How to pack for a 7 day trip with just a 35L carry-on backpack

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If you're anything like us, you hate wasting time! This includes dead time spent at the airport when you need to arrive extra early just to check-in your luggage. Not to mention the wasted time on the other side of your flight, waiting for your bag to appear on the dreaded baggage carousel conveyor belt.

Here are our 7 tips for packing your carry-on bag in the smartest way possible, so you can skip bag check-in on your next trip: 

#1 - PICK THE RIGHT BAG

Flat pack backpack

The key to packing for greatness is selecting the right bag! These are the things you should look out for:

  • Shoe compartments to keep your shoes away from your clean clothes.
  • Built in organization and pockets designed to keep your stuff seperate and organized.
  • A bag with a clamshell style opening and flat pack ability to make packing easier.
  • An internal compression strap to hold your gear in place.
  • External compression straps to keep your bag slim and easy to zip when you're packing to the max.
  • A chest strap is a must when you're packing everything into the one bag! This will help keep your backpack snug to your body, distributing the weight properly across your back and shoulders.

Lucky we know a bag that ticks all of the above criteria. Check it out here

#2 - GET READY TO ROLL

Backpack for travel

When you want all your clothes to fit in the one bag, rolling is your friend! Don't waste space or crease your clothing by folding everything. Save the folding for your denim and stiffer items while rolling all your t-shirts, singlets, jumpers and softer fabrics. 

#3 - THINK LIKE A BABUSHKA

Carry-on approved backpack

Make the most of any dead space by packing items inside items. Your shoes are prime real estate for any small tenants like your socks.

#4 - PLAN A MINIMALISTS WARDROBE

Planning ahead of trip

Plan outfits that can be easily mixed and matched. Pick one color family - think neutrals, black and grey. Basic T-shirts are perfect for this, while your banana print shirt might need to be skipped. 

For a 7 day trip, pack no more than 3 day outfits, 2 night options, 1 pair of daily walking shoes and 1 pair of smart-casual shoes for any nights out.

#5 - USE PACKING CUBES

Backpack for short trips

These will help to both compress your gear and keep your organized. Packing cubes are the perfect home for your socks and undies. 

#6 - WEAR THE HEAVY STUFF 

Internal of backpack with clamshell style opening

The (not so) secret to keeping your bags weight under the limit is to wear your heaviest stuff during the journey. Put your leather boots and big wool coats to work and wear them for the flight while your lighter clothing enjoys the ride in your carry-on. 

#7 - BUY YOUR TOILETRIES LATER 

Organization in backpack with pockets and compartments

The lightest options for your toiletries is to pack none! If you can't rely on complimentary hotel shampoos, just buy all your liquids after you arrive at your destinations airport. 

Ready to pack for greatness?
Shop our #1 carry-on pick here.