The Art of the Carry-On

I love to travel. Love it. I am one of those people who gets genuinely excited about the idea of planning my next trip. In my current role, international travel is a job requirement so I've had to learn how to quickly overcome jetlag, entertain myself during 10+ hour flights and ensure I look professional on very little sleep. It's required me to become quite the travel ninja and has made packing for a quick weekend away something I can now accomplish in under 15 minutes flat.

Let's get started.

If your weekend plans are a plane ride away, you do not need anything bigger than carry-on luggage. Trust me. Map out exactly what your plans are for the weekend, what you'll need to wear for each dinner, event, activity and then edit from there. Heading to Palm Springs in June? You probably don't need to bring three cableknit sweater options. Packing for a ski trip in Canada? Leave the gauzy caftans and sandals at home. Catch my drift? And always, always roll your clothes. Never fold. You'll eliminate creases and it usually leaves you with a bit more space than expected.

I don't think it's necessary to break the bank when it comes to luggage but if you travel often, your carry on will get more use than your passport, so it really should be something you enjoy pushing around. I'm a big fan of The Carry-On from Away and at $225, it's a win. Functionally minimal design with an unbreakable shell and a built-in USB charger? Sign me up.

Because every hotel isn't the Fairmont Chateau Whistler with their endless Le Labo minis, Aesop's four bottle Jet Set Kit is exactly what you need for a weekend of showers. Flight size bottles of Aesop’s Classic Shampoo, Classic Conditioner, Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, and Rind Concentrate Body Balm smell delicious and are small enough to toss right into your carry-on.

Above all else, do everything in your power to ensure you're comfortable. Air travel can be trying (at best) but if you're prepared, you can create a cozy little haven for yourself. Dress in layers because as you know, planes are often frigid and airports are usually stuffy. A light tee, soft cardigan and an oversize cashmere scarf are perfect to pair with soft skinny jeans and remember, that cashmere scarf also doubles as a pillow. Pack a structured tote (something chic that you can also use a purse when you get to your destination) with a Kindle for entertainment, a bottle of water and enjoy some much deserved quiet time.

If your weekend plans involve a road trip, it may be tempting to over pack - I mean, there is all of that trunk space to work with and it's not like your husband is charging you $50 per bag like Delta would - but don't. As when traveling by plane, map out your plans for the weekend ahead, what you'll need to wear for each activity, edit from there and then pack. Living in Colorado, where you an easily experience four seasons in one day, there are almost always a couple of jackets in the car -- a raincoat in the summer and ski jacket in the winter. It's not the most fashionable but hey, weather is weather. I also rely heavily on scarves because a) I love them and b) they're an easily transportable accessory you can toss on when the sun drops behind in the mountains.

Instead of packing a hard case, toss your things into a leather Weekender. The name is obviously great but more importantly it's a classic and appropriate for every destination -- even camping if you're feeling a little extra. My favorite is Madewell's Transport Weekender and coming in under $300, you will absolutely get your money's worth.

If you're road-tripping during spring or summer months, you must bring sunblock - you'd be surprised with how many weird tan lines you can get by sitting with the windows down or the sun roof open. Sunglasses are a must - you can ever go wrong with a pair of tortoise Wayfarers - and since you probably have a long few hours in the car ahead of you, dress comfortably. The same layered look you'd wear on a plane (light tee, soft cardigan and a scarf) work perfectly in the car but this time, toss on a pair of soft leggings instead of jeans.

© 2017 by The Weekender.