For a blog about Two Day travels, why would I need to know (or want to share) how to pack for 2 weeks?  Because sometimes my Two Day Travels happen in a sequence –  a group of them together – especially when traveling long distances, like the time I visited 5 Beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe. Sometimes they happen as a result of being somewhere already for work or for family and I add on another couple days for my personal travels, like the time I went to a wedding in Melbourne so spent some time exploring the sights there and then took a Two Day Trip Along the Great Ocean Road!

I find traveling with carry-on sized luggage much easier; not just because it means my luggage is always with me on a flight & rarely checked, but because it’s easier to carry around in between flights – onto trains, into a cab, on a subway, up stairs, down streets, etc. It also means I’m spending less time picking out my clothes every day and more time exploring the city I’m in!

Planning Your Outfits

This is my planning grid, based on actual clothes I own, for a 12-day trip that included 2 evenings out. With what I have planned, I can make more than enough outfits with these clothes + doing laundry once during the trip.

The most important things to remember when packing is to COORDINATE, LAYER, and ACCESSORIZE! Everything here can mix and match with everything else. All of the tops work with each other in layers, and they work with all of the bottoms. I picked three neutrals (black, white, tan) and two colors (fuchsia, blue).

I found the combination of six tops + three bottoms worked perfectly to give me enough different looks for the 12 days I was traveling. Plus, I brought a black dress to dress up for a night out at the ballet. In addition, I had three pairs of shoes: walking shoes, ankle boots, and flats.

Here is a picture of everything I packed on the trip:

Carry On Packing - Everything I Took
One note: the Gray Flannel scarf was swapped out for a much thinner, tan wool scarf and I dropped the fuchsia flats – they would have been fun to have, but I decided to save space for souvenirs.

Carry On Packing - Going There and Returning

The bottom left photo is my “Going There” picture – carryon luggage, the red tote (my computer bag and what I put under the airplane seat in front of me) and my travel outfit. On the way back, I had accumulated a few souvenirs, so used the bigger white tote as my 2nd bag – still small enough to fit under the seat, but big enough to hold red computer bag + new purchases.

My carry-on is a 19″ roll aboard that fits most international carry-on requirements, which are often smaller than US domestic flights. My specific Delsey suitcase is over 6 years old and doesn’t seem to exist in stores anymore, but you can find similar ones like this newer DELSEY Paris Luggage Helium Aero International Carry On Expandable Spinner Trolley-19″ or this AmazonBasics Premium Upright Expandable Softside Suitcase with TSA Lock – 19-Inch International Carry-On.

Outfits by Day

Here are all of the outfit combinations I wore during the trip:

As you can see, I bought a new Blue Polka Dot scarf on my trip – useful, fits into the coordinating scheme, easy to pack, and it’s a fun souvenir of my trip!

While I obviously repeated items of clothing throughout the trip, I never repeated an entire outfit!

Additional Tips

I used my red bag as my day bag around town and had the black crossbody/clutch for evenings out. The red bag was extremely lightweight, allowed me to reduce layers (scarf, sweater) throughout the day as it warmed up, and carried the souvenirs I bought while out exploring! In addition, I had a small foldable tote (similar to this one) that fits into my jacket pocket that was handy on days I didn’t want to carry the full tote bag.

One of the smartest decisions I made was to bring my heavier New Balance shoes. I had briefly contemplated bringing a smaller, lighter type of tennis shoe but with the amount of walking I did, I’m really glad I brought the New Balance ones!

A helpful packing tip is to use packing cubes for smaller items. I used my Eagle Creek packing cube for underwear, scarves, and socks, but they’re also useful for anything you want to keep together!

There are only a couple things I’d do differently:

1) I wish I’d brought a few more inner layers – some black & white tank tops, for example, just for some added flexibility of layers on warmer days.

2) I didn’t realize until I started traveling that both my sweater and jacket were on 3/4 sleeves, oops! Next time, I would want at least 1 outer layer to have full sleeves. After this particular trip, I invested in a packable puffer jacket, similar to this one, that has been very handy to have and easy to pack!

3) I should have brought some of my Clay Masks as it is light and compact and great for oily skin when traveling to humid countries.

Are you a carry-on only traveler? Let me know in the comments your favorite packing tips!

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About Cynthia Graner

I’m always looking to travel, but don’t always have a lot of time or money, so started exploring ways to take more trips for 2 Days & (mostly) under $200 at a time!

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