One Bag Travel Tips: Packing Checklist For The Minimalist Traveler

There are two types of people in this world: those who pack their suitcase a few days before their trip and those who pack at the very last minute.

I’m the latter.

Laying down the groundwork for travel outfits a mere 12 hours before jet-set is stressful enough for the Fashionista.

I’d argue that tiptoeing around the suitcase weight limit can push the Procrastination Queen over the edge – especially if she has to pay an extra fee at the airport when her cup of coffee hasn’t pumped its way through her veins yet.

I want your blood pressure to remain ⬇️low⬇️ as you fly ⬆️high⬆️, Sugar, which is why I put together the ultimate, one bag travel tips as I pack for my 30th birthday shenanigans in New Orleans this weekend.

The one bag travel tips I offer below disclose my secrets for what the best suitcase is, picking out my outfits and toiletries, the choice between rolling or folding clothes, and packing a carry-on versus checking a bag.

Table of Contents

    One Bag Travel Tips: Packing Checklist For The Minimalist Traveler

    *Disclosure: I only recommend travel products or experiences I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

    For my dirty-30 trip to The Big Easy, I am flying Sun Country – an airline that allows passengers the option to carry one free personal item or pay for an overhead for $38. Similarly, you can check a bag for the same legal tender.

    Normally, I would opt-in for checking a bag when flying Sun Country since the airline allows you to have a bigger suitcase and it’s the same price as a carry-on. However, I decided on a carry-on since we will be on a time-crunch to get to a cemetery tour shortly after we land. In other words, we don’t want to waste time waiting at the baggage claim in NOLA.

    For luggage, you’ll want to resolve whether to rock a hard-side or soft-side suitcase. I would recommend a hard-side suitcase because they can handle a little maltreatment when traveling aloft or stowed down unda’.

    Once you’ve selected your suitcase, it’s time for packing to commence.

    Let’s break down what fashion and beauty items I’m smuggling across the Louisiana border with me this weekend.

    One Bag Travel Tips: My Packing List

    One bag travel tips | Packing checklist for the minimalist traveler |
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    Photo Credit: Stock Image

    What’s In My Carry-On Luggage

    One bag travel tips | Packing checklist for the minimalist traveler |
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    What’s In My Personal Item Bag:

    I absolutely LOVE t-shirt dresses because you can wear them casually with sneakers during the day for exploring the city. Subsequently, you can doctor the dresses up with heels and jewelry when tackling dinner and drinks.

    I notoriously sport the same outfit on my departure and arrival which usually consists of a ball cap, sweatshirt, yoga pants, and converse shoes. In the same vein, it saves me from having to pack an extra travel day outfit. Plus, we will have a washer and dryer at our adorable Airbnb.

    If you’re going with a group of gals, you don’t all need to pack your own hair appliances. Sharing is caring!

    I said it once in the blog post, Travel Size Beauty Products I Geek Out Over, and I’ll say it again: dry shampoo is my favorite when on-the-go. The BEST travel size dry shampoo product is by Batiste.

    Other Packing Pointers To Make Life Easier

    There are few things more annoying than trying to balance a suitcase that keeps falling over because it’s too top-heavy. This is to say, make sure that when you’re packing that you place your heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase when it’s standing up on its wheels.

    Get crafty with your space! For example, stuff your panties and socks in your shoes, roll your clothes, and take advantage of packing cubes. I use the Miamica Women’s Packing Cubes 3-piece set.

    You’ll need easier access to the items you’ll want to use during your time at the airport and while you’re in-flight. In short, make sure you place them in the outside pockets.

    Put your liquids in bottles that are 3.4 ounces or smaller. Moreover, place them all in a clear quart-size bag. I use the Vitog Travel Bottles Kit from Amazon.

    Weigh your bag on a scale at home before heading to the airport. As a result, this will ensure your bag is under the airline’s suitcase weight limit.

    handle of suitcase on street
    Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on

    Here’s a not-so-fun fact for y’all:

    25 million bags get lost every year at airports.


    If that doesn’t give you a swift kick in the ….

    …..then I don’t know what will.

    Keep anything you don’t want to misplace in your personal item bag that you bring with you on the plane. Most importantly, keep any personal identification, car keys, medications, technology, etc. with you at all times when flying. As a result, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache compared to the 25 million flyers who didn’t do the same.

    There are times you may have to pack fragile items. Certainly, wrap it with bubble wrap or clothes that you are taking along for your trip. Above all, just don’t pack something you can’t fathom breaking.

    One Bag Travel Tips Summary

    My birthday wish is that I leave my last-minute packing tendencies behind in my 20s as I transition to being 30, flirty, and thriving.

    In summary:

    • A hard side suitcase is almost always better
    • Choose a carry-on verses checked bag depending on how long your trip is, how quick you need to get out of the airport after you land, or based on the cost difference
    • Pack outfits that you can wear all day and night because you can dress it up or down with shoes and/or accessories
    • Wear the same outfit on your travel days
    • If you’re going with a group of gals, assign everyone to bring one hair product so that you’re not all bringing the same thing that takes up way too much room in your suitcase
    • Organize your suitcase with packing cubes and by rolling or folding clothes
    • Pack toiletries in travel-size, clear bottles and bags
    • Weigh your bag at home before heading to the airport
    • Place items you need to have access to in reachable spots in suitcase
    • Pack heavier items at bottom of suitcase where the wheels are
    • Always keep important items with you at all times and not in your suitcase

    Do me a favor, would ya? Take these packing tips I just gave you and thrive right on with me, Baby!

    Do you prefer to roll or fold your clothes when you pack? Share with me in the comments!

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