How to Pack for Holiday Travel in Your Carry-On

How to Pack for Holiday Travel in Your Carry-On

Holiday travel is a cherished annual tradition for many, but it can also be a logistical challenge. In 2023, as travel is expected to surge, optimizing your packing strategy becomes more important than in seasons past. With airlines charging a premium to check luggage, more and more passengers are traveling with their carry-on bags which can lead to longer security wait times. We've prepared five expert tips to help you navigate the bustling holiday season with ease and style, ensuring you're well-prepared without the need to check a suitcase.

 Flat lay image of a toiletry bag with common skincare items for travel displayed.  Items include shampoo, toothbrush, cotton swabs, lotion, and PM POWER PACK by KICK PEACH BEAUTY

Start with a Packing List

Preparation is key when it comes to packing efficiently. Start by making a list of the various events you will be attending and participating in while you are on travel. From there, make a list of attire, clothing, accessories, and toiletry items you need to pack. A list ensures you don't forget any essentials and minimizes the temptation to overpack, which leads us to our second tip..


Choose the Right Pieces to Pack

Opt for classic pieces and clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched. Think jeans that can look cute paired with a casual sweater and sneakers and can also be dressed up with heels, a blouse, and a blazer.  In general, great multi-purpose pieces should be well-made and are often in solid colors.  If you have not checked out BLEUSALT, they are worth the click.  Their elevated items are perfectly comfortable and ideal for mixing and matching into your wardrobe.  We love their perfect t-shirt dress in camel or navy.

Our favorite travel pieces by BLEUSALT included are a variety of cozy, travel clothing items that include joggers, t-shirt dress, unisex hoodie

Another tip to streamline your packing is to stick with a color scheme for the trip.  A color scheme is a traveler’s dream because it allows you streamline bulky accessories such as shoes, sweaters, jackets into one grouping that works with all your outfits.  Leverage light-weight accessories to change up your looks effortlessly.


Roll Don’t Fold + Use Packing Cubes

If you haven’t ventured into the element of packing cubes, we have one thing to say.  Run, don’t walk to Amazon- here is a link to order them now.  Packing cubes help you optimize open or empty dead space within your suitcase and help you organize your attire easily while you are on the go.  Packing cubes also lend themselves nicely to rolling vs. folding which reduces wrinkling in clothing but also creates more optimized space within your suitcase because sizing is consistent. They also make an awesome gift!

Images of a set of ivory color4ed packing cubes in small, medium, and larger sizes.

Don’t Make This Mistake

The Travel Security Administration or TSA, limits liquids to 3.4 oz containers (or less) and must fit in one clear, quart size bag.  According to TSA, the most confiscated items by far are large toothpaste tubes, deodorant, and lotions.  To ensure your items make it through security with ease, use travel sized silicone containers and downsize your favorite daily products. 

On the note of daily products, when you travel it can be tempting to take those random skincare samples with you. Climate variables, changes in dietary habits, variation in sleep habits, and often added stress of the holidays make your skin prime for irritation and breakouts.  Maintain your skincare routine while on the go and skip the samples. Like your other toiletries, downsize your favorite skincare products into TSA approved travel containers.  If you find that travel containers are too large, during the holiday season many brands offer gift-size or travel-size versions.  Also, consider waterless skincare products such as soaps, bars, or powders. Waterless products are often lightweight for packing and don’t leak or spill.  The PM POWER PACK is an multi-tasking night treatment, that is lightweight, spill-proof and the perfect travel companion to keep your skin glowing.

Here is a checklist from TSA so you are flight-ready!

Security line in the airport with a prominent TSA sign 

Think Ahead for Gifts

If you are traveling and exchanging gifts, consider using direct delivery services and wrapping items upon arrival. If you need to pack gifts with you, be sure to leave them unwrapped.  While wrapped gifts are allowed through security, TSA reserves the right to open them.  When in doubt, leave them unwrapped.  Gift bags, ribbons and tissue can be readily picked up in your arrival city or packed easily in a carry-on suitcase.  Just remember, no scissors in your carry-on bag.  Lastly, we often think about getting gifts to our destination, but many forget about getting received gifts home, especially if we had our gifts delivered. Our last expert tip, bring a fold-able bag or backpack for your own items to carry-on back home.


Holiday travel in 2023 promises to be exciting and memorable. Taking the time to think through your packing strategy can help make your travels just a little bit easier. Travel is a time to enjoy those you love and to celebrate the holidays.  Cheers to you and yours!

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Holiday travel, travel skincare, waterless skincare

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