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Also take a look at How to Make the Perfect Travel Toiletry Bag
I have been a flight attendant for over 6 years now, and I’ve learned that when it comes to packing – less is more! It took me years to figure this out, and packing was always a pain. Now I have a system where I pack pretty much all of the same items every time I work. I just wash them in between trips.
I was even featured in The Wall Street Journal for tips on how to pack your carry-on travel bag! I discussed how I was able to pack 10 days worth of clothes for my honeymoon in Europe into only my carry-on bag.
I was able to do this by making a capsule wardrobe, where I have basic items that I can mix and match to create new outfits.
With my job, I always have to come prepared for any type of weather because I have had days where I was scheduled to layover in Seattle in the winter, but ended up in South America.
Everything I am linking is a product that I own or own something almost identical. This list should get you through at least 10 days! I did laundry once in those 10 days, so that is something to keep in mind. Every big city should have access to a laundromat.
This is for a basic wardrobe, if you are going somewhere guaranteed to be super hot / cold, adjust the list as needed
This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclaimer
First of all, this is the brand of suitcase I use every single day:
**Always check the dimensions of approved carry-ons with the airline you are traveling on**
I also always travel with this backpack!! It’s sooo handy because it can hold so much – so any overflow from my suitcase goes into it. I put it under the seat in front of me when traveling on a plane.
Packing Cubes are a great idea
These will help you stay organized and have less bulk in your suitcase
What to Pack
I like to stick with neutral colors- white, black, tan, blue, etc. because they can be mixed and matched easier. You can bring one or two colorful items to mix it up if you want
1. Basic T-Shirts (2 to 4)
You can’t go wrong with black and white
2. Blouse or Button Down Shirt (1 or 2)
3. Sweater (1)
4. Cardigan (1)
5. Light Jacket (1 or both if you also want a rain jacket)
6. Black Pants (1)
These are sooo comfortable!! This is what I usually wear on long flights
7. Jeans / Jean Shorts (1 or both)
8. Khakis (or pants in another color of your choosing) (1)
9. Casual Black Dress (1)
10. Another Dress for Special Occasions (1)
Activewear / Loungewear
This is also what I usually sleep in
11. Shirts / Tops (1-2)
12. Leggings (1)
13. Other Comfy Pants / Shorts (1)
These are my favorite comfy pants! I bring them everywhere
Shoes can take up a lot of space in your luggage – I specifically look for smaller shoes that will pack easily
Tip: Wear the largest shoes you’re bringing on the plane
14. Black Flats (1)
You can also bring nude flats if you think those will go with more than black. I own both from the brand I’m linking
15. White Sneakers (1)
16. Walking/Running Shoes (1)
I like these because they can be compressed really easily and take up very little space in your bag
17. Sandals (1)
18. Bathing Suit (1)
I always like to pack a swimsuit even if I’m going somewhere cold – just incase!
19. Socks / Underwear / Bras
I don’t need to link you to these lol
20. Small Bag
I don’t like to carry a big purse / backpack all day, so I bring this bag with me everywhere so I can be comfortable when I’m out and about all day
21. Packable Jacket (1)
I roll this up and put it in my backpack for the entire winter! It’s amazing and surprisingly warm. If it’s extra cold outside, I wear a light jacket under it
22. Fleece Lined Tights (1-2)
These are actually the tights I wear with my uniform every time I work! They’re just so comfortable. These are great to wear with a dress in the winter
This is what I had in my bag for a 10 day trip to Europe! When I am working as a flight attendant, I don’t always have every single one of these items – but I do always have about 5 days worth of clothes with me at all times (you never know if you will get stuck somewhere!)
What I always have in my suitcase for work:
- Basic T-shirts
- Cardigan or Button Down Shirt
- Lightweight Jacket
- Jeans or Jean Shorts
- Black Pants
- Casual Black Dress
- Activewear Shirts
- Comfy Pants or Shorts
- Black Flats
- Running Shoes
- Bathing Suit
- Multiple Socks / Bras / Underwear
- Small Bag
- Extra Tights
- Packable Jacket (from late fall to early spring)
So almost everything I listed!!
These stay in my suitcase and I just wash them when I get home then immediately return them to my bag.
Is there anything else you bring that I forgot? Let me know in the comments!