Travel Adventures: How We Packed 3 People for 3 Days in 1 Carry-On

PJ and I decided a long time ago while travelling that we would be light packers. When we traveled to China for 10 days our whole group was amazed that we didn’t pack huge suitcases. I was super panicked that our bags would get lost on one of our many flights internationally and in country so we each had a carry on and a personal bag for the entire trip. As we headed to Cleveland this past weekend, now with a baby in tow, everyone was surprised again when we managed to fit everything we needed for all three of us in just ONE carry-on and ONE diaper bag. So, I thought I would share how we did it!


I learned if you take a very systematic approach to packing, you could fit a lot more that you think in a small space. We used the Skyline 21” Spinner Carry On Luggage from Target as our one carry on and we used PJ’s diaper bag the Skip Hop Swift Change Diaper Bag for our personal item, you can find links to both of those bags at the bottom of this post. I planned to wear the baby through our travels so I figured PJ would carry our bags most of the time. Let’s be honest, I always make PJ carry everything regardless, hah!


Our flight to Cleveland left on Thursday night at 9pm, so we wore comfortable clothes that we planned to sleep in once we arrived and our return flight left at 7pm on Sunday so we only really needed to pack clothes for 3 days and 2 nights. Most of our stuff went in the suitcase.


For Adelaide I packed:


2 blankets

3 burb rags

2 bibs

4 sleepers

6 onesies

6 leggings

2 jumpers/rompers


I always pack double for the baby because she soils her clothes pretty quickly, but this was excessive. We definitely could have gotten away with fewer onesies and leggings.


For Myself I packed:


2 pairs of pants

2 leggings

4 shirts

1 pair of sleep shorts

2 t-shirts

3 nursing bras

4 pairs of underwear

1 extra pair of shoes

Basically an outfit for each day plus one extra.


PJ packed:


3 pairs of pants

4 shirts

1 pair of sleep shorts

2 t-shirts

4 pairs of underwear

A man doesn’t need much for a relaxed weekend.


We also fit our toothbrushes, my makeup minus liquids, and the headrest to Adelaide’s car seat in our carry on.


I fit this all in by laying the blankets and burp cloths flat at the bottom of the suitcase, then layering all the baby clothes flat on top of those. I then placed all of our pants, button ups, and blouses folded and stacked on top. The sleep shorts and t-shirts I rolled and stuffed into any remaining space on the top, bottom, and sides of the suitcase. The toothbrushes, make up bag, shoes, and the headrest all fit in the front zipper pockets of the bag.


Iin the diaper bag I packed:


1 extra sleeper

1 extra onesie

2 light blankets

1 burp cloth

2 bibs

2 light blankets

6 headbands

1 pack of wipes

8 diapers

1 phone charger

1 wubbanub

2 soothies


We also stuck our 1 bag of liquids in the diaper bag for easy access through security. Our liquids bag had our toothpaste, mouthwash, liquid make up, diaper rash cream, and vitamin E for baby. The diaper bag also comes with a changing pad which really came in handy.


We didn’t need any shampoo or soaps because we were staying with friends that let us use a lot of their toiletries. If you’re staying in a hotel you can forget most of your toiletries because the hotel will provide most of those for you. Another little tip I would give is not to stress that you’re forgetting something. I’m pretty sure there is a store wherever you are going that will have something you need if you forget it.


So, that’s how we did it! We even had room in both bags to bring some gifts and random things we bought home with us. What are some of your best travel tips for travelling light? Let us know in the comments!


Happy Adventures!




You can find the carry on bag HERE and the diaper bag HERE.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published