How I packed for my weekend trip with one carry on

Flew from Atlanta to Sacramento for the weekend and all I brought was this kitty backpack and a purse!

I never feel more badass than when I board a plane with only a carry-on, then get off and walk straight to the pickup curb. That’s right, I just used a plane as a freaking taxi, yo! And it’s because I’m pretty good at packing light.

My top tricks for packing light include:

  • A simple color palette (mine is always black and grey)
  • High-end athleisure wear (Athleta is my go-to for comfort and style)
  • Comfortable walking shoes that can also look dressy (I’ll get to that later)
  • Wearing the bulkiest items on the plane (coats, extra layers, bigger shoes, etc)

We just flew from Atlanta to Sacramento for the weekend, and I managed to pack everything I needed (including some of Mike’s clothes) into one backpack. Here’s what I packed for my trip with one carry on…

All the clothes I packed for the weekend:

  • Two pairs of black leggings. I recommend these from Lululemon, they’re comfortable so you can travel and walk a lot in them, but they also can be easily dressed up for going out at night. I also wore a pair of fleece-lined leggings on the plane.
  • Two plain tank tops like these from Target in black and grey)
  • One nice top. I brought a black turtle neck like this one because it was cold at night.
  • One sweatshirt. I brought this one from Athleta
  • One pair of fashionable sneakers. I live in these Dr Scholl’s slip-ons in black lizard print, they can be super-comfortable to walk around in and they look nice enough to dress up.
  • Two pairs of socks. These are PERFECT for the Dr Scholl’s slip-ons — they stay on your heel and they’re low-cut, so you can’t see them)
  • One pair of leg warmers. I love leg warmers because you can easily take them off if it gets hot during the day — these are what I’m wearing in the photo.
  • One scarf.
  • Two pairs of travel-friendly underwear that you can easily wash in the sink and dry overnight. I love these.
  • One large coat. The Gramercy coat from Nation LTD is what I’m wearing in the photo.
  • One light rain jacket (there was a chance of rain in the forecast). I brought the Everyday Getaway jacket from Lululemon.


What do YOU pack for a weekend trip with one carry on? Any tips and tricks I’m missing?

Author: Megan Finley Horowitz

I'm a part-time writer, editor, and full-time eater from Los Angeles. I live with my husband/travel partner, our rescued senior chihuahua and grumpy-ass cat.

6 thoughts on “How I packed for my weekend trip with one carry on”

  1. I Love that you do this! Its empowering isnt it? My boyfriend requires me to only pack with a carry on bag–even when we’re going for 1-3 months at a time! It makes everything so much easier and most of the time I end up wearing the same thing anyway. Agree with all your tips and I even skip bringing books and just read on laptop or kindle to save even more space!

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