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How to Pack for a Two-Week Trip With One Small Suitcase

How to Pack for a Two-Week Trip With One Small Suitcase

Ask any frequent traveler their rules for a trip, and you’ll likely hear the same advice: Never check a bag. Carry-on only. But fitting everything you need, especially for a longer stay, into one small suitcase and one handbag or backpack requires some ingenuity: The maximum dimensions for luggage going into most overhead bins are 22 by 14 by 9 inches, and though the majority of domestic flights don’t have — or at least don’t enforce — weight limits, some international and trans-Pacific flights do (certain Delta flights to Asia, for example, have a limit of 22 pounds, while Hawaiian Airlines’s maximum is 25 pounds). The payoff, if you do get it right: quicker airport experiences that don’t involve the risk of lost luggage and, upon arrival, fewer decisions about what to wear. Here, tried-and-true tips from a few experts.

Though some regular travelers swear by soft bags — the New York-based stylist Ian Bradley, 38, favors the capacious extra-large L.L. Bean Adventure Duffel — most are committed to hard, rolling suitcases. “They’re lighter,” says Hitha Palepu, 39, a New York-based author and entrepreneur who wrote what might be the definitive book on the topic, 2017’s “How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip.” The polycarbonate material used for hard-shell suitcases, she explains, “is about half the weight of the rugged nylon used in soft suitcases.” These are the rolling bags our experts recommended:

  • A roller from the German brand Rimowa is often considered the gold standard, and many people we spoke with vouched for the products’ durability. “They’re more expensive but a worthy investment,” says the New York-based artist Laila Gohar, 35. (Like the Antwerp-based architect Vincent Van Duysen, 62, she flies with the aluminum Cabin model.) For those concerned about weight limits: The brand’s lightest full-size carry-on is the Essential Lite Cabin, at 4.9 pounds.

  • Palepu is a fan of the hard-shell suitcases by the American brand Béis, which are considerably less expensive than Rimowa’s. “They have the best in-suitcase compression, a really solid construction and a padded handle for dragging through the airport,” she says.

  • The New York-based chef and author Andy Baraghani, 34, who completed a multicity book tour last year, likes the Away Bigger Carry-On: Aluminum Edition because it feels indestructible, he says. “And its glossy finish stands out from the rest of the luggage at the…

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