Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Post :: How To Live Out Of A Carry-On

(Today's post comes from Sierra of Exceptionally Ordinary! As a fellow Michiganian who moved away from home, the gal definitely knows how to pack her bags. She's graciously decided to share a few tips here with you! Oh, and if you haven't heard, she was also the lucky winner of my recent giveaway. If you're interested in guest posting, please email me: theloudermouth AT gmail DOT com)

When you live more than 10 hours away from your family, there is nothing more stressful exciting than packing your bag and flying to see them for the holidays. If you are like me, you are also extremely cheap and don't want to spend $400-$500 on a plane ticket for just a long weekend. You also don't want to spend $100 checking your luggage. So, here's how you can spend a week or more with your loved ones with only a carry-on suitcase in tow.

1. Pack Light
Duh. End of guest post. (Just kidding, I'm not that lame.)

2. Know Your Itinerary
In order to pack appropriately, you have to know what you are packing for. Unless you would wear the same thing going out on the town with your girlfriends as you would visiting your grandma on Christmas morning, you probably need to know what's on your travel schedule.

3. Mooch Off Your Hosts
When I go home to visit my family, I never pack a blow dryer, curling iron or hairspray. Not only do these items take up way too much space, but I know that someone in my house is going to be willing to share with me. (I always bring my own hair straightener, though, because my Mom's sucks.) If they don't want to share with you, just start telling them a little tale of a Who named "The Grinch."

4. Roll With It

Terrible puns aside, it's amazing how much suitcase space is saved when you roll your clothes instead of folding them. I know it doesn't seem like it would make a difference, but trust me, it does.

5. Travel Bulky
Coats, knee-high boots and thick sweaters are crucial for a Midwest winter, but try fitting those inside a carry-on suitcase. Unless your carry-on was made by Mary Poppins, it's not going to happen. The best way to bring what you need and save room in your bag is to wear your bulkiest items on the plane. Bonus: If you get too warm in all of your layers, you can use them as a blanket or pillow and try and get some shut-eye before shacking up in your family's "Home Alone"-esque casa.

6. Mix & Match
Okay, this is a two-parter. Since I know not everyone is as amazing at mixing and matching their clothes to make new outfits as I am, I broke it down for you.

Here are my most versatile layering pieces:

1. Crewneck Pullover Sweater
2. Denim Button-Up
3. White V-Neck
4. Boyfriend Cardigan
5. Dark Jeans
6. Shift Dress (in a neutral color, preferably grey or black)

Here's how you can remix them:
Outfit 1: Cardigan + V-Neck + Jeans + Knee-High Boots
Outfit 2: Cardigan + Denim Shirt + Jeans + Black Ankle Boots
Outfit 3: Pullover Sweater + Jeans + Black Ankle Boots
Outfit 4: Denim Shirt (unbuttoned) + V-Neck + Jeans + Knee-High Boots
Outfit 5: Pullover Sweater + Denim Shirt (underneath sweater) + Jeans + Black Ankle Boots
Outfit 6: Shift Dress + Cardigan + Knee-High Boots
Outfit 7: Shift Dress + Pullover Sweater + Black Ankle Boots
Outfit 8: Shift Dress + Denim Shirt (underneath dress) + Knee-High Boots

And don't forget: Colored tights, cozy knee-high socks and jewelry can add even more versatility to your travel wardrobe and take up very little space in your suitcase.

Oh, and you have to fight the urge to pack your cat. There's just not enough room for that adorable ball of fur.

Thank you so much, Steph, for having me! Hope this post helps all of your holiday-traveling Loudmouth readers :)


  1. I've heard of 'rolling with it' before but I didn't trust... Now I think I'll have to give it a fair try :)

  2. Brilliant. The mix and match tip is pretty impressive and now I can tell my bf that we definitely didn't need to pay that extra cash for luggage for our week back home in the middle of summer ;)

  3. You surely know how to get things done and I’ll surely give it a try.

  4. I am notorious for packing light. I packed for a 5 day vaca to cabo and packed everything in a backpack. And I know what your thinking, I was fully clothed. So it can be done. I love your tips.

  5. I've never heard of the 4th tip before, but I need to try that! Folding clothes is not fun for me.

  6. Oh that's really useful, thanks for sharing! I really like your blog! It would be nice if you could stop by my blog sometime too (I'm from England) as I post my outfits, likes and more. Also, if you wanted to follow each other on FB, just let me know and I would be happy to! :) :)

  7. Unfortunately, I've been quite the "sucker," in regards to paying for baggage. I will certainly try out these tips the next time I fly.

  8. This is exactly how I pack, I roll it all up and pack liiiiiight. I know my hosts will have soap, towels, and all that jazz. I just pack clothes, camera, minimal toiletries and wallet. Very liberating! I'm going to sell the rolling luggages and travel with a backpack like the commenters here for the extra challenge next time :)


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