I meant to write this post when we returned from Austria but got sucked back into the daily grind. I was cleaning up the desktop when I realized I hadn’t ever written the post on how to travel with only carry on. We’ve done it twice now, first to the Southwest, and then skiing in Austria. Okay, well skiing in Austria we had to check the skis and ski bag, but other than that it was carry on only. And a word of caution, this will not work if you have to fly through Heathrow.

We packed two pairs of downhill skis and poles into a travel bag designed for snowboards. We have a matching skiboot bag that is designed to hold one person’s ski boots, with room between the two boots to hold ski clothes. We used this bag to hold both pairs of boots (stuffed with longjohns, ski socks, neck tubes, and facemasks), helmets (stuffed with goggles and other base layers), both pairs of ski pants, and my ski jacket (it’s too short to be useful without the ski pants).

You’re allowed to bring two pieces of carry on for overseas flights, but you should buy a lightweight one because they will weigh it.  Inside mine, I brought 2 turtleneck base layers, two fleece tops, a neoprene top, ski underwear, a hat, jeans, black cords, 4 pairs underwear, sports bra, one regular bra, 2 pairs socks,  one dressy lightweight sweater, merino sweater, slinky party top, bathing suit, andyoga pants and t-shirt (for PJs).

For toiletries, only bring the essential stuff, and in small containers (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc).  Don’t forget an emery board and nail clippers (your hands will get dry).  Bring a facecloth too. They’re nowhere to be found in Europe. And in case of sinus problems, cold capsules are a must, as is kleenex.  If you stay in an apartment, bring a hairdryer. I have a European one because on our second visit the pension didn’t have one so we had to buy local. I also bring a bar of ivory soap and small packages of clothes detergent. Obviously for a two-week holiday you need to wash your clothes.  And lastly, because we’re cheap, we bring a traveling shopping bag and a bunch of small ziploc bags (great for pre-peeled oranges while skiing and sandwiches made from extra round breakfast buns!) Pack all of the above rolled up so that you can easily see everything.

I have to admit, this trip was a tougher one to travel light because you never know what kind of weather you’ll have in the winter. The trip to the Southwest was easier, and I even came back with two items I didn’t use because I thought it would be warmer than it was.  So you can risk an airline losing your luggage or charging you extra, or you can travel light, but smarter, and still have a great time.

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