How to Pack Two Months in a Carry On

Carry On

Whether you’re going away for a weekend or a whole week, packing can be really stressful. For the past few months, I’ve been trying to find the best way to pack for our trip to Europe.

Originally, I wanted to check a regular bag to share with Adam plus carry-on luggage. But travelling around seven countries with a set of luggage sounds like a nightmare. Not to mention the extra cost of checking a bag for every single flight. For the sake of my sanity and budget, we decided to cut this cost and keep it simple with a carry-on bag each. This means we are living for two months in a carry-on.

Yes, you read that correctly. Not two weeks, not a month… TWO MONTHS IN A CARRY-ON!

I think if we were sticking to one climate, packing would have been much easier. Instead, we have to consider a wide range of weather from hot days in the Mediterranean to rainy days in the U.K… See the dilemma?

It’s also difficult because I want to document this trip through vlogs and blog posts. If you can honestly tell me that whenever you plan a vacation you don’t think about all the cute clothes you want to bring with you then I’m seriously impressed. I went a little crazy on Pinterest before I realized I wouldn’t be able to bring half the stuff I “needed”.



Even though I don’t have a capsule wardrobe set up (yet), I’ve taken some of the principles and adjusted them to fit my packing needs. Being comfortable is my number one goal, but I also want to have a few outfits that will make me feel pretty. These are some of the things I kept in mind when I was packing clothes.

Basics are bae

For the record, I’ve never used the word ‘bae’ in my entire life…

I would classify my style as simple, preppy and comfortable. Instead of packing specific outfits, I have tops and bottoms that match with everything and I don’t even have to think about it when I’m getting dressed in the morning! I’ll probably dress them up with accessories or bright lipstick for some variety.

Stick to a colour palette

Sticking to a colour palette made packing so much easier. I chose to stick to neutrals of white, grey, black, and denim with small touches of blush and I’m pretty happy with my selection! Matching colours makes putting outfits together quick and easy so I can spend more time sightseeing.

Packing cubes

Wow! Groundbreaking! Packing cubes for travel! Being able to separate your clothing means that you won’t have to rummage around in your suitcase every time you want to change. They’re also helpful for keeping your dirty and clean laundry separate and can help squish clothing down as small as possible so you won’t have to sit on your suitcase to close it. I bought these packing cubes from Amazon.

To break everything down for you, here is a list of the items I’m bringing:

  • Shoes: Nike running shoes, gladiator sandals, Sperry Topsiders
  • Tops: 4 T-shirts, 1 tank top, 1 long sleeve, 1 flannel, 1 button up
  • Bottoms: 1 white cropped, 1 ripped light denim, 2 shorts, 1 athletic shorts, 1 pair of leggings
  • Dresses: 2 dresses, 1 romper
  • Essentials: 10 pairs of underwear, 2 bras, 1 bralette, 1 sports bra, 2 pairs of cozy socks, 5 black ankle socks, 1 belt
  • Loungewear: 1 sweater, 1 cardigan, 2 pairs of pjs
  • Outerwear: 1 rain jacket, 1 scarf

If I’m honest, packing clothing is much easier than packing all the small things you need to bring on a trip like electronics and toiletries. I always find that there are a million tiny little things you need to remember!



When it came down to packing makeup and toiletries I really tried to keep it simple. I’m bringing one makeup bag with only the essentials and then a travel-size mini bag with teeny tiny shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toner and a couple of other little things in tiny pots. I bought this cute little bag at Winners for $7.99 and it came with four bottles and four little pots for creams and gels. I didn’t think I’d use the pots as much, but found them really useful for foundation, primer, makeup brush cleaner, and face masks.

This little bag of goodies may look small, but most of the hotels and Airbnb’s will have shampoo and conditioner for us to use. The conditioner will be saved for emergencies (AKA crazy hair days) and I packed purple shampoo to tone my hair once a week. I’m also bringing a little bottle of LUSH dry shampoo — it’s my favourite! I decided to also pack my straightener and hair curler because they roll up small and fit in the bottom of my suitcase.

In my makeup bag, I’m packing one of each product (except lipsticks because I couldn’t choose just one!) and will be relying on my beauty blender and a couple of brushes to make myself presentable.

Instead of bringing my usual micellar water to remove my makeup, I picked up a pack of micellar cleansing makeup removal wipes. I know I’m going to run out of these about halfway through our trip, but I’ll be able to buy some more.

To make sure these pesky bottles don’t spill all over the clothes I need to wear for two months, I put a small square of saran wrap over the top of each bottle before screwing on the cap.

That’s basically it for my suitcase! There will be a post up soon with the items I’m bringing in my personal bag like my laptop, camera and all that other good stuff.

If you made it this far you deserve a gold star! Let me know down in the comments if you have any favourite packing tips.

sincerely,rowan logo


  1. Ishta
    June 4, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Loved this article! Definitely going to use these tips for my packing !!

    • June 5, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thanks Ishta! I can’t wait to hear about your trip 🙂

  2. Mary Ann Trevors
    June 5, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Sounds like you have everything under control Rowan !!! WOW !!! So excited for you !!!

    • June 5, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thanks! I really hope so!

  3. Trasa
    June 7, 2017 / 11:01 am

    Have a safe and wonderful trip. Give us a shout if you hit the emerald isle in August. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Lol Trasa

    • June 9, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      Wish we were there in August! We are flying out of Dublin at the very end of July. Would have been great to see you!
      PS: totally slathered on the sunscreen today because we are white as snow

  4. Karen Hales
    June 7, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    Hey we are Europe bound in 2 weeks! If you’re in Italy ?? between June 22 – July 8th let me know. Love to see you guys. xo

    • June 9, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Where in Italy? We might overlap! xx

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