How To Pack For A Summer Vacation With Just One Carry-On Bag

I'll soon be driving cross-country in an Audi R8 convertible which, while glamorous, has a tiny trunk up front (a frunk). This presents a challenge a lot of people have: How to fit a vacation's worth of necessities in one bag? Here's how I do it.

Everyone's definition of "necessities" is somewhat different. If you're Bear Grylls you just need a knife, some water, and a jar to collect your own urine. I am not Bear Grylls, but I've managed to refine down what I need for more than a week to just one soft carry-on bag.

I've annotated on this image all the stuff I need and have explained why. I can't even fit a backpack, so this isn't "one carry-on item plus a personal item" as most airlines will let you bring. This is just one bag for everything.


As you can see below, it all fits (and I forgot to take a pic of my extra pair of shoes, which are in the bag). A lot of the stuff I buy is Eagle Creek because it tends to hold up extremely well, but there are plenty of other companies that make soft cubes.

How To Pack For A Summer Vacation With Just One Carry-On Bag

Soft containers are great because you can squeeze them into almost any overhead compartment, even on small planes.


Any questions? How do you pack?