One thing I suggest is to travel with like-minded people as that makes the trip easier to travel and less stressful. One thing we all had in common was we all packed carry on only.
The trip was three weeks, one week for each city we stayed in. Our accommodations were amazing and we made sure each one came equipment with a washer and sometimes a dryer. We were so impressed with the places we were fortunate to stay that my sister and I made a video of the place we stayed in on Lake Como. You can check out the video below.
So how did we pack three weeks worth of clothes in one carry on? Simple. I packed a capsule wardrobe. I made sure to pack tops and bottoms that I could mix and match to create various outfits. I chose to go with a navy blue and black theme. Below are some sample pictures of my outfits worn.
I only packed two pair of shoes and one pair of sandals. I will admit, I worn the sandals 85% of the time. One thing I have come to learn is that I can walk quite a distance in sandals and my feet will not hurt. I guess I am lucky in this regard as that is not the case for everyone. In addition to the shoes, I packed a few pieces of jewelry and two belts to act as accent pieces. While I was there I purchased some amazingly beautiful Italian scarves for a song. The beauty of a scarf is it is multi-faceted and can be used as a ton of different accent pieces from a neck scarf to a belt to a headband and beyond. Also, scarves take up no room when packed.
Another tip for packing a capsule wardrobe is remember to pack in layers. I was born and raised in Southern California and one thing you learn during the winter is to dress in layers. The morning will start off frigid and by mid-day a sweater and jeans may be all that is required. I made sure to pack for warm to cold weather by packing various shirts, sweaters, and one jacket just in case.
As it turned out, I wore every piece of clothing I packed. Since each outfit had interrelated clothing I packed much less than I used to. Thanks to the capsule wardrobe planning I even had extra room to take home a few things should I need to. I never once had to worry about what to wear each day as I new I could grab any two pieces of clothing, through them on and know that I liked the outfit. The key to not looking redundant is the color accent pieces. For instance I brought a yellow canary colored belt that broke up the outfit and made it looked more polished.
The pictures taken were the best I could do given the lighting and the full-length mirrors available. Hopefully this inspires you to pare down on your closet and to create a capsule wardrobe that is suited for your lifestyle.