How to Pack for a 10 Day Honeymoon in a Carry On

how to pack trip carryon

The wedding planning is OVER. The big day came and went without a hitch. It’s finally time to relax and enjoy your honeymoon! Just as you start to imagine yourself sipping on that umbrella drink or kissing on the Eiffel Tower it suddenly dawns on you…you have to PACK! 

By this point, you’re probably ready to just throw all your favorite things in a bag and go. But lugging around a heavy bag (especially if you’re traveling between multiple countries) is a major pain in the butt, so do yourself this one favor: Figure out how to pack a light carry on!

It can seem daunting to pack everything you need for 10 days into a carry-on, especially if you have a variety of activities to pack for (IE: hiking, romantic dinners, a trip to the beach). But guess what? It’s totally possible!

In fact, fashionable French women have been living off of a wardrobe that could practically fit in a carry-on bag for decades. (Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? It’s genius.) The only thing you need to do is pack basic items in neutral colors. While you may be thinking that your honeymoon is the perfect time to pull out those floral print capris you love or those pink stilettos you can never seem to find the right occasion for, your bag (and back) will thank you if you leave them at home. While you should definitely bring one or two statement items, the key is to pack items that work together. Think of your suitcase as the United Nations!

For starters, keep your tops and bottoms super simple: white, black, beige, chambray, and simple graphics like stripes or bold lettering work best. You want all the items in your bag to work together, so everything should go with more than one outfit. For example, your maxi dress will double as a skirt and a bathing suit cover-up. Your button-up shirt can be worn as-is or thrown over a basic tee. Your jeans should go with every single top you pack. Packing basic items in neutral colors will give you the largest amount of choices, and you can add color with a pair of shoes that pop (like red flats) or a printed scarf. Speaking of shoes, try to stick to two pairs: one for walking, and one that’s nicer that you can wear to dinner or out on the town.

Ok, so let’s get to it! Here’s how to pack a carry on for warm or cooler weather:

NOTE: Make sure your carry-on fits your airline’s domestic and international size regulations before your trip.

Warm Weather Essentials

Six Tops

  • 1 dressy tank/camisole
  • 1 basic tank
  • 2 basic tees in different colors
  • 1 button-up shirt
  • 1 light pullover sweater (or denim jacket)

Five Bottoms

  • 2 long pants (IE: your best jeans and a pair of beachy trousers)
  • 2 short pants (one denim and the other pair is your choice, such as dressy, black, white, army green, etc.)
  • 1 skirt (maxi, pencil, mini – whichever you prefer).

Four Dresses

  • 2 casual
  • 2 dressy
  • NOTE: Make sure that one of them is something you can easily throw on over your swimsuit to double as a cover-up. Bonus? A maxi dress can also double as a skirt when you throw a top on over it! You can interchange these for a long or short jumpsuit as well.

Three Shoes

  • Sandals
  • Comfortable walking shoes (like sneakers)
  •  Dressy booties, flats, wedges or heels.

Two Bags

  • 1 large carry-all bag that can easily go from beach to shopping to dinner – like a leather tote or roomy handbag.
  • 1 small bag like a clutch or a sleek crossbody 

One Swimsuit


  • 1 belt
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 floppy hat
  • Jewelry

Cold Weather Essentials

Six Tops

  • 1 basic tee
  • 1 graphic/striped tee
  • 1 button-up shirt
  • 1 pullover sweater
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 jacket (denim, leather, army)

Five Bottoms

  • 1 dark denim
  • 1 distressed denim
  • 1 pair of wide leg trousers
  • 1 pair of black tights
  • 1 skirt

Two Dresses

  • 1 day dress
  • 1 evening dress.

Three Shoes

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm boots
  • Dressy booties or heels  

Two Bags

  • One large, one small

One Warm Trench Coat


  • Belt
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 knit hat
  • Knit socks
  • Pantyhose
  • 2 scarves
  • Jewelry

Packing Tips

Roll your clothes. The roll-packing method swept the nation many years ago, and it’s still the number one way to pack light. By rolling your shirts, pants and dresses instead of folding them, you are able to avoid wrinkles and creases while utilizing more space in your bag.

Stuff your shoes. Shoes take up a lot of space in your bag, but fortunately they can also be used to hold other items like pantyhose, undergarments, belts, scarves, jewelry, hair products, chargers, makeup and more.

Wear as many layers as you can to the airport. Wear a tee, a sweater, a jacket, a hat, a belt, a purse, sunglasses, etc. The more things you have on your body, the more you can “carry-on” without putting them in your suitcase. Of the two purses you’ll be bringing, make sure you carry the larger one on the plane, that way you can throw some of your small items in there to save room in your carry-on bag like makeup, a curling iron, toiletries, belts, socks, jewelry, etc.

Skip the sleepwear.  Let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to be wearing much to bed anyway, so don’t waste room on bulky sweatpants or other sleepwear. Wear undergarments, slips, or nothing at all to bed. You can also ask your partner to throw an extra t-shirt in for you to steal. 🙂

Minimize toiletries. This is a great time to pack those 3-in-1 items you have sitting around, or buy refillable carry on bottles and fill them with your favorite lotions and hair products. Note that when carrying on, you’ll need to follow security requirements for liquids in each country you arrive into and depart from (for example, London is SUPER strict about this in particular).

There you have it…10 days of luggage in a carry on. Now get your boarding pass ready, get on the plane, and enjoy!

Read more on Rebecca’s blog, Curiosity and a Carry On.

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