses, two sandals, were in the suitcase and the fourth dress and the clutch were in the carry-on bag) (you can see all 4 new dresses in this post, halfway down the page)

Knit blazer (was in the suitcase, can be used for warmth for the sleeveless dress and solid t-shirts, the hoodie from the activity capsule can be used for warmth for the t-shirts that do not match the blazer)

The suitcase is by Samsonite and is 5 years old.  The Hyperspace XLT Spinner is the closet model I could find online.

What I wore on the plane:

Plane attire (also sneakers and a sweater, not shown).

Plane attire (also sneakers and a sweater from the carry-on bag).

T-shirt, trousers, sneakers (forgot to photograph), and sweater (it was in the carry-on bag), + blue carry-on bag with items I do not want stolen and a change of outfit.

Inside the carry-on bag:

Carry-on bag.

Carry-on bag.

  • Clutch for evenings (Inside the clutch: kindle, tissues, snack, eye drops, passport, pen, wallet)
  • Outlet converter for the flatiron (black round tube)
  • Camera with charger
  • Wetwipes
  • Extra snack
  • Sweater (worn on the plane when feeling cold)
  • Change of outfit (the dress is for the dinner capsule and the flip flops are for beach days but together it will make the outfit casual enough for daytime if the checked bag does not arrive when we do)
  • Carry-on bag by Travelon Wheeled Underseat Bag from QVC. Mine is a few years old, but here is the latest version.

Do you pack more than one suitcase for a week long trip?

(This post is not sponsored.) 


  1. I only bring a carry on no matter the length of the trip. Mine is an LL Bean Quickload convertible travel pack. I’ve never had to gate check it because the FAs favor soft bags over hard bags (wheelies).

    1. A soft bag is a great idea, I’ll have to check out LL Bean for my domestic trips. Checked luggage can be a real hassle, especially when dealing with a connecting flight. Thanks for stopping by Lady Light Travel!

  2. Hope you have a great time. I’m planning packing for an 8 day city break total including travel outfit: 2 dresses, 3 crew cardigans for layering, 1 jacket, 1 skirt, 1 belt, 3 scarves, necklaces, 4 tops, 1 rain mac,1 jeans, 2 sandals and- if I can find some- -low heeled shoes which I can walk in all day, which look good with skirts and dresses, and which I won’t walk out of (moccasins and courts don’t work for me). Failing this I’ll take my trainers for cooler wetter days- but it will limit what I can wear.

    1. Lynn it sounds like you have a great packing list. I have found that Rockport, Cole Haan, Clarks, and Aerosoles sometimes carry shoes with a low heel that are not ballet flats or moccasins that may work for you. I have a pair of buckle loafers from Aerosoles last season that work well. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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