How to Pack a Carry-On Bag for a Three Week Trip

May 15, 2014

When you're on book tour, you're in a different city every day.  Most days you have to get up early – really early – to make a 6 or 7 a.m. flight.  (Two days ago I had a 5 a.m. flight, which meant getting up at 3.)  And you're always in a hurry; that 5 a.m. flight was late, which meant I started the first interview of the day in a cab, then walked into the radio station, still talking, to take my seat.

It requires a little strategy.  You don't have time to wait for luggage, so you have to carry on.  And you need a seat in the front of the plane, so you can get your suitcase into the overhead bin before they run out of space.

When I found out that the tour for my novel, Delicious! was more than three weeks long, I panicked. I was going to be in wildly different temperatures (so far the range has been from the thirties to a high of 96). How was I possibly going to manage to get what I needed into a carry-on bag?

I'm ten days in, and so far it's working.  Here's what I've got with me (in addition to two pairs of shoe, a pair of sandals, underwear, a curling iron and the usual toiletries).


Three pairs of black pants (one J-Jeans, two Uniqlo) and two jackets (one Zelda, one very ancient Yamamoto).


Five tops (1 Indian silk, 1 Dosa, 1 washable silk, 1 Tory Burch tunic, 1 Moroccan striper).


Three tee shirts (all J. Crew).


One skirt, one dress (Theory), one dress (vintage).


Assorted jewelry, mostly antique.

And finally, the ubiquitous and very useful puffer (Uniqlo).  Airplanes are always freezing – and it doubles as a pillow.


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  • Sherry T says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t hear about your visit to Seattle until tonight! I would have loved to go.

  • Awesome job! My boyfriend and I refuse to check baggage! Our last flight home was delayed 36 hours-we were SO thankful we could just walk right out of the airport and not have to worry about having what we needed! Its definitely saved us more than its hurt (which has been never).