4 carry on essentials for easy dressing on holidays

Easy ways to pack your carry on must be one of the most searched for items on Google. I’ve been putting together a theme for my Ireland AM style segment next week which covers exactly this. When you only have 10Kg in a cabin appropriate sized bag (not the biggest fyi) then you need to maximise what you bring, as well as the coveted space in your case. How do you do that? Well I’ve got some tips as well as my 4 carry on essentials so you don’t run out of things to wear.

The catch all sandal

Shoes are my weakness when packing – I want to bring them all as I like to have choice. But I’ve had to be ruthless with myself. You need to pack by this rule – “wear one, bring one” – wear your trainers or heaviest footwear on the plane and pack one more that will work with a range of outfits. My choice tends to be a flat sandal, like a Birkenstock or leather strappy flat that can look dressy and casual. If you are mad to bring a heel, then a wedge is great. I generally avoid high heels while away as my feet get too hot. And swell. And blister, so I stick to footwear that has some kind of a platform. I have had Birkenstocks for years and they wear so well, but if you want to try some styles out before splurging, here are some budget friendly versions I like from H&M!

the reliable cotton tee

No matter what you pack – trousers, shorts, skirts – the reliable cotton vest or tee will always match. I usually pack a couple of different block colours, including the neutrals, that I can wear with the printed midi skirts and shorts I already have. I tend to repeat wear these pieces while away, so by swapping out the tops, you get a different look each time. Also, try rolling your t-shirts so that they fit easily into your carry on without taking up space. When I was a personal shopper, I recommended tops from Oasis to all of my customers. And they still make them – these two are always in my wardrobe.


Co ord from a selection at The Frankie Shop

My bestie and stylist Corina Gaffey is the queen of the co-ord, her recent trip to Ibiza made me realise how chic and versatile the matching look really is. I think these pieces are worth spending on so that they will last you many sun holidays. My 2022 label discovery is The Frankie Shop (available on their own website or Net-a-Porter), a brand that champions the relaxed, holiday look.

A dress for all occasions

I know, you will want to bring a summer dress for your three outfit changes a day. I used to be like that until I realised I didn’t wear most of them. Reuse and rewear your summer dress options over the course of your holiday. I love vest or halter neck styles as they can be layered under shirts and crochet tops for a change of look. I tend to buy plain colours as they don’t date and I don’t get sick of wearing them!

Halter dress, Primark, €13

Don’t forget to consider the luggage too! Antler have recently launched in Ireland, and having been manufacturers of luggage since 1914, they know a thing or too about quality.

The Clifton cabin size case, available from Antler.

My choice is the Clifton range that have some features I always look for in a good case – four wheels, extra pockets for laptops and devices, hard wearing fabric and a built in security lock.

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