How To Pack A Carry On For Holiday Travel

5 Cities and 1 Carry on. Not my typical packing situation. We were going to Mykonos, Santorini and London for my good friend’s birthday. Between these Europeans cities there was going to be a lot of plane changing and even traveling by water on some ferries between islands. I was talking to my friend about how much luggage she was bringing and she said she was only going to bring a carry on. No checked bags for an 11 day vacation to Europe is not my typical M.O. She said I was free to check a bag, but she wasn’t waiting for me if my baggage got lost. Ha. Said in a joking, but serious manner of course. ;). I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of lugging around a ton of bags either between cities. We all know how fun that is. And when you’re traveling with a large group, you’re at the mercy of other people’s schedules.

Not only were we going to these 3 cities in Europe, but I was traveling to Chicago first to meet with my friend. Then we would go together to NYC to leave from there to London. Therefore, I had a few extra days to pack for…

Here are my tips.

1.    Get a good multi purpose suitcase! I’m in love with the new Away luggage. This isn’t an advertisement for them, but I’ve found their luggage to be not only affordable, but great for packing. They also come with portable chargers which is great when you’re on the go and always have a phone that is dying (why is my battery always almost dying anyway?). They have a couple different compartments and bags to also pack toiletries or smaller personal items.
2.    Roll Roll Roll!!!! Rolling has been the best number 1 trick that has allowed me to pack almost double. Rather than lying your clothes flat. Learn to roll. There are YouTube tutorials galore. But rolling your clothes allows you to fit in everything you want.
3.    Mix and Match. Pack items that you can mix and match. Skirts, pants, tops – that can create different looks together. Also, jewelry is my secret to changing up and elevating a look. If you’re interested in how you can change a look in these ways – comment below and I’ll do a separate post. 
4.    Do Laundry. If you’re going to be gone for a while and going to different cities you can re-wear some items and do laundry. I packed one outfit that I would always wear on the planes since we had so many different flights. You can ask your hotel, or if you’re staying at an Airbnb – if you can do your laundry. 
5.    Plan all your outfits in advance. This is key to packing light. I can be like everyone else and want to pack options in case I change my mind that day. You have to get serious with yourself though. We all have items of clothing that we never wear, but think – oh I’ll wear it on this vacation. Then pack it, and still don’t wear it. Try on all your outfits before you leave! Take pictures in your phone of you wearing them and create an album of what outfits you’ll wear on what days. This will help you to avoid bringing things you won’t wear by trying it all on together before hand. You’ll be able to see if your still as into that dress for this vacation as you were thinking before. This takes some time, but it will all be worth it. I changed my mind a couple times, but wound up finally deciding on the keys pieces I wanted to bring. Our trip had each day planned which made me know in advanced which outfits I would need to bring. Luckily, a lot of it was spending time in a bathing suit in Greece which makes packing light easier too. If you’re going on a trip that doesn’t have each day planned, then try to pack outfits that are multi-purpose. Also, consolidate those shoes! You’re not going to wear all those heels. Bring one pair for walking, one pair for dressing up, and then tennis shoes for working out or sandals if you’re heading to the beach. 

Do any of you have any tips that work for you when traveling? Let me know which tip was the most helpful for you, and if you’re going to try any of these for your next vacation. Also, feel free to share with any of your friends who are planning their next big trip soon, but need some help packing!

Bon Voyage!

Jess x

My Trip to Saint Petersburg

I had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year in Zara Arshakian’s hometown of Saint Petersburg. Her family and friends welcomed me and showed me what the city had to offer. I was blown away by the beautiful European architecture, history and normalcy of everyday life. I loved how cultured the city was and how there was such a focus on the arts and music. I wanted to share it with you as I was experiencing the city for the first time. See below for my entire trip.

Second video is how we celebrated the New Year in traditional Saint Petersburg and Armenian style ;). Cheers!

xx Jess

My Visit to Istanbul and Cappadocia

I had an amazing adventure in Turkey experiencing the diverse and rich cutlure. I was able to visit both Istanbul and Cappadocia. I say it was an adventure because two days after we entered the country they stopped giving visas to America’s due to increased tensions between the US and Turkey. Luckily, we were okay to safely stay and still enjoy the country. One of our tour guides was joking with us saying we were famous “as the last American’s in Turkey ;).” 

The people of Turkey were very kind and welcoming to us. Istanbul is a large metropolitan city with diversity in every aspect. It is beyond any stereotype you may mention. We also visited the kind owner of Yoruk Collection. They employ a jewelry designer who has created jewelry for many of the Hollywood movies like Lord of the Rings and The Other Boleyn Girl.

Below is snapshot of my trip.


X Jess