When I bought my plane ticket to Thailand, I felt my heart start to race. Yes, I was excited, but what actually got my heart racing what when I realized that my ticket did NOT come with a checked bag included, nor did any of the AirAsia flights we would book to travel within the country once we got there. Yup—I, Austen Tosone, self-identified fashion obsessee, beauty junkie and notorious overpacker—was going to have to travel around Thailand for two weeks with a bag that could safely and securely fit in the overhead compartments of an aircraft.
But guess what? I FREAKING DID IT. And I am here to tell my tale and make sure that you, too, can succeed in packing for two weeks with just carry-on luggage and still have plenty of fashionable moments on your trip, if I do say so myself.
Now, keep in mind the weather in Thailand was high 80’s pretty much the entire time I was there and six days of my trip were spent at the beach, so I had that working in my favor. If you’d asked me to do this for a trip to Europe in the middle of winter, I’m not sure I would have been so successful.
As I mentioned in my how to pack a carry-on for a long weekend post from my Nashville trip, the things that tend to thwart me with the carry-on regulations are liquids and shoes, since both add extra weight and liquids must be contained to one quart-sized bag. Be sure to check out that post for even more tips on how to pack a carry-on bag. Also, if you’d like to see my best beauty travel hacks, read this post here.
Here’s a breakdown of what I packed:
2 maxi dresses
1 short dress
2 pairs of flowy pants
2 pairs of shorts
1 pair of running shorts
1 pair of leggings
1 rain jacket
3 one piece swimsuits
4 bikini tops
3 bikini bottoms
2 weeks worth of underwear
7 pairs of socks
1 pair of flat sandals
1 pair of flip flops
1 pair of sneakers
2 pairs of sunglasses
Makeup + Skincare
Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser
Milk Makeup Matcha Toner
Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream (poured into travel bottle)
Glossier Priming Moisturizer
RealTechniques Beauty Blender (similar)
Glossier Skin Tint in Medium
Too Faced Born this Way Concealer
Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Rimmel London Lift me Up Mascara in Extreme Black
Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush
Sigma E60 Large Shading Brush
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz
Tarte Make Magic Happen Palette
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Camera and charger
Extra camera battery
Extra memory cards
Phone and charger
Kindle and charger
Fabric bag for laundry
Here’s what I bought when I got there:
1 pair of flowy pants
1 tank top
Coin purse (so I wouldn’t have to take my whole wallet out each time we left the room)
Elephant crossbody bag (a gift from the Elephant Sanctuary)
So overall, not only did I survive traveling with just a carry-on bag but I prefered it. We traveled a lot within the country and trying to track down a checked bag on all of those flights would have added time and stress to our travels. Occasionally I’d spot a girl in a big floppy hat and a full face of makeup dragging a giant suitcase through the sand, and it made me realize I was much happier with my sandals and my small duffel bag that I could sling over my shoulder. If I had found the right one before I left, I think I could have even done this trip with a backpack.
But this wasn’t a backpacking trip, it was actually a romantic vacation with my awesome boyfriend so you can’t blame a girl for occasionally wanting to put on some highlighter and mascara rather than go bare-faced. But if you’re cool to go without makeup, then by all means feel free to skip it!
The product I missed the most that I will definitely be transferring into a travel-sized bottle for my next trip was Glossier’s Milky Jelly cleanser. I’ve raved about this cleanser before (and even compared it to two others just to make sure it was really the best one for me) and I experienced some significant breakouts in its absence. I also missed my Glossier Super Pure serum which usually helps make my breakouts look much less severe than they actually are.
One thing I really wish I had brought for the trip is a GoPro. I’ve seen videos that people have made with GoPros before but I think it would have been awesome for the trip, considering we had some awesome 360 degree views and did some snorkeling too. I think for a trip like this, it would be worth the investment.
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Have you ever gone on a long trip with just a carry-on? What are your packing tips?