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30 Days Carry On Luggage


Dublin Airport

Our pusher Rachel was a talkative one.

"I’ve been doin this 4 years and I just love my job," she said. Her Irish brogue a charm of a send off. Walking alongside her felt like a cozy glide through a familiar neighborhood.

She visited with each person manning a checkpoint as she pushed my husbands wheelchair, navigating the route like a logistics expert. A wink here and there opened the lines and unhooked access for a smooth ride all the way to our gate.

Midpoint, on one of our elevator rides my husband asked, "Are there many Italians in Ireland?"

His questions, I’ve come to know, always lead somewhere unexpected.

Lucky we were standing still so I could take in her complete response...

"Oooh I dated an Italian once," she sighed full body. "I was 18 and he was 21.."

For a moment there we lost her in memory...

I said," That sounds about the right time."

"Yes!" Her energy back and climbing. "His name was Alberto Vincenzo. We went back and forth for a bit o time - a wonderful bit o time," she delivered full smile. "But then I found me a proper Irishman." The elevator door opened and with a flourish she was pushing again and telling us about her four lovely children.

So where’ve YOU two been? She asked after a quick breath and a quick left.

We spent 14 days in the Caribbean on a wonderful Cruise Ship with our friends.

"Oh! I want to take me on a cruise for my 50th! Tell me where did it go...?"

"Well we left Miami and visited St Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St Lucia, Antigua, Barbados - then we decided to stay on board. So we did the Transatlantic Crossing. From Miami across the ocean. Seven sea days to the Azores off Portugal. Then on to Ireland. All total 30 days at sea."

"Oh! How wonderful - spontaneous! Spice of life it is! But Shelly Dear" - of course we were on first name basis by now - "how did you manage your clothes? Didja bring enough? Didja have to buy another suitcase and more clothes? What did you do?"

"Actually we did 30 days with Carry on luggage only."

"What! How didja do that! You should write a blog! I need to learn how to do that!"

And so with that introduction and frankly that inspiration let me tell you how...

Our carry on luggage is soft and under standard requirements. I bought two new rollers especially for this trip. Each has an outside zipper for paperwork or a thin something. Cadbury chocolate bar and peanuts occasionally. Inside compartment is super important. Large and open. Mine has 2 see through compartments - great for delicates or jewelry.

Secret weapon is my favorite two handle nylon Kate Spade shoulder bag. Super lightweight. 9 inch flat bottom - great for a book or to stack the iPad. Plenty of space for bunches of ziplock bags of medicine, makeup and toiletries. Even my camera and lenses - wrapped in a soft shirt or scarf. Two inside pockets for chargers or glass cases.

Zipper inside pocket for easy to find easy to grab stuff. One outside zipper compartment with deep space. Inside bag is pink! Not black so you can see what’s in there. So much good moveable space - it’s my last pack and I always leave a little room for last minute buy.

Clothes. What to bring!

Think black on black, white or cream/khaki. Think texture add color. That’s your foundation.


I’m tactile and fabrics are important to me especially if I’m coach! So I look for feel good fabrics, wrinkle free that can be easily rolled for strategic packing. I'm choosing unique pieces that make versatile dress up combinations, can migrate from casual to dressy with neat layering possibilities.

Let’s get Specific-

Fly Away Airport Outfit - pictured above.

My 3 button black Donna Karen blazer is super function. It's lightweight, soft., a great jacket for travel day and versatile throughout the trip. It’s Donna Karen so it’s perfect and forever style. I’ve had it 25 years and I wish it had a frequent flyer number of its own! Pockets are deep enough you can trust them.

Pants today are the softest cigarette stretch pant I’ve ever had from my favorite shop in Bonaire. Brocade front look adds a bit of interest and my black cami top finishes it. The scarf is all color- practical too.

LAYERCAKE SCARF provides style, adds warmth. Is a sarong at the pool. Was my sun block day wear in Aruba - my evening chic topper over a dress on the cruise . Multifunction; practical and beautiful.

What I packed.

Two black camis - one with lace.

One black super soft v neck tee shirt with sleeves.

One white cami.

One spandex workout short for the gym. Rolled up so nice I stuffed it in my sandal!

One black long skirt. Dressed it up with black cami and different scarves and or jewelry throughout the trip for different looks.

One black harem pant - great find. Lightweight. Dressy and casual. With sandals in the Caribbean super cute. Again can look different depending on top and scarves. Versatile comfortable.

One white above the knee top. I think this was intended to be a swim coverup but I loved the fabric and look. I used it with the beige crochet shorts I bought in St Maarten and topped it with the sunset scarf as we walked in sun hot Aruba. A white cami underneath. Translated to colder weather on the transatlantic by wearing my Harem pants and DK blazer with scarf. Great easy style.

3 shoes. One flat sandal. One bit of a heel and my super comfy, stylish black Reebok walking gyms.

2 bathing suits. 2 different length and style khaki shorts.

I did take two floral dresses that worked great with scarves for extra special formal night wear. Actually gave one long floral halter dress away to make room for my new Irish coat!

With foundational pieces in black, white and beige scarves add style, warmth and change.

A great jacket. Smart walking shoes. Lightweight big space bags.

And you are off - with room to spare.

#ArtistShellyLawler #shellylawlercom #dublinairport #travellog #travelblog #howtopackcarryon

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