There are two kinds of people in the world—those who solely travel with carry-ons and those who never do. Personally, I’m more of a grab the largest suitcase you own no matter how long the trip is kind of a gal myself, but after giving it some thought, I realized I was only packing that way because I was not educated enough in the art of packing a carry-on suitcase. Every time I tried to limit myself to one carry-on, I failed. It wasn’t just what I was packing, it was how I was packing it, and a bunch of other crucial errors that were pointed out to me by a few of my favorite celebrity stylists.
If there’s anyone in this world who knows the ins and outs of travel, it’s celebrities and their stylists. Most of the time, these dynamic duos travel across the country for a one-day shoot or an evening event just to head back home moments later. In other words, they are pretty much the queens of packing solely in carry-on suitcases and I was determined to snag some tips from the experts. Ahead, you’ll hear from 3 of my go-to celebrity stylists on the worst carry-on packing mistakes one can make plus a few of their under-the-radar tips.
1. Packing non-versatile pieces.
“I always pack things that I can wear for different occasions. It sounds crazy but my client Sherrie Silver and I are traveling together right now in Australia and she wore her silk pajama top out to dinner last night! Pieces like this are awesome for versatility. I love anything from Lunya for this.”
2. Not checking the weather.
“Always check the weather before a trip. This is so important. If it’s chilly somewhere I am going, I always pack a cashmere sweater to layer under a leather jacket or sweatshirt. If it’s warmer, I love packing a singlet (what my Australian clients call tanks). I love a bodysuit tank from Otherwise Topless.”
3. Being messy and unorganized.
“My last tip is that organization is key. I am obsessed with Dagne Dovers travel bags. They are lightweight and so durable. I pack every client with a Dagne bag for wardrobe supplies, jewelry storage, and toiletries!”
1. Slip in a dryer sheet.
“To keep your clothes feeling and smelling fresh in a carry-on, slip a dryer sheet in your suitcase!”
2. Use duster bags.
“Reuse shoe duster bags for underwear, bathing suits, socks, and jammies! This helps keep things organized and clean.”
1. Thinking you won’t have to check your bag.
“Ever been really proud of your carry-on packing job only to be forced to check it before boarding? I keep a stowaway bag (that can be a personal item) handy to stow all my in-flight essentials and anything I need to keep my eyes on for my clients.”
2. Not transferring products to travel containers.
“I’m all about travel-size products. One because I love trying new beauty products and two because the idea of transferring my full-size products into plastic travel containers sounds like a messy, wasteful endeavor. I can’t fathom wasting product! Instead, I shop for minis and travel sizes from brands I use and trust.”
3. Wasting space.
“I pack for shoots, fittings, and for clients for a living and one of the biggest errors is not utilizing dead space when packing. A T-shirt, undergarments, or socks can easily be stuffed in a or around a pair of shoes. It’s key to take advantage of every inch of that carry-on! Packing cubes are also essential to organizing by item and keeping wasted space to a minimum.”
1. Buy mini-size products.
“I shop for mini versions of my favorite products at Sephora online, but I also just popped into the Fresh store and got a bunch of mini-size products and samples with my purchase. All under three ounces., compact enough for TSA, and perfect to travel and try.”
2. Bring a fold-up bag.
“A stowaway bag is key for last-minute checks and for any overflow you may have on the return trip. Longchamp makes many great options with different handle lengths that fold up compact, Paravel has a sportier option with its own pouch, and I never travel without an LL Bean boat and tote that folds up flat.”
3. Put your jewelry in a pouch.
“I send my clients all over the world with this handy little jewelry pouch! It keeps your precious pieces tangle free, organized, and in one place so you can throw into your hotel safe and not worry!”
1. Packing all large items in your suitcase.
“Instead of packing bulkier items such as jackets and knits, it is always best to wear them on your flight. It will give you extra packing space and keep you warm on a chilly flight! Plus it is always a good idea to pack layers.”
2. Forgetting to pack an extra outfit.
“I recently started packing a back-up outfit for emergencies and the dreaded moment of the flight attendant asking you to check your carry-on.”
3. Make sure all your clothing can be mixed and matched.
“The best way to fit all of your clothing into a carry-on is to make sure all of the items can be reworked for multiple outfits.”
1. Roll everything.
“Roll up or fold everything vertically to help maximize luggage space.”
2. Use a hat clip.
“Use a hat clip! Instead of trying to fit a hat into your bag or wearing multiple on your head during your flight, a hat clip holds your hats in place on your carry-on.”