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.


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

Any questions? How do you pack?

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