Results of the 1 Carry-on Challenge; 9 Tips to Packing Light (that I should follow)

First, the 6-weeks-into-1-carry-on-challenge…WHY? you may ask.  INFINITELY easier…off the plane, no waiting an hour for luggage (that may or may not arrive), easier up and down steps (old European buildings…no elevators), and much easier to keep track of.  While we have been traveling with a ‘carry-on only’ rule for years, the longest we have been tested is 3 weeks.  We are going for Olympic Gold with 6 weeks.

So, our equipment:

First challenge…do we go for Gold with our usual 19 inch bag, or cave with the 22 inch bag?


As you can see, the bag on the left is definitely smaller and it is much lighter, as well.

Profile please:


Wow!  Big difference.  (And I use the one on the left to travel for 2 weeks in the winter! (think heavy sweaters and boots)   Which will it be?

Well, first let’s look at the rules:

  • Rule #1- Haute couture and small suitcases do not mix (Yes, those shoes will match everything you have)
  • Rule #2- If you REALLY need it (and didn’t bring it), you can buy it there
  • Rule #3- You don’t really need it
  • Rule #4- You can wear things more than once, and absolutely no one will notice
  • Rule #5- Or care
  • Rule #6- Everything goes with black
  • Rule #7- Breaking news…they have washing machines and dry cleaners in Europe! (Asia, South America rumored to follow soon)
  • Rule #8- Whether you go for 2 weeks or 2 months, pack enough clothes to get you through 5-7 days…then refer to Rule #7
  • Rule #9- Packing light is part art and part science…art is being creative with colors (black and navy? maybe); science is the physics of stuffing it all in the case.

Ok, with that in mind, here are the first steps of my packing…Day 1 of the packing process…


I feel really confident with a small, essentials-only start.

Day 2:


Not looking good…hiking clothes missing and sweaters, too.  Big rule breaker here, also…no white pants!  And 7 pairs of shoes?

Results?  Getting the Silver since I had to use the bigger carry-on.  Good news, though, with space to spare (!!), I plan on doing my part to help the troubled Spanish economy…it’s the least I can do.

Ok, it looks like a good day to go to Barcelona.  Adios, amigos.



4 comments on “Results of the 1 Carry-on Challenge; 9 Tips to Packing Light (that I should follow)

  1. Steven Levine says:

    Is there any room for my extras?

  2. Jacqueline says:

    You have made me ROAR with laughter – wonderful! Thank you!

  3. cousstu says:

    skip the bandaids and take ONE pair of shoes that fit 🙂

  4. Diana Hossack says:

    Ole amiga! Great post. Miss you!

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