winter packing: how to fit it all in a carry on {video}

It’s part two of our winter packing series, and we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Yesterday’s post was all about what to pack — today’s post is all about how to fit it in carry on.

And … it’s a video! I’ve been wanting to incorporate video into Unfancy posts for some time, and I’m finally doing it — awkwardness be damned. 🙂

In this video, I’ll give a rambly monologue and then actually pack my suitcase so you can see exactly how my winter packing list fits into my carry on. I’ll also share four quick tips on getting the most out of your suitcase space. Cool? Cool!

Click here to watch the video over on YouTube.

Since this video is just about how to fit everything in, I don’t go into detail about each item I’m bringing. However, if you want the details, or if you’re curious about why I’m bringing these items, head on over to yesterday’s post for all the answers (plus a free printable packing planner).


You may be curious about the lack of packing cubes, since I’ve been vocal about loving them in the past.

I still like using them every now and then, especially if my suitcase needs a little extra organization. But I take it on a case by case basis. For this particular trip, I found that I had more room and flexibility if I didn’t use them.

Whether I use packing cubes or not, I always use the KonMari folding method, and fold my clothes so they stand upright. I can fit more into my suitcase and I can see everything at a glance.

Since I don’t travel a ton, I asked a couple of my globe-trotting friends for advice too — Jess Lively of the Lively Show Podcast and Jessica Doll of Hej Doll.

If you’ve been keeping up with Jess’s podcast, you know she’s been traveling non stop for the last nine months — with nothing but a carry on! And years ago, it was Jessica who introduced me to the idea of packing light — her blog is full of excellent packing ideas for just about any destination you could think of.

I asked both Jess and Jessica to weigh in on packing cubes, and here’s what they said:

  • Jessica Doll: I always use packing cubes of some sort. My favorite are these really thin ones from Muji in a size Medium. They fit in my carry-on perfectly. I buy different colors for each of us in case we need to share a suitcase.
  • Jess Lively: I don’t use packing cubes. I used something similar for a while until a friend taught me the power of Kon-Marie-ing your suitcase like this. This is a game changer!

I love that their opinions are so different — it shows that you can pack successfully, whether you use packing cubes or not.

It’s all about finding what works for you.


My suitcase is the Carry On by Away. People often ask me if it lives up to the hype, and if you’re upgrading from a soft sided suitcase, my answer is definitely yes.

I’ve had my Away bag for about 6 months now, and it’s been on 4 trips with me. Here’s the thing: it’s dependable. That may not seem like raging praise, but to me, a great suitcase works so well that I don’t even really think about it — it just blends into the background and does what it’s supposed to do.

A couple of other thoughts? It’s ridiculously lightweight — in fact when I first got it, I was unimpressed with how flimsy it felt. But it turns out, the bag is indestructible. However, something to note: it doesn’t expand. I actually like that about it now, but it took me a little while to get used to.

If an Away bag isn’t t in the budget right now, I also had excellent luck, years ago, with a hard-shell Samsonite for about $120.

I also asked Jess and Jessica to weigh in on suitcases too, and here are their thoughts:

  • Jessica Doll: My favorite suitcase for the last few years has been my Tumi Tegralite International Carry-On. It’s not only light, it’s smaller than regulation size (no fighting for space!), and actually fits quite a lot of stuff.
  • Jess Lively: I spent about 30 hours researching this decision, since I knew I was going to be living out of it for the foreseeable future. The winner? The very wonderful Away carry on in black. I’ve been living out of this puppy for 9 solid months and I would never go back to a soft-shell case again. It’s the best. 

• • •

And there you have it!

My travel tote is a camera bag by ONA (but this travel tote is actually a better, lighter option), and the plaid shirt I’m wearing in the video? You can find it here.

The winter packing series is going on all week long! Here’s what’s coming up next:

  • Thursday: I’ll show you how I combine these pieces to make outfits for each day and activity.
  • Friday: I’ll share what’s in my airplane tote.

See you Thursday! (And in the meantime, what do you think? Feelin’ the video vibe? Want to see more videos on Unfancy?)


Like it? Share with your friends!

, 0 points
What's Your Reaction?
Angry Angry
Cute Cute
Fail Fail
Geeky Geeky
Lol Lol
Love Love
Win Win

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

winter packing: how to fit it all in a carry on {video}

log in

reset password

Back to
log in
Choose A Format