How to Pack for Holiday Travel in a Carry On Only
How to Pack for Holiday Travel in a Carry On Only

How to Pack for Holiday Travel in a Carry On Only

Thanksgiving is this week (what?!) which means holiday travel season is upon us. It’s one of the busiest times of year to travel, but with a little preparation you can master the mayhem — or at least, get a handle on the aspects of holiday travel that are within your control for a slightly less stressful trip. And one of the biggest? Luggage. Checking is such a hassle, and carry on only is totally possible with these simple tips:

Decide what to wear at the airport

Celebrity airport style is totally a thing now, and you can add a bit of polish and excitement to even the most mundane trip by wearing something comfortable yet chic to the airport. Try to wear your heaviest layers to save room in your suitcase. I am a big fan of leggings, leather jackets and Nike sneakers as a plane uniform — and a big old blanket scarf and sunglasses to top it off, of course.

Plan your outfits + make a packing list

Depending on the length of your trip — and the weather at your destination — you might be dealing with a weekender bag or a full-on carry on suitcase. Sweaters and jeans are just naturally going to take up more space than t-shirts! Either way, your life will be a million times easier if you plan your outfits and create a packing list ahead of time. That way you won’t end up at your destination with seven skirts and no underwear. #awkward

If you’re heading to a warmer holiday climate (lucky!), consider a packing list like this one. For more traditional (i.e. cold) destinations, try this.

Pack your toiletries

Look, if you’re going carry-on only, you’re going to need to find a way to shove all your necessary liquids into one TSA approved quart size bag. Luckily, it’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Make sure you stash whatever in-flight essentials you need in your bag, too, like face spray or moisturizer.

Need ideas for what to bring? Check out some of my travel beauty favorites that I brought to New York with me in the photo above, and shop them below:

Be an early bird

Not a packing tip, but crucial to staying sane during what can be a very hectic and stressful season. No one wants to kick off the holidays with a missed flight, so get to the airport early. Like earlier than you think you need to. Normally, the rule is one hour before a domestic flight takes off and two before international travel, but My Domaine advises getting to the airport two hours early during peak holiday travel times. I’m a teensy bit Type A, so I like to base my arrival window on my flight’s boarding time, which is usually about a half an hour before departure. Wouldn’t you rather be chilling at the airport with a grossly overpriced Starbucks and a magazine than frantically running to your flight? I love a good cardio sweat sesh, but O’Hare on Thanksgiving isn’t the place to do it.

What do you think? Any other travel hacks or tips to make it easier to pack for holiday travel? Let me know in the comments!

Images: Damsel in Dior, Instagram