Dear Fellow Travelers, 

Once in a while I come upon an unusual
item that I feel compelled to share with you.  This particular item is not
only practical, but for me it was inspirational.  It inspired me to do
what I had been threatening to do for years. 

However, this time was
different.  This time I was really going to do it! 

I was going to practice what I had
preached for so many years.  Finally, I was going to prove to myself that
I could really travel for a week, with only one carry-on bag, and still look
chic and different every night. 

Now mind you, this is no easy
task.  However, the hardest part is not managing with limited possessions
once you reach your destination.  The most difficult challenge is before
you ever leave home…deciding what to pack that will fit in one carry-on. 

My first step was to select the
carry-on I wanted to use.  My choice was a dark grey e/c/b/c Falcon
22-inch Rolling Duffle. I decided on a grey colored bag not only because grey
is distinguishable from all the other black bags in airports, hotel lobbies,
and cruise ships, but because, unlike other colors, it doesn’t show average

Outwardly, the Falcon has the
flexibility of a duffle bag, but the inside is structured like a traditional
piece of luggage…with one great exception.  The piece de resistance
of this unique bag, made of nearly indestructible HD Ballistic Nylon, is a TSA
checkpoint-friendly FastPass System that allows you to unzip
the Falcon’s specialized well-padded electronics compartment, lay the wheeled
duffle bag flat on the security conveyer and go through the TSA checkpoint
without unpacking your laptop, tablet and cables. 

My wheeled duffle came
equipped with an e/c/b/c Portable Power Pack, allowing a quick charge for electronic
devices.  Devices can even be recharged right in the carry-on.  And,
as an added attraction, there is a SnapBack ID Tag that pulls out of a
protective pocket.  When you let go, it makes a fast return into an ID
pocket. So clever!


Now that I had selected the carry-on
for my week’s trip, the fun began.  From the onset, I want you to know
that downsizing to one carry-on was no easy task for me.  I am a person
who began my travel career wandering the world with two large suitcases plus
one carry-on.  Now I was faced with my self-imposed challenge of packing
one 22-inch bag that would carry me through a one-week trip, and still let me
look fashionably chic and different every single night.  

The question was: Where does one
start?  The answer was easy: Start with the basics.  And what could
be more basic than basic black?  I knew that my week’s wardrobe would have
to revolve around my favorite color…black. The closet search was on for
whatever black clothing I owned that was washable and wouldn’t wrinkle. 
Possibilities were tossed onto my bed and then the process of elimination

The winners, that would serve as the
foundation of my week’s wardrobe, were as follows: a long skirt and top duo;
pleated jacket and pant suit; a pair of black slacks; and a mid-calf reversible
skirt with black on one side and electric blue, red, and black on the
other.  Note: I would also travel in black jeans, top, and cardigan sweater,
jacket, or coat (depending on weather) because they are the bulkiest items and
would hog too much of my carry-on’s limited space.

Next came the task of choosing the
tops and accessories that would change my look every evening.  Same rules
applied: the clothing must be wrinkle-proof and washable. Colorful tops,
scarves (for warmth as well as style), and interesting costume jewelry would do
the trick.  And, of course, I also had to include a couple of cotton tees
and tops to wear with the black jeans during the day.

Purses, Purses, Purses. Purses with a
P!  Purses by Prada  (black of course) have been a mainstay of my
travel wardrobe for many years. The large size with a zillion pockets and
zipper compartments is the workhorse of the travel trio. It gets me to my
destination, loaded with all the paraphernalia one needs when traveling. 
Then it resides in my room for the rest of the trip. The medium size bag, with
contents pared down to a minimum, is carried on day tours, and the small size
(big enough for a room key, money, cosmetics, and camera is small enough to
double as an evening bag.  And the icing on the cake…they are all hand


Shoes were a no-brainer.  I
planned to wear the heaviest pair of comfortable walking shoes and take several
other pairs for comfort, as well as for style.  For me that meant one pair
of sandals, a pair of heels, and a pair of Toms for those times when everything
ached.  All lightweight, all easily packable.  And the color…you
guessed it.  


What was once (in the days when I
traveled with 3 suitcases) a luxurious black satin lingerie bag, served not
only as a lingerie bag, but also as a pouch for makeup and toiletries. 
The zippered compartments separated undies, face make-up, eye make-up, and
miscellaneous items like toothbrush, comb, deodorant, hairbrush and contact
lens supplies.


Weeks before the trip, after making
all my selections, I did a ‘dry run’ to see if all of the above would really
make it into the carry-on.  Here is what my packed rolling duffle looked
like before closing it up. 



Everything in all of the above photos
fit into this 22-inch carry-on.  I had no trouble closing it, and there
was still enough space to bring home a purchase or two for if I unzipped the
expansion zippers 

I can’t believe I finally did
it.  You can do it too!  

Bon Voyage!

P.S. For those of you, like my
husband, who insist you can’t fit everything you need into one carry-on, there
is a matching 26-inch Falcon Rolling Duffle for checking through at
airports.  It looks like my 22-inch carry-on and has all the same
features…with one exception. It doesn’t have the Checkpoint-friendly FastPass
System and Portable Power Pack. The reason e/c/b/c eliminated that feature in
the larger bag is because you should not pack your electronic devices in your
checked baggage if you ever want to see them again.