How to pack for a week with just carry-on luggage

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If you managed to get a bargain flight by booking carry-on luggage only, then it's time to consider how to pack effectively for your holiday.

Young woman waiting her flight in airport with her hand luggage, plane on the run way
Pack your carry-on luggage cleverly and you'll still be able to fit everything you need in your case. Photo: Getty

Packing a week's worth of clothes and holiday essentials in carry-on luggage means you have to be selective.

This can work to your advantage though; streamlining your packing means no worrying about what to wear when you arrive or rummaging through an overflowing case to find something.

Here's how to pack cleverly when you're only taking carry-on:

Wrinkle-free fabrics

Wool and cashmere are notorious for travelling well, particularly if they've been folded up small.

A cashmere wrap or light jumper is a great option for cooler evenings.

The Oroton Cashmere Crew Neck, now $319.20, is a great option.

A woman stands in a green cashmere crew neck sweater
Oroton Cashmere Crew Neck, now $319.20. Photo: The Iconic

If you're looking for wrinkle-free fabrics to wear when it's warm, it's hard to go past Lyocell.

It's a sustainable, lightweight and breathable, man-made fabric.

Hang it up, and any wrinkles will just drop out.

We love the Tommy Hilfiger Relaxed Linen Lyocell Crew Neck Top, now $31, which is perfect for chilled out summer days.

TA woman stands in a relaxed cut sky blue Tommy Hilfiger crew neck top
Tommy Hilfiger Relaxed Linen Lyocell Crew Neck Top, now $31. Photo: The Iconic

Travel-sized products

Bulky beauty products are a serious no-no when you're limited on packing space.

It's a sustainable, lightweight and breathable man-made fabric.or treat yourself to some mini products, like this 'Bright Size' duo at just $30 from Go-To, which includes their excellent face oil, Face Hero, and their Vitamin C serum, Much Brighter Skin.

Bottles and pack of the Bright Size duo skincare products on a white background
'Bright Size' duo, $30. Photo: Go-To

The Silver Bullet Cruise Travel Dryer for $52.95 is lightweight and folds up easily so it's small to pack.

A black travel hair dryer on a white background
Silver Bullet Cruise Travel Dryer, $52.95. Photo: Adore Beauty


Portable chargers

Don't waste space packing separate chargers for your phone, laptop, and other devices. A portable charger such as the mbeat Gorilla Portable Power 5-Port USB-C Charger, $88, allows you to charge phones, laptops, tablets and games consoles all from the one device. It's slimline, quick and allows devices to be charged simultaneously too.

A black multi plug portable power unit on a white background
mbeat Gorilla Portable Power 5-Port USB-C Charger, $88. Photo: Amazon

Mix and Match Outfits

Choosing outfits that you can wear in different combinations is a great way of packing light.

Choose something like this two piece set for $99.99.

It can be worn as it is, or you could pair the pants with a basic ribbed tank top at $29.95, and the top with tailored shorts like these Along the Ride shorts for $49.95 and get four outfits you can mix and match, that take up minimal suitcase space.

A woman stands in light blue wide leg high-waist pants with matching crop top
Two piece set, wide leg set, $99.99. Photo: Showpo
A woman stands in high waist denim shorts with white ribbed tank top, hand on hip
Basic ribbed tank top, $29.95. Photo: Showpo
A woman stands arms above head in orange top and white tailored shorts
Along the Ride shorts, $49.95. Photo: Showpo

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a great way of compressing your clothes, so you can fit more in to your bag.

They also help keep a things neat by separating items so they're easy to find.

The Globite Packing Cubes (3 Pack), $29, have breathable mesh panels and easy two-way zips.

They also come with hooks, so you can take them out of your bag and hang them up when you arrive at your destination.

A set of 3 package cubes on a white background
Globite Packing Cubes (3 Pack), $29. Photo: Big W

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