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Master of the Carry-On

I travel almost every weekend. Rarely will I check a bag.  I’m a master of the carry-on.

So for Houston Life, the show I host, I was asked to share my secrets….and to push the envelope to see just how much I could get in a carry-on roller and personal item as the airlines call it.

It’s not about just packing light.  It’s about packing right.  So I set out to pack enough for at least two weeks with winter clothes including sweaters and a coat.  The trick to packing is to spend time in the prep.  Think about what you are going to be doing and pack clothes accordingly and ones you can mix and match.  You don’t need a brand new outfit for each day!  If you pack last minute, you’re almost always going to overpack….or way underpack.

We partnered with the Bag ‘N Baggage store in the Galleria .  They supplied me with a Tumi Voyager Mansion Carry-All and Tumi Voyageur Super Léger Continental 4 Wheeled Carry-On.

I fell in love with both pieces and it was hard to give them back after the segment!  Trust me – both are on my travel gear wish list.  They are made of a lightweight, yet durable, fabric and trimmed with leather.  They are sophisticated, stylish, timeless, durable yet elegant, and worthy of the Tumi name.

The Tumi Voyager Mansion Carry-All fits most 15″ laptops.  It has dual handles and is 10.5″ deep.  I love the extra zip pocket on the outside and the side slides for your water bottle.

Here’s what I packed in it:

Sweater wrap – I bought my dark red wrap while on a girls trip in San Francisco.  This Lululemon wrap doubles as a blanket on a flight and makes for a great layering wrap when traveling or just at home for days on the go.  I’ve worn it over everything from workout clothes to an extra layer over a lightweight jacket paired with jeans.  I loved it so much I bought a black one after I got home from that San Fran trip.  You may be able to still find one on sale in a Lulu store.

Quart bag liquids  – here’s travel trick – replenish when unpacking from a trip so you are ready for the next.

Toiletries kit – same travel trick as quart bag liquids.

Emergency kit – snacks, teas, charger, tissues, and lip balm – check out my What’s in my emergency travel kit? blog for my emergency kit favs.

Flats – I have a pair of fold up flats I’ve had for a few years.  Mine are Ballasox.

2 purses (large purse and wallet purse) – both of mine are from Custard Boutique in my hometown of Greenville, SC.  I love my large purse which is black on one side and brown on the other.  It was a one-of-a-kind custom made purse for Custard, and now me!  My red Great Wallet is a travel staple since it fits my iPhone, money, cards, and even a lipgloss with ease.

Fingerless gloves and Winter hat

MacBook Pro

Magazine – I’m digital on a lot of things but there’s still something about having a mag in hand on a plane.  Yes, it’s old-school!

The Tumi Voyageur Super Léger Continental 4 Wheeled Carry-On is 22″x16″x9″ and weights 7.9 pounds.  So it’s lightweight and with four wheels, easy to maneuver through the airport.

Here’s my packing list.  It’s enough to take me through two weeks easily!  Just like the other bag, I’m also including brand or store where I bought items where I can remember.

Gray maxi dress – Kit and Ace – all of their pieces have some percentage of cashmere so they are great for travel.

Black Pants – Athleta – the Metro High Waisted Leggings are absolutely my favorite pants on the planet!  I have several pairs.

Black shirt – Calypso St. Barts – wish I had bought at least 2 of these!

Black tank

Gray sweater jacket – Ambiance San Francisco

Jeans – White House Black Market

Multi-color shirt – Ambiance San Francisco

Multi-color turtleneck – Ambiance San Francisco

Light pink duster sweater – Ambiance San Franciso

Black sweater – Cop Copine

Dark gray sweater – Athleta

Light gray sweater – Frinje boutique in Beaver Creek, CO

Black jacket – Vince from Saks

Pajamas – Victoria’s Secret

Gray oversized scarf – A La Mode boutique in Aspen, CO

Jewelry pouch – Bloom Union Station in Denver, CO

Riding boots – Sam Edelman on sale at Nordstrom


Sunglasses – Zeal Optics

Tennis shoes – Nike Juvenate Sneakers at Nordstrom

Workout outfit – Nike capris, Athleta sports bra, Athleta shirt – put them in an Eagle Creek packing cube along with Nike sneakers to keep workout gear together.

Workout pullover – Athleta

Hair straightener

Long coat – Benetton from Sausalito, CA

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