Tips for Packing Only a Carry-On | Iceland Edition

Rowan and I are off on our next adventure, and we booked with Wow Air for our 5 day trip to Iceland! Flights from Toronto (and all over North America and Europe) are really reasonably priced with Wow Air, and so far I’ve heard really good things. One of the downsides to the reasonable fare is that only one, small carry-on is included.

I’m going to a cold country for 5 DAYS and I’m only allowed a carry-on? We decided against checked luggage to keep costs as low as possible, so we’re both taking ONE backpack. Don’t forget that we’ve got to also take winter coats, boots, mitts, etc. as well as clothes, a bathing suit, toiletries, etc.

Here are the tips that have gotten me through the packing process.



This is every good packer’s number 1 tip. Always roll your clothes instead of folding them. Rolled clothes are easier to tuck, and are much more organized than stuffing your shirt into the side pocket of your backpack. It also helps keep things from wrinkling.



Keep it simple. Bring clothes that won’t wrinkle, so you don’t have to worry about if your AirBnB or hostel has an iron or steamer. You’ll save space and a headache by bringing shirts and pants that aren’t prone to wrinkling (Do I even own clothes that are wrinke-proof?)


Your bag isn’t going to be rolling around in the cargo underneath, it’s going to be right with you in the cabin. So, utilize the straps and pockets on the outside of your backpack to maximize what the bag can hold. Use the waterbottle pockets for bottles, snacks, or even keys, wallets, etc. Use the straps to attach your running shoes, or stuff a blanket or pillow through.



You are able to bring a small purse or laptop bag (16x8x8 inches), so make use of it! Stuff it with snacks, important documents, iPads, cameras, what have you to make more room for other necessities in your carry-on.


You’re only allowed to take bottles that hold less than 100ml and all bottles must fit in a 1 litre clear plastic bag. Basically, you aren’t going to be taking all of your favourite products. Get small bottles from the dollarstore and fill them up with the products you must take.


Once you’re on the plane, and your stuff is stashed, you’re likely not going to be asked to get off or pay extra for that coat you decide to take off once you’re settled. Layer up before you head out for the airport! It’s going to be cold in Iceland, and a coat and layers are going to be necessary. It’s likely also going to be cold on the plane, and that coat can double as a blanket.

I wore leggings, a t-shirt, a sweater, a vest AND a coat. Layers are easy to shed and allow for more room in your backpack.

What are your carry-on only tips?


  • I love this post! I’ve got pretty good at packing too so I use pretty much all of the same tips as you do! I always travel in as many layers as possibly and wear the bulkiest shoes to travel in. I also store items of jewellery in the socks I’m packing so they don’t get tangled up. Great post 🙂

    Sian x

  • I am awful at traveling light even for small trips haha- I like to be prepared! These tips are awesome!


  • The dollarstore is my favorite place haha getting travel sized bottles from there is the best advice. I’m actually leaving back home on Thursday and I need to figure out how to roll my clothing! haha

    xo //

  • OMG I am dying to go to Iceland! I can’t wait to hear how it is! Great tips!

  • This is such a great post! I love all the stuff you packed! Sticking to just a carry on can be tough.

  • Such great tips! Loving all the warm layers!


  • Never thought to roll instead of fold – thanks for the suggestion!

    XO //

  • I am not the lighter packer in the world. I’m going to try some of these tips for an upcoming trip!

  • I love this post! I’m dying to go to Iceland!! The roll instead of fold trick really works!


  • These tips are so handy babe, thanks so much for sharing! Really hope you have a wonderful time on your holiday too! 💜💫✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie. x |

  • Oh my gosh, I’ve wanted to go to Iceland ever since I spent my summer abroad. I hope you have a fantastic time!
    -Anna |

  • These tips are amazing! I never would have thought about using the exterior of my backpack. I’m planning to fly with my DSLR for the first time tomorrow… Any suggestions?

    • floralsandteacups

      I rolled mine in my clothes for extra support!

  • michelle mink

    I love the Goal digger shirt. It is so cute and fun.

  • I always stuff whatever can’t fit in the carry-on in my backpack/personal item & it’s life saving! x, nicole //

  • amy

    I’ve gotten so much better at traveling lighter over the years. These are great tips and I hope you have fun in Iceland!!!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • I’m always the worst at packing carry ons! I’m such an overpacker, it’s insane. Such greats tips!


  • I’m going to Iceland for New Year, I wish I read this before I booked my luggage!! So many good points!! Can’t wait to see a Iceland post!! xox

  • So many great tips in this post that I never thought of! Like the tip about layering! So genius. My mom taught me to roll my clothes when I pack, it makes fitting everything so much easier!

    Kayla |

  • These are great tips! I always fly with only cabin luggage so I’ve got the hang of packing light but then I’ve never been anywhere as cold as Iceland ha. I always take full advantage of my personal item, and use my Longchamp pliage bag (it’s actually a little bigger than most airlines allow but i haven’t been stopped yet) and fill it with my makeup and extra clothes.

    Lauren | Lauren the Daydreamer

  • Great post!! Love the fold and roll! Also layering is a real space saver! Xxxx

  • These are such great tips! I’m always stuffing things into my carry on so that I can avoid checking a bag. Thanks!