Five days, one carry-on

For anyone who has flown with the budget airline Ryanair, you are probably familiar with their notoriously strict baggage rules. Their sizing for carry-on bags is actually smaller than most airlines (55cm x 40cm x 20cm -10 kg), and sometimes you'll see an employee walking around with this horrible metal box they slip over your luggage to check it's the right size. During my travels I've definitely seen some people try to pass their giant backpacks as carry-ons, so I understand the need for strict rules...but why the metal box?! Also, like a lot of budget airlines, the cost of checking a bag on Ryanair is usually almost equivalent to the cost of the entire flight.

So how do you pack everything you need into a carry-on?

I recently travelled to Barcelona and Madrid for five days, and was able to successfully fit everything I needed into one small carry-on suitcase. The weather was extremely hot and sunny, so I didn't need to bring any warm clothing which made things easier. I also wasn't doing any specific activities - for example, hiking or surfing - so I also didn't need any gear either. The clothing and many of the 'odds and ends' are pretty specific to me and my style, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can fit into your bag!


Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories

- Sandals (worn on the plane)

- Platform sandals (in case we decided to dress up in the evening)

- 6 pairs of underwear

- Black kimono (worn on the plane)

- Pajamas

- Bathing suit

- Yoga crop top

- Yoga pants

- Jewelry: 3 necklaces and bangle bracelets


- 3 pairs of shorts

- 3 tanks tops (black one was worn on the plane)

- A black romper (in case we decided to dress up in the evening)

- A bandeau and pasties

- One skirt (worn on the plane)


All the tops and bottoms could be mixed and matched, which gave me more outfit options. I actually didn't end up wearing the romper or the platform sandals, but I wore everything else at some point during the five days.



Everything was in a 100 ml container (or smaller). I usually only put the amount of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion I'll need into the bottles (rather than filling them) in order to reduce the weight slightly. I brought my post-wax serum since I had an appointment the day before I left, but I wouldn't always have this with me.

Each item is linked to the eco-friendly brands I love. The travel-sized containers are ones I've acquired over several years, but you can usually buy them at any drugstore through Amazon. Many of the products I use are purchased from iHerb, which has free worldwide shipping, and you can use the code NEW10 for 10% off your first order!



I don't wear a lot of make-up, so for me this was all I needed. I actually didn't even end up using the creme at all. Most of the products are linked, and a few can be purchased online or in-store from The Truth Beauty Company; use the code LUNAR15 for 15% off!


Odds & Ends


- Purse

- Blanket for the park/beach

- Sunglasses

- Lint brush

- Homemade chapstick (recipe here)

- Luggage lock

- Supplements and medication

- Hair ties


- Tea

- Cloth napkin

- Book

- Journal

- Pen

- Hand sanitizer

- Band-aids

- Safety pins

- Ginger candies


I also brought my camera and phone which aren't shown in the picture. I usually bring a Tide-to-Go pen with me too, but I couldn't find one! 

Over the years I have found these little 'just in case' items are helpful because it sucks when you have to buy a whole pack of band-aids or safety pins for just one. I always bring a lint brush (which my friends make fun of me for) because I wear a lot of black, and when you re-wear clothes sometimes using the lint brush makes them look a little fresher.


Finally, to keep everything organized, I use a double-sided packing cube for my clothes which is the greatest thing ever, a travel bag for my toiletries, and I have a cute little zipper pouch made from recycled plastic for my odds and ends - thanks Mum!


Did you find this post helpful? Was there something crucial that I missed? Comment below!