Slightly over one year ago, MrsMJ and I booked a cruise aboard the then still under construction Celebrity Reflection. And now, the time has come. Tuesday, we depart for Rome where we will spend one night before taking Trenitalia to Florence. We’ll do some touring there, perhaps taste a little wine πŸ™‚ and then hit the rails again for Venice and Celebrity Reflection where will spend the next 14 nights. At the end of the cruise, we will spend 3 additional days in Barcelona before finally flying home. It’s going to be an awesome trip, but it is also a long trip. How will I do this with only a roller bag and a backback? Very carefully!

Key to this will be wise choices in clothing. I have 1 jacket I will wear, a couple of sweaters, and my usual roadtrip staple, several high quality black or dark gray t-shirts that can work with jeans (1 pair) during the day, or a pair of khakis (I’ll take 2) to look slightly dressed up for dinner. A couple of extra t-shirts and shorts for working out will go with me as well. I roll my clothes which seems to save space and cut down on wrinkles. Socks get stuffed into shoes in the bag for more space saving. While I own a tuxedo, I won’t be taking it with me on this trip. Instead, I will rent from the cruisline in order to save space for other things. One pair of decent semi-dressy shoes, and my workout shoes will round things out. Key to making this work will be making use of the ship’s laundry service. I’ve found them to be pretty good in my experience, and considering there’s a captive audience, fairly priced. Better yet, I receive some laundry services for free thanks to my Captain’s Club Elite status.

Carrying the load on this trip will be my trusty Samsonite Hyperspace 21″ spinner bag and my Eagle Creek backpack. I’ve found my Samsonite bag to be quite roomy and capable of carrying plenty of clothes. My backpack is surprisingly roomy….and that’s a good thing because I pack a lot of important stuff in there! It has a handy laptop sleeve where I’ll place my Macbook Air and iPad, leaving the rest of the backpack for carrying 3 weeks worth of diabetic supplies. A 21 day trip is a true test of my abilities as a diabetic traveler. You might remember that I wear an insulin pump, and there’s a good bit of “stuff” that goes along with that. My rule of thumb is that I take the amount of diabetic supplies I think I need and then double it. Even still, my Eagle Creek backpack can handle it with some room to spare.

So there are my ideas on successfully completing a 3-week adventure in a carry on. What packing tips do you have for maximizing carry on space and ensuring you never have to check a bag, even on long trips?