90 days – All Carry On

I attended an immersion language school in Barcelona for 12 weeks, and wanted to try to pack with only carry on bags.  I couldn’t believe how much stress it took off the trip.  The key to success was actually something I NEVER do, yet was willing to try.  I made a list one month ahead and kept thinking about how to improve it by removing items or finding multi-purpose items.

Carry on 90 day - pixMy carry on roller bag was a 20″ Briggs and Riley (2″ shorter than the maximum size airlines allow) and as always, I used ebags. I actually had about 6″ of empty space in one side of the roller bag – shocking!

My “personal” carry on item was an expandable lightweight backpack that when not expanded, would fit under the airplane seat.  I also used it for weekend getaways, such as a cooking class in Bologna, Italy.



Clothing takes the most space, and like most people, I try to travel with colors that match most things to give a wider variety of style combinations.  Overall, I took 3 pants, 10 tops. 2 scarves, 3 sweaters and underclothes.

This amount worked perfect for doing laundry once a week and allowing time to line dry.

For travel days I flew in the bulkiest clothes and shoes.  I also chose older sweaters that were taking their last (one-way) trip.  🙂


What I didn’t use: the clothes line  (it was provided) or swimsuit/sarong, but I consider them essentials to travel with.

What I wish I had taken: a nice pair of Bermuda-length shorts and yoga pants. They are on the list for next time!

For tech: a Surface tablet, Olympus Tough camera and iPhone.

Of course there are lots of little items to pack, as well as some logistical considerations. Here’s my comprehensive list — hope it helps!

carry on packing list 90 days smart casual

Have you tried traveling with just carry on for long trips?

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