What Women Should Pack for a Weeklong Trip in a Carry On

two person carrying duffel and backpack
two person carrying duffel and backpack
Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

With most airlines charging for checked luggage these days (not to mention the hassle of checking baggage and then picking it up at your destination), it is important to know what to pack in your carry on that first of all, won’t get you in trouble with security, but will also allow you to fit everything you need for a week-long trip. So, here’s what women should pack for a weeklong trip in a carry-on.

Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to effectively do this if you are traveling with a pet bird like I do, but pretty much anyone else can get away with just a carry on, even for a week long trip.

man with blue and maroon camping bag
Photo by Spencer Gurley Films on Pexels.com

If it’s possible, the best option is to fit all of your things into a backpack that can fit under your seat. This way, you do not have to worry about getting a suitcase out of an overhead bin before deplaning. Moreover, on some flights, there is limited room for suitcases in the overhead bins, and if you are not among the first couple of groups to board, you may have to gate check your bag. While gate checking a bag is essentially the same thing as checking your bag when you arrive, you do not have to pay the fee. That said, if you want to avoid all of that and can fit everything you need into a backpack. So here is what women should pack for a weeklong trip in a carry-on.

Size Limits

Although size limits can vary from airline to airline and even flight to flight, generally, the requirements are no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. The good news though is that as long as you stay under that amount, you will not be required to pay to have your bag checked. No promises you can avoid gate checking though.


  • 3 pairs of Leggings that can be worn more than once on the trip or washed
  • A shirt for each day, unless you plan on doing laundry
  • Panties for each day, again, unless you plan on doing laundry
  • 2 bras
  • A bathing suit if going to be at a beach, if there’s a pool–and the weather is warm enough for it, and consider if going to an amusement park with water rides (a poncho will work as well, though it takes up more space
  • A beach towel
  • 10 pairs of socks and 1-2 pairs of shoes: Depending on where you’re going, you may just need a pair of comfortable shoes, but if you are going to something higher end, you may need nicer shoes as well. You can wear one of these and pack the other pair.
  • A jacket, coat, or sweater, depending on the weather where you are going. Even places like Florida and California can be cool in the morning or in the evening, so it’s always smart to bring layers just in case.

You’ll notice that I didn’t add pajamas to the list because I usually sleep in the leggings as well. If you feel the need to bring a separate set of pajamas, then that is fine as well.

Soaps & Toiletries

  • 1 or 2 mini shampoo bottles (1 or 2 mini conditioner bottles if you cannot live without it)
  • Toothbrush, mini toothpaste
  • Face soap & any makeup
  • Mini Lotion & hand sanitizer
  • Mini Sunscreen if appropriate

You’ll notice that soap is missing on the list. That’s because hotels usually provide this. I honestly haven’t stayed at hotel where they haven’t had at least one bar of soap there waiting for you (usually it’s two, one for the sink and one for the shower). Many hotels also provide shampoo and conditioner, but if there’s more than just you in the party, there might not be enough. Sometimes they provide lotion as well, but I prefer to bring some just be safe.

It is important that you bring travel-sized toiletry bottles because the airlines limits the size of containers of liquid, including toothpaste.

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