How To Be A Stylish When You Only Have Carry-On

For the last few months, my life has been an endless cycle of catching red-eye flights across the country to be a girlfriend for a couple of days, only to be back at the airport at 5am to arrive home in time to start work by 10am. Don’t get me wrong, being able to explore new cities with my boyfriend is GREAT, but it’s f***ing expensive to say the least.


Luckily, this frugal frequent flyer has mastered the art of the carry-on bag, which means I’m saving some serious coin on checked luggage (which adds up when you’re catching two flights per fortnight). And when I say carry-on, I usually travel with a tote bag, not a ‘this is my big Louis Vuitton travel duffle bag that fits a small child’ bag.


Makeup can weigh down your carry-on substantially, and when you’re jet-setting with budget airlines who actually WEIGH your carry-on to make sure it’s under 7kg, it’s crucial that you keep it simple with the cosmetics.

Rule #1: Never take full-sized products. Ask at your beauty counters for samples of your favourite eye cream, moisturiser, serum and even cleanser, they’re usually free and they save you a tonne of space when travelling.

Rule #2: Plan ahead. If you’re travelling for an event, have a clear plan of what kind of makeup look you’re going for. If it’s no biggie, aim for a simple-yet-chic glowy look with a winged liner and a bold lip. This involves minimal products, which saves you space (and you’ll look bangin’).

Rule #3: Multitask. Only pack brushes that are absolutely essential. Double points if you can use the same brush for two different products.


Whether it’s fashion week or a family reunion, I’m never going to sacrifice style for practicality, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have both. When it comes to my wardrobe, I generally keep things pretty neutral and monochromatic (unless of course, it’s my red, flared,  ruffled pants), which makes it pretty easy to recycle the same pieces for a bunch of different looks.

Rule #1: Wear your heaviest pieces.  Planes are always cold, even in the warmer months, which means you can easily pack a couple of extra kilos if you’re prepared to wear them.Layering is your best friend when it comes to packing light (or at least the illusion of packing light). The key to being a carry-on queen is wearing a sh*t load of clothes. Got a coat? Put it on. Got a multi-tasking silk scarf? Put that on too. Can you layer two shirts? Do that shit. To put it simply, wear everything you can without looking like you’re avoiding paying for extra luggage.

Rule #2: Think out your fancy footwear. Unless you’re a boss ass bitch who wears stilettos every day, think long and hard about your shoe choices. I’m making the assumption that your trip includes some evening events where your sneakers or loafers aren’t going to cut it, so wear some boots. A pair of thin-heeled booties can be worn out for evening events but are also comfortable and stylish when you’re walking through the mall or going out for breakfast with your bae. If you can only bring one extra pair of shoes, make sure you bring a pair of heeled booties and a pair of sneakers or loafers.

Rule #3: Black is always the new black. If you’re bringing a limited amount of clothing, keep that sh*t neutral. Blacks, greys, whites, maybe a camel, khaki or denim, but that’s it. Unless you really need those red pants, leave them at home.





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