Hawaii In A Carry On: Packing A Capsule Wardrobe


"Less is more" is a mantra we are adopting as we simplify our wardrobes to mostly high quality and versatile pieces. This can make mixing and matching garments for outfits a simpler process, removing some of that daily "but what will I WEAR?!" stress. It's a strategy that many call building a "capsule wardrobe". A wardrobe that is small but mighty! Thoughtfully gathering these types of pieces is also helpful when it comes to travel. 

On Teagan's recent trip to Hawaii, she had some travel capsule wardrobe goals:

  • Fit everything into a carry on suitcase

  • Choose a neutral colour palette so pieces can easily be mixed and matched
  • Choose pieces that are multi functional 
  • Pack light, breathable fabrics like linen, cotton and tencel

Below is Teagan's travel capsule wardrobe packing list for 10 days in Oahu, Hawaii! We'll include the brand names on items from ethical labels, the rest of the items are either old or thrifted.


The Plane Ride

Let's be real, going from Calgary winter to hot Hawaiian humidity is going to throw off your travel capsule wardrobe game because you're not likely to wear that bulky sweater and cozy scarf in Hawaii. Regardless of what weather you are leaving from, wearing your bulkiest items on the plane helps to maximize carry on space. 

Plane Outfit:

The Carry On Suitcase

Tips for packing a carry on:

  • Stick to a versatile colour palette, this trip's colour palette was light and neutral

  • Keep shoes to 3 pairs or less, they are often the bulkiest items to pack
  • Pack versatile pieces, like items that can be worn day or night and a backpack/bag that can be used for hikes, the beach, or wandering the 'hood
  • Utilize travel-sized toiletries and/or invest in re-usable containers to hold small amounts of the products you love 
  • Roll your clothing instead of packing it flat 
  • Stuff socks and other loose items into shoes and hats

Carry On Packing List for a 10 Day Trip to Hawaii


Fitting all your toiletries into a carry on bag may be the most difficult piece of the carry on puzzle! Pack liquid toiletries in a medium sized Ziploc bag to breeze through airport security. 

Teagan's travel-friendly & eco-friendly toiletries:


Most Worn Items

  • Black Nicole Bridger dress - this dress was perfection for the beach as well as nights out

  • Light denim shirt - an ideal evening cover up 

  • Azura bay sports bra/swim top - the versatility meant it could be worn on several occasions, from mountain hikes to ocean swims

  • Sitka baseball hat - an organic & Canadian-made quick fix for sun relief 

Least Worn Items

  • Patagonia rain jacket - when it did rain, it didn't rain long and the temperature remained warm so a rain jacket was never needed


Now that paying a fee for checked baggage is a widespread thing (ugh!!!), becoming slick at packing a carry on is a stress and money saver. An unexpected consequence of working on simplifying our wardrobes for day to day life is that it also makes packing for trips much simpler too! What are your carry on packing tips? We'd love to hear your thoughts below! 

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