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How To Pack For An Extended Vacation With Carry-on Only

How to Pack for an Extended Vacation with Carry-on Only

I travel a lot and what I most enjoy at the end of a flight, especially a long one, is walking off the plane with my carry-on knowing I don’t have to wait for up to an hour to pick up a checked bag. On my recent two week trip to Morocco I went carry-on even though I planned a diversity of experiences including a two day backpacking trip, city walks, dusty off the beaten path walks, beach and pool time along with a camel ride in the Sahara Desert.

How to Pack for an Extended Trip with Carry-on Only

What I wore backpacking

Packing carry-on for Morocco or any other warm weather exotic destination

Morocco was tough to pack for. Temperatures were all over the place dropping to below freezing on a couple of nights yet afternoons were warm enough that you could sit by the pool – if there was one.

How to Pack for an Extended Vacation with Carry-on Only

A treat to sit my a pool with a good book – in February in a bathing suit with a cover-up

How to Pack for an Extended Trip with Carry-on Only

Perfect cover-up for Morocco

Packing List for Morocco

If you really want to travel light you have to pack smart and take emotion out of the equation. Forgot the favourite top if it doesn’t work with your colour palette. Stick to the necessities. And you can always augment your wardrobe while on your trip.

Here’s what I took.

  • 3 pairs of quick drying underwear
  • 2 bras
  • 1 bathing suit and cover-up 
  • 1 pair of lightweight Arcteryx pants that I wore on the plane, out for dinner….
  • 1 pair of baggy Arc’teryx pants that worked well for a couple of longer days in the car and for backpacking.
  • 1 pair pants for dinner
  • 1 dress (never wore it)
  • 1 fleece (used every day)
  • 1 long sleeved T-shirt (wish I’d had two)
  • 1 Arcteryx shell jacket (good for cool nights)
  • 3 collared shirts (don’t expect to find irons in hotel rooms)
  • 3 short sleeved shirts and one t-shirt that has a pocket in front for your passport (wore on the plane)
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 lightweight sweater
  • 2 belts
  • 1 scarf – a must have item; take 2 if you’re going to Morocco or buy one there
  • One pair Birkenstocks, one pair lightweight hiking shoes, one dressier scandals (wore once)
How to Pack for an Extended Trip with Carry-on Only

There are no fashion police in the desert so who says the cover-up can’t do double duty

Non-clothing related items 

  • DSL camera with two lenses and a battery recharger
  • A lightweight tripod but only if you think it’s a real necessity
  • Computer and charger
  • Smart phone and charger
  • Notebook and a couple of pens
  • At least two good books
  • Eye mask
  • Several protein bars
  • Toiletries
  • Travel documents
  • Multiple plugs for Morocco
  • Eucalan wash for clothes – grapefruit scent
  • Knapsack and a carry-on suitcase

Click on the photo below to pin.

How to Pack for an Extended Vacation with Carry-on Only

Leigh McAdam

 

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Weight and volume are key for extended period minimalist carry-on travel. Re: your list, I’d probably take more underwear, at 5 pairs, and I’d swap the hard copy books for a Kindle. Your website is unique in that you travel for active vacations.

    Happy 10th Year Anniversary!

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