How To Pack Light For 10 Days: The One-Bag Travel Guide

How To Pack Light For 10 Days: The One-Bag Travel Guide

At TEREN, we’re big advocates of one-bag travel. We’ve been on dozens of trips with a single carry-on bag, one of our founders - Nick - took his motorcycle from the tip of South Africa to the tip of Norway with just one pair of pants!!

In this guide, you will learn:

  • The versatile clothing & accessories you need on any trip.
  • Tips for fitting everything you need in one carry-on bag.
  • How to pack light for ten days of travel.

Let’s get packing!

Planning Your 10-Day Trip

Regardless of what kind of trip you’re going on there are some universal preparations you can make to ensure you’re adequately packed for a trip.

Check The Weather (skip this step if you have a full TEREN Kit because you’ll be prepared for any weather if so)

Just because you’re heading to a famously sunny location, that doesn’t mean you can expect your trip to be just sunny and warm. 

Check your weather app a couple of days before your trip to ensure that there is no rain in the forecast. For a more accurate look at the weather check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). 

NOAA is highly regarded as the most accurate place to get up-to-date information on what to expect from the weather including real time maps, average temperatures, and weather predictions. 

Keep in mind that weather can change rapidly, so it's wise to prepare for fluctuating temperatures and precipitation— but checking the weather serves as a great baseline for what to expect on our 10-day trip. 

Make a List of Activities

Knowing what kind of activities you’re participating in will help you decide what clothing and footwear to bring. For instance, if you’re on a trip with plenty of physical activity and little access to laundry facilities— you may consider packing extra pairs of socks and underwear.

If there is a chance you’ll be swimming— don’t forget your swimsuit and sunglasses. 

It's easy to forget essential items, that’s why it's important to plan for specific activities instead of just throwing random clothing into your luggage. 

What to Bring on a 10-Day Trip

Here, we break down our process of packing light for a 10-day trip. Remember that we prefer to pack our clothing for maximum versatility. 

This means your packed clothing should follow the principles of creating a capsule wardrobe.  That means finding clothing items that can mix and match well together and potentially stay odor and stain-free for longer. 


For clothing, consider the 5-4-3-2-1 method of packing. 

  • Five pairs of socks and underwear
  • Four tops
  • Three bottoms
  • Two pairs of shoes
  • One hat

This method serves as a great launching pad for packing light for your trip. 

Pack Versatile Clothing

At TEREN, we can’t stress enough the importance of packing versatile clothing. This means not only packing clothing that can mix and match well together, but also clothing that can be layered effectively, and perform well during different activities and climates.

We created an entire line of clothing designed to be the perfect capsule wardrobe for men. It's stylish enough to wear on the town, and rugged enough to hit the trails in.


Our Daily Driver Tee and Lightweight Traveler Tee boast the unique ability to wick moisture, resist odors and stains, and even fight bacteria with their naturally antimicrobial properties. 

The Daily Driver Tee is made from bamboo, and the Lightweight Traveler Tee is made from Merino wool. Both fabrics are natural materials that help them perform well during different activities and climates. 

For a full breakdown of what makes these fabrics so spectacular, check out our guide to bamboo and Merino wool.

But we wouldn’t recommend you just wear T-shirts on your 10-day trip. We also created the Daily Driver Shirt (also available in a long-sleeve option) to be the perfect button-up. 

Yes, it's stylish enough to wear to a wedding, but its also functional enough to hike, rock climb, or even skydive in. 


While jeans are generally regarded as one of the most versatile styles of pants, we wanted to create some alternatives to jeans that were more stylish, comfortable, and versatile. 

This is why we made both the Daily Driver Pants and the Lightweight Traveler Pants

We were tired of pants, especially hiking pants, that didn’t fit well, had far too many pockets, and were only suitable to wear for a specific occasion.

Both pairs of pants are highly versatile and perfect for multiple destinations and activities. They’re flexible, odor-resistant, quick-drying, and moisture-resistant. This makes them the ultimate companions for travel.

We also made Daily Driver Shorts that provide all of the same great features.

Layer Intentionally

Dressing appropriately for diverse weather conditions is a key to efficient packing for different vacations. Whether you're escaping to a chilly mountain retreat or basking in the sun on a coastal getaway, there are some general rules to follow to ensure you’re laying efficiently.

  • Colder climates: Bring a base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell.
  • Comfortable and stable climates: bring a mid-layer for chilly nights.
  • Warm climates: Pack a lightweight base layer.

We made some great layers to help you layer effectively depending on the type of climate you’re visiting.

For base layers, we recommend the Long Sleeve Traveler Tee. This shirt is made from Merino wool and is highly regarded as one of the best temperature-regulating base layer fabrics on the market.

Merino wool does take some gentle care though, so be sure to read up on how to care for Merino wool.

We created the Daily Driver Fleece to be the ultimate mid-layer. What makes this fleece a staple in our wardrobes is that its created with a brushed fleece that won’t hang on to lingering lint, but it also has a 360 degree stretch that won’t inhibit your movement.

Its ultra-lightweight and highly packable so you can toss it into carry on luggage and save space. 

We have two amazing outer shells that are guaranteed to be the last two outer shells you’ll need. 

The first is Cloudland Shell, it’s the most durable, water-resistant, and wind-proof option and is the perfect companion for snowboarding, hiking, or exploring a blisteringly cold city. 

The second is our Daily Driver Puffy. It's made from recycled water bottles and features minimal stitching for maximum insulation. This puffy jacket is equipped with DWR or durable water resistance to ensure you stay comfortable and dry during inclement weather. 

Travel Documents

Before leaving the house it's critical you have your essential travel documents in order.

Confirm that your passport is valid for the duration of the trip, and check visa requirements for your destination. Don’t forget to carry a copy of your travel insurance policy both digitally and as a print copy. 

Sometimes for visa approvals, you’ll need to provide proof of accommodations and reservations ahead of time. It's wise to keep a physical copy of this information just in case. 

And lastly, ensure you have all of your necessary credit cards, debit cards, cash, and other potential foreign currencies on hand. 


In our experience, travel sized toiletries are idea for a 10-day adventure.

We highly recommend picking up some TSA-approved travel-sized toiletry bottles that can be reused and can fit in your carry on bag.

If you’re staying at a hotel, you may be able to reduce your toiletry necessities further by using the provided soaps. 


As avid adventurers, we understand that sometimes you need to bring along laptops, cameras, tablets, or additional cell phones. However, unless you need these things for work or safety, consider leaving any unnecessary electronics at home to save space and headaches.

For international travel, ensure you have the appropriate travel adapters so you can charge your electronics. 

Miscellaneous Travel Gear

Depending on where you’re traveling to and the activities you’re participating in, you may need to bring along some more miscellaneous travel essentials.

These items could be;

  • Workout shoes
  • A fanny pack
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Swiss army knife
  • Biodegradable detergent for washing clothes outdoors
  • Reusable shoulder bag or tote bag
  • Extra contact solution
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Packing cubes

Walk yourself through your vacation and anticipate any travel essentials you may need on your trip.

Choosing The Right Luggage

The two most popular options for baggage for your ten day trip are either a backpack or rolling luggage.

This decision will come down to personal preference and the type of trip your embarking on.

Here are some of the reasons why you may choose one option over the other:


  • Mobility and Flexibility: Backpacks provide unparalleled mobility, allowing you to navigate bumpy, uneven, or busy streets with ease. If your journey involves uneven surfaces or requires you to move quickly, a backpack is an excellent choice.
  • Versatility: Backpacks are versatile and can be used for a range of activities, from hiking to exploring the city. They often come with multiple compartments, making organization efficient and accessible.
  • Carry-on Convenience: Backpacks are generally more suitable for carry-on purposes, offering flexibility in navigating airports and avoiding checked baggage fees.

Rolling Suitcase:

  • Smooth Maneuverability: Rolling suitcases are ideal for smooth surfaces like airports, city streets, and hotel lobbies. They’re also better for anyone with back issues who may not be able to carry a backpack.
  • Structured Packing: If you prefer a more structured packing style with clearly organized sections, a rolling suitcase with compartments and dividers might be the best choice for you.
  • Business or Formal Travel: For business trips or occasions where a polished appearance is necessary, a rolling suitcase generally gives a more polished and professional appearance.

The decision comes down to personal preference as both options have their pros and cons. 

3 Tips for Packing Light & Efficient 

Here are our top 5 tips for traveling light:

1. Use Compression Bags or Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a great way to keep your belongings organized. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling with a backpack since they’re often harder to organize. 

We recommend packing cubes that are waterproof and highly durable like the Eagle Creek packing cubes

2. Cut The Fluff

Go back through all your essentials to make sure you aren’t doubled up on items you only need one of. Also, be wary of packing unnecessary items “just in case” you think you'll want them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought along miscellaneous belongings because I thought I may need them. 

But if it's an item you don’t generally use in your day-to-day life or adventures at home, there’s a good likelihood you won’t need them on your travels as well.

3. Wear Bulky Items on the Plane

I’ve saved thousands of dollars and so much time throughout the years avoiding checked bags.  

This wouldn’t be possible without sometimes needing to wear my bulky items like coats, my bigger shoes, and thicker pants on the plane. 

This can feel uncomfortable if you’re traveling from a hotter climate, but remember that you can remove some of these items before your flight and after boarding. 

This will also allow you more space in your bag and help you feel more organized. 

Related Reading: What To Wear On a Plane: The Ultimate Guide For Men

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about packing light for a ten-day trip:

How many clothes are required for a 10-day trip?

How many clothing items you bring along on a ten-day trip is subjective to the kind of trip you’re going on. However, a general rule of thumb is to pack half the necessary clothing that you’d normally need at home.

This helps ensure your wardrobe is intentional, only filled with versatile clothing, and not weighed down by excessive clothing.

What is the 5-4-3-2-1 method of packing?

The 5-4-3-2-1 method of packing is bringing 5 pairs of socks and underwear, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 hat. It's a great minimalist travel rule of thumb to follow. 

How can I keep my clothing wrinkle-free?

Rolling clothing is a great way of ensuring it stays wrinkle-free while in your bag. Also always ensure your clothing is completely dry before storing it, otherwise deep wrinkles will likely show up. 

Lastly, you can opt for naturally wrinkle-free travel clothes.  

What should I do about laundry during a ten-day trip?

If your accommodation provides laundry facilities, that is a great way to wash your dirty clothes on a long trip. However, biodegradable laundry detergent makes hand-washing clothing in a sink easy if you’re on a more rural adventure. 

Final Thoughts

Some people think that in order to travel light, they need to skimp on necessities and style. 

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Minimalist travel is about maximizing space by packing space-efficient and versatile clothing, as well as being truthful with one self about what items are actually mandatory to bring along. 

Mastering the art of traveling light is a game changer and takes a ton of stress out of traveling. 

Hopefully you feel more equipped to pack intentionally while feeling prepared for your entire trip.