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This post is sponsored by American Tourister. As always, all opinions are my own and I only share products I truly love and use. How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

After so many requests, I am so excited to share with you how I pack my carry-on for summer! It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been waiting for the right time to go through the method to the madness. These past years, spending most of the time on the road, I’ve really dialed in how I pack and like to travel. I almost exclusively travel with a carry-on only and these past three months have been traveling with the American Tourister Moonlight 21″ Spinner. I’ve found the benefits of of traveling with a carry-on means less time waiting at baggage and ease of travel.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

I was drawn to American Tourister for their hardside suitcase collection as they are much more durable (trust me I took this one through all weather conditions in Bali and it held to the task.) These spinner suitcases make it very easy to push, relieving any strain on your back as well. As this Moonlight Spinner is lightweight, it means you can be more easily under the weight limit for airlines too — did you know many airlines are now weighing carry-ons? Paired with a retractable handle, the split case with two compartments, a mesh blouse pocket that zips close on one side and the ability to expand 1.5″ means it has everything you’ll need for a carry-on.

So after around the world and back, I wanted to share this special guide for how I pack my carry-on for summer with the American Tourister Moonlight Spinner. Check it out!

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

I think the first step to packing any carry-on, is dialing in what you will actually put into it. What I usually do is put out all of the clothes I think I’ll need, check the weather, and start putting away an non-essentials. All of my bottoms and tops can mix and match easily as well. My packing list for summer usually looks like this:

  • 3 pairs of shoes (an espadrille, one pair of rubber flip flops, one leather sandals, and I’ll wear sneakers on the plane)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 loose pant and workout pants (I’ll wear one on the plane)
  • 1-2 dresses
  • 2 bikinis
  • Undergarments
  • 4-5 tops
  • 1 loose jacket (I’ll wear this on the plane)
  • Toiletries
  • Longchamp backpack that folds flat inside to use as day bag.

Packing the carry-on…. 

Tip 1: Use packing cubes.
This is a game changer and helps keep your suitcase organized. On the zip side of the American Tourister bag, I’ll put in my packing cube to keep my tops organized so I don’t tear through my suitcase. I love these packing cubes in particular. If you’re looking for more efficient traveler tips, checkout this blog post.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

Tip 2: Roll everything.
I swear by rolling everything, literally. I’ll roll my shirts into the packing cube, and then place my bottoms rolled, around the cube. Other items like the swimsuits fit around the side.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

Tip 3: Place dresses flat on top.
I always lay my dresses flat on top of the packing cube as it helps keep them wrinkle-free.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

Tip 4: Use the other side for accessories and shoes.
I always use the buckled side of the American Tourister suitcase as the place for all of my loose items. I stack my shoes, keeping items as neatly organized as possible. My toiletries are minimal and I use refillable travel bottles for nearly everything inside a leak-free bag.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

Tip 5: Use the zipper pouch for organization.
The pouch inside the Moonlight is perfect for being organized so I usually pop in my vitamin case in there.

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

Tip 6: Don’t overpack.
I know this may be cliché but I swear every time I overpack, I end up wishing I had saved a little bit of room for that splurge purchase. Worst case if you do, this American Tourister suitcase can expand 1.5″ so you can fit in a few extra things!

How I Pack My Carry-On for Summer

My latest trip I brought my carry-on with, was on a weekend adventure to my hometown of Auburn, California. We stayed at the stunning Park Victorian overlooking the city (pictured here).

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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:



  1. I am travelling solo next month only with a carry on and this article really helped me.
    Thank you

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