Pack your carry-on like a pro with Matalan: What to pack & What to leave at home

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I do love a challenge and when it comes to packing there’s no better way to travel than to travel light. But don’t let me fool you: I don’t always travel light. I sure do prefer it when I do, but sometimes my trips will require taking heavy tripods, extra camera lenses and oodles of tech-y-gear that leaves me bogged down in extra baggage charges. But if I’m going on a short trip of up to a week, you won’t find me taking any more than necessary. In fact, I’d say I have it down to some sort of art form by now.

Matalan gave me the challenge of seeing how much I could pack in a lightweight carry-on case they sent me. The aim was to pack everything I would need and leave anything I didn’t need at home. As my airline only allowed seven kilograms for carry-on luggage, it was quite a stretch! But alas I managed to squeeze in enough outfits and tech gear for a week-long trip to the beach. Here’s the result!

How to pack your carry-on Packing GIF Everything you do need

Lets cut straight to the point: here are all the items you do need to take in your carry-on for a week long trip away, not including any essentials that will get you buzzing and beeping at the security check point (because really, you can do without a pair of nail clippers or tweezers for a week anyway).

Clothes – an obvious choice but a mandatory one all the same! Keep it light with thinner fabrics and just one jumper/sweater/jacket to keep you warm in the evenings.

Shoes – two pairs will do the trick. One for adventurous activities and another pair to wear to dinners, etc.

Skincare regime – don’t let your skin suffer when you’re away from home! Keep up all your regimes whilst away or you’ll return home feeling a little worse for wear. This is my favourite way to combat jetlag by doing all the things you still do at home.

Tech gear – I’m talking camera(s), chargers, phones, etc. Sometimes it is however nice to switch off so you could do without!

Accessories – for a beachy getaway I never travel without a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and a light scarf to transition a day outfit > night.

How to pack your carry-on like a pro Packing GIF - World of Wanderlust

Items you will want to take but do not need

And now to the fun stuff (I know, I know… how do I find pleasure in such things!?) If you’re aiming to pack carry-on only, leave the following items at home:

Choices – remember you can only ever wear one pair of trousers or a jacket at the one time. Pack one of everything and leave the rest at home (unless you like to wear different outfits depending on your mood, then pack a few choices for the main garment).

Books – I’m always tempted to take books on trips but I almost always end up gifting them instead of keeping them for my bookshelf, in an effort to shed a little weight from my case during my trip. If you’re like me and you like to hang on to your books, try purchasing Ebooks or Kindle books to read for your holidays.

Anything you don’t use daily at home – the idea is to pack everything you do use daily at home and leave any extras at home. If you don’t wash your hair on a daily basis then there’s no need to bring your whole haircare regime along with you. To the contrary if you’re protective of your skin and like to look after it well, be sure to pack your usual regime.

Everything I Packed:

Lightweight Suitcase by Matalan, Converse shoes, Country Road Jumper, Zara Jeans, Gigi New York Handbag, Apple Macbook Air 13″, Lack of Color Hat, Tularosa Dress 1 2 3, Lily Pulitzer Dress + Scarf, Victoria’s Secret Bikini, Olympus PEN EPL7, Olympus OMD Mark II (filmed on), Nike Gym Gear, Ray Bans Sunglasses, Dry Shampoo, GoPro Camera, Cleanser, Nail Polish.

Pack your carry-on like a pro! This post contains sponsored content in the form of a suitcase so light I can lift it with my left pinky… which is understandably weaker than my right. So yeah, it’s pretty light. Thanks Matalan!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!