I Packed a Carry-On for 2 Weeks: Here's What I Learned

Aemilia Madden

Your flight leaves tomorrow, and you're sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of clothes, attempting to squeeze them all into one carry-on. Sound familiar? At the end of 2016, I found myself in a particularly tricky packing situation. I was traveling from New York to California for a week, only to hop on a plane straight back and then on to Paris for another seven days. The catch: With not enough time between flights to check a bag (I had to switch airports—it was a rough day), I had no choice but to carry on for the entire time.

Spoiler alert: What initially seemed to be a total nightmare ended up being a blessing in disguise. Packing light forced me to be ultra selective and taught me a few lessons along the way. I have a bad habit of packing stuff I never end up wearing, but this time around, I actually put everything I brought along to good use. Curious to learn a few of my personal secrets for mastering the art of the carry-on?

Check out my eight hacks below and then shop pieces to help you travel light—without feeling like you're missing something important!

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