How to Pack a Carry-On for a 10-Day Trip (Workout Clothes Included!)

Useful tips for packing light even on long trips

Amanda Brooks,

My lack of large suitcases confounds many people when I travel for extended periods, not just touring, but fitting in lots of workouts. When I was searching for how to pack a carry-on for two weeks in Europe no one seemed to mention workout gear at all…which made me think I was aiming to do the impossible.

Not knowing the meaning of that word and knowing I needed to pack light to manage the multiple city tour, I set out to solve the puzzle.

Keys to the puzzle:
A. I am ok with reusing things for different outfits.
B. I am ok with reusing workout gear if needed and it's dry.
C. Workout gear can be smushed around (technical packing term)
D. I’ve learned the art of compact packing.

Step 1: Use the grooves
In your bag there are usually groves from the handles coming in to the suitcase. Start by filling those with small items like sports bras, bras, underwear, swimsuits, socks, etc.

Step 2: Lay it Out or Roll it
For years I have been rolling my clothes because I was told that worked best, but after the last few trips I read that laying clothes out completely was better. Results: rolling works best for summer packing because you can make things smaller. Laying things out works best for winter packing because you can press down and then fill in open spaces.

Step 3: Fill in
You will still wind up with room around the edges, start filling that in with shirts that are now rolled. If you have breakable items like a camera, shaker cup (yes I brought my Vega) lift up a few things and nestle it in the middle for added protection.

Step 4: Travel Size it
Bag your make-up to keep you in check, use travel size for all liquids (even if you're checking your bag you save needed space), and get honest about what you really need. Rooms have blow dryers, maybe not as great as yours, but leaving it out is worth the weight and space.

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