What to Pack for Vegas | One Carry-On Suitcase

As you know, I was supposed to travel to Vegas last weekend for four days but had to cancel my trip due to falling ill.  Since I was all packed and ready to go, I thought it could be useful to share how I managed to pack everything into a carry-on suitcase!

As someone who tends to overpack, I can honestly say I was pretty proud of myself for narrowing it down to just one small suitcase and a duffle bag.  I discovered a few tips and tricks while packing for this trip too and wanted to share.

Click to see what’s inside my suitcase…

My biggest tip to fit everything into one suitcase is to roll all of your clothes as tightly as you can.  There is no way all these items would have fit inside had I folded them regularly

(see my technique here).

Additionally, I like to pack my clothes first, then pile the shoes on top (in bags to keep your clothes clean & germ-free), undies & swimsuits go in the mesh compartment on the ‘lid’ and my cosmetics bag goes in last since I need to use it the morning of departure.

Since Vegas weather is hot, I wanted to pack items that would be comfortable, breathable and casual during the day.  I love baring my legs in warmer weather so shorts are a no brainer–plus, more comfortable than a skirt and easier since you don’t always know what you’ll be doing (sightseeing, shopping, riding a roller-coaster, etc.).

A cross-body bag is essential for me when traveling because you can be hands free to snap photos and you’re likely carrying around less which will help on those long days of walking many miles.  And speaking of walking, these gladiators are what I would wear on the plane, at the pool and during the day, working them triple-duty.

I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to pre-plan your outfits.  Instead of throwing in a bunch of items you might feel like wearing, take a little extra time in advance to choose specifics.  In turn, while on vacation you spend less time debating about what to wear because it’s already chosen.

While packing for this trip, I noticed myself struggling with certain pieces when trying to plan my outfits; essentially wanting to bring a piece but not finding the ‘right’ items to pair it with.  When this happens, let the item go and move onto something else.  You can always wear that item when you get home when an outfit idea is coming more easily to you.

I love getting dressed up for evening and Vegas is a place you can go all out.  I knew this trip would include dinners out and maybe a show.  Since you never know how far you may need to walk (especially in Vegas), I chose two pairs of wedges that look great but I can also walk for hours in.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t narrow it down to just one pair, but that’s just the shoe lover in me.

As for the clothes, I styled three very different outfits: a sexy dress, a skirt & pretty top, and a pair of faux leather leggings with a chiffon top.  If you’re going outside, I probably wouldn’t suggest the pants but at the same time, you might stay within the air-conditioned hotel and pants would work just fine.

I kept it fairly simple with the jewellery, which works as I’m preferring a more minimalistic look lately.  I brought with me a large bangle (that could be worn during the day too), huge hoop earrings and a couple dainty necklaces (not shown) for day or night.

This time around, I knew I wanted to get some serious pool-time in so I planned accordingly.  I packed two swimsuits that could be mixed and matched making up four different bikinis, essentially.  I threw in this colourful cover-up and again have my gladiator sandals to wear pool-side.

Lastly, I do pack workout clothes when I go on vacation because I love to indulge in food and drinks and it’s a great way to kick of the day and feel a teeny bit less guilty about all those delicious desserts!

I packed three different tops, two sports bras and two pairs of shorts which could all be mixed and matched.  The trainers could also pull double duty if needed and worn to walk the strip during the day.

For toiletries, I tried to keep it to a minimum, it was only four days after all, but here are two tips I find helpful:

1.  Pack a curling iron instead of a flat iron.  Leave the blow dryer at home.

You can use a curling iron to curl and wave your hair, and if your hair isn’t too finicky, the in-room hair dryer and your own round brush can smooth and straighten with some volume.  I like to use salt spray to work with my bed-head or curling iron curls instead of hairspray.  As for the blow dryer, most hotels are really stepping up their dryer game, and if you can hack a few days without your own, it’s worth it in space-saving measures.

2.  Pack a bright lipstick.

No matter how simple or complex your beauty routine, throwing on a bold lip will always make a statement and instantly dress you up.  I love bright and bubble-gum like pinks but red and berries are great too.  Don’t forget your lip liner to help the colour last all night!

 Finally, since you’re allowed to bring a carry-on suitcase and a bag, I like to pack all my valuable items in my (old) Matt & Nat canvas duffle.  This is a great place to keep any jewellery you’re bringing too in case you’re able to sky-check your bag (which means you don’t bring it onto the plane yourself, but check it at the door to the plane and don’t pay; again the bag must be under a certain size and weight).

Since my travel outfit was leggings and a long-sleeved top, I threw a pair of shorts into this bag for a quick change upon arrival (just in case it’s too early to check into the hotel).  I like to keep all of my electronic accessories (chargers, cords, mouse, extra batteries, etc.) in a cloth bag which is easy to find on the flight but also keeps things inside the bag tidy.  I always bring a scarf on the flight in case it’s chilly, plus it’s an easy way to look chic.

In my cross-body bag I keep my Passport and the pouch that holds my foreign currency.  I keep this close and on me at all times along with my boarding pass, phone, lip gloss and gum.  My headphones, laptop and camera have become travel staples for me for not only the flight but the vacation as well and don’t forget to pack a few snacks to tide you over until arriving at your destination.

Bon voyage!

Follow me on Instagram (I’m @acoest1984).

See all my packing posts on Pinterest.


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