Adulting FAQ Packing Travel Tips

How To Pack Like A Pro!

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Carry-On Items | The Blog Abroad
A quick snapshot of my carry-on items. A detailed break-down of each item is listed below!

Now, before we get carried away, I should mention that I use the word “Pro” here very generously. The idea that anyone could be a professional at parting ways with more than half of their belongings and still maintain a smile and upward position (as opposed to a fetal one while crying), is nothing short of a miracle I’ve yet to fully grasp.

But alas, while getting ready to leave for a big trip is nothing short of exciting, here comes the mood kill by the name of Packing ready to steal your joy and remind you that those tie-dye shorts and 8-inch stilettos aren’t in fact, going to be worn on your trip, nor when you return, but keep holding on to them anyway, because #HoardersUnited.

In hopes of making this awful task just a tad bit more bearable, I’ve broken the packing down into categories which you can modify as needed, depending on your trip.

Many of you know with my Busabout Brand Ambassadorship schedule, my travels will have me in places as cold as the UK in winter, and as warm as Greece in the summer, so how exactly does one fit in four seasons, two of them extreme opposites, while only checking one bag of luggage?

I’ll get to that in a minute.

I'll be on a couple of these Busabout loops!
I’ll be on a the green and pink loops this summer! See my full itinerary here.

One thing to note, however, is that your carry-on luggage should essentially stay the same for every trip no matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be there.

Carry On Essentials |
Everything I pack in my carry-on!

What your carry-on should provide, is enough coverage to give you refreshment and entertainment for those long layovers and even a day or two after your arrival, in the case that your check-in luggage doesn’t make it to your destination when you do.

True story, my checked bag arrived 3 days later after I flew to Thailand last year. This was before I considered myself a functioning adult, so of course I had no change of undies and pretty much went commando for a couple days, because what is adulthood. #StillSessyDoeRye?

Bangkok, Thailand |
Bangkok, Thailand

Despite letting my freedom ring, I still wouldn’t have minded having even a spare outfit! Local shops on the island also didn’t have underwear, at least not my size #bootylicious, so when and if this ever happens to you, you’ll be like, “DAMN, GLO, BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE CLUTCH INFORMATION!

You’re welcome. So here we go…

Airborne |
Airborne over Athens


1.) Paperwork

– 2 copies of your passport

– 2 copies of your insurance (travel/health)

– 2 copies of your emergency contacts
(I’ve listed an emergency contact for each continent I’ll be traveling to this year. This is optional, but if anything were to ever happen to you, not only would people know who to contact, but they’ll have back up as well)

– Printed address of hotel/hostel/accommodation
(Because technology sometimes sucks aka needs to be charged, you can’t always rely on your cell phone to hold all the information you need. Print out those addresses)!

2.) Valuables

– Laptop

– DSLR Camera/Canon Camera/GoPro Camera/iPad

– All chargers and converters for electronics

– Portable Battery Pack (so crucial, I recommend THIS)

– Emergency Cash… yes, all $50 of your savings still counts (at least that’s what I tell myself)

3.) Spare Outfit/Hygiene/Miscellaneous

– Spare Outfit & Undies

– Toothbrush & Toothpaste (disposable kinds that you can steal borrow from your dentist’s office work great!

– Basic Make-Up [for me, that’s my Mary Kay Liquid Foundation, Eye Liner, and Matted Lipstick (I use the color “Black Cherry” and think it looks amazing on darker skin tones]

– Wipes

– Deodorant

– Mini Hand Sanitizer

– Small Lotion (remember you can bring anything under 3.4 liquid oz.)

Taking Flight |
Learning to pack lightly and efficiently in a carry-on is a skill worthy of at least two lines on your resume.

Because I’ll be traveling for almost a year, I’ll be crossing into all 4 seasons, so I broke down my clothing based on seasons.

If you’re traveling for a month or just a couple weeks, try breaking down the categories by something like CASUAL, FANCY, ATHLETIC, etc.


Winter |
Winter in London, United Kingdom

– 3 Pairs of Jeans
– 2 Coats/Jackets
– 3 Cardigans


Spring |
Spring in Toledo, Spain

– 3 Sundresses
– 5 Tank Tops
– 3 Casual Shirts


Summer |
Summer in Parga, Greece

– 3 Bikinis (all mixed & matched)
– 4 Skirts
– 2 Beach Tunics


Fall |
Fall in Schwetzingen, Germany

– 5 Scarves
– 3 Long Sleeved Shirts
– 2 Leg Warmers
– 2 Beanies

More ideas for categories to help organize:


– 1 Pair of Boots
– 1 Pair of Casual Wear
– 1 Pair of Pointy Flats


– 3 Bras (everyday bra, workout bra, push-up bra #heygirls!)

– 10 Undies (9 thongs, 1 granny panty) KIDDING! Haha

– 4 Pairs of Socks (2 for sleeping, 2 for everyday wear)

– 1 Workout Outfit (let’s be honest, this will happen once a week if I get locked in a gym or something)

– Jewelry (watches, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets)

– Towel (optional depending on accommodation plans) This will be provided in 90% of the hostels and hotels you go to, and you’ll save a significant amount of space by not carrying one, but this is something that will vary depending on where you’re traveling.

Diva Cup (FOR LADIES) I can’t stress this one enough! A great alternative to tampons/pads, my review coming soon!

Airport |

For ladies stressed about the outfit shortage, the key is bringing as many accessories as possible. If you’re concerned about always having the same outfits on in all your travel pictures (hello problems, meet first world, LOL), then become a master at using scarves, hats, and jewelry to disguise clothes and trick people into thinking you own more than you do.

Frequent travelers, what’s one item you wish you packed before you left? Leave it in the comments below and maybe it’ll inspire an idea for someone else!

My list includes the bare essentials for me, but you can certainly go with much less, but this is for the average clothes freak in us all.

Check out my YouTube video of how it all went down!

Recommended Carry-On Luggage (Click photo to go to Amazon)

Recommended Check-In Luggage (Click to go to Amazon)

How To Pack Like A Pro -
PIN this for your next adventure!


Facebook Comments

  • Leah Shoup

    I love how comprehensive this list is! I’ve always wondered how you seem to have so many great outfits in your photos when you’re gone for so long. I see the trick is bringing things you can mix and match 🙂

    • Lol, yep! Secret’s out 😉. I also try not to bring too many patterned things as those don’t mix very easily. But plain and solid colored things I sling around left and right 😜

  • Lovely list..I suck at packing. Should bookmark this as my reference on how to..:-)

    • Haha, don’t worry, we all do. I’m just learning how to suck a bit less 😉

  • Stephanie Craig

    Great post! Last trip to London, I actually unpacked gloves because I was like “March is spring, right?” It was windy AF and I regretted it every time I stepped outside.

    • Been there!!! Crazy, you never know how crucial gloves can be until you lose all feeling in your fingertips 😂

  • simdelish

    Uh yeah, so now everytime I see a snap of you in Thailand, I’ll wonder if it was taken before your bag arrived…. :0

  • Since I can’t see anything without my contacts or glasses, I make sure I always have them with me and enough daily contacts to last the duration of my stay. Great tips!

    • Smart!! Since I don’t wear contacts, I’ll add that a pair of shades are always a great accessory when you don’t feel like doing makeup lol

  • Gabby Beckford

    #bootylicious haha I love this post! So easy to read yet packed with good info, keep it up Glo! 🙂

  • Thanks for this Gloria. I always find that I over pack EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL.
    Especially with the high heels which I never do end up wearing or hair gels, I never end up using LOL

    Jo X

    • Haha, it’s always nice to feel prepared for every situation isn’t it, though? That leopard skin dress JUST IN CASE. That 5-inch heel, JUST IN CASE. Lol, oy. Been there, still doing that 😂

  • Nikki Hudson

    Enjoyed! These days my packing travel goals are to carry on only. So far I’ve been successful with it. I find that packing cubes really help a lot. Do you ever find yourself using them? 🙂 I know from other blogs you say you’ve visited consignment shops and such when you want to rotate your wardrobe in and out.

    • Thanks, Nikki! I need to look into these packing cubes, because I keep hearing about it, but never got around to looking into them.

      I might be too much of a slob to even bother breaking my things down that much to be honest 😭

      And yes, thrift stores and goodwills around eastern Europe were amazing about letting you swap and trade clothes for the new season, as I had no idea how long I’d be traveling last go around, so definitely wasn’t prepared!

  • SopranoOut

    As a huge fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I squealed a bit when you talked about packing a towel.

    • Hahaha! Reasonable! I’m now in possession of 3 every day. The one I brought with me, and the 2 provided by my accommodations (one for a beach) so it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s usually also provided where you go 😜

  • rguffey333

    This was so helpful! I’ll be backpacking around Europe for three months this summer and it’s finally dawned on me that I’m going to make some HUGE cuts to my wardrobe haha. It’s been hard to choose what to take and what to leave, and I love the insight you’ve given here! Quick question though: What shoes would you recommend for long days of sightseeing? Maybe I’ve just got sensitive baby feet, but nothing makes me want to hide out in my hostel all day more than blisters and sore arches!

    • Hey Rach! How exciting! Yeah, shoes are usually no more than 3 for me. I have my mini boots (great for Winter and evenings out), my pointy flats (which in hindsight, I should’ve brought flip flops, because I’ll be wearing those so much more), and then for everyday wear, I have these thin flat “Toms-look-alike” shoes that I got from Payless, haha, yay for being size 11 😜

      But flats of any sort or sandals make for great walking shoes. Thin enough to be light on the feet, and just enough coverage so you don’t feel barefoot 😂