Packing for a 1 week trip can be tricky – you want to make sure you have everything you need without overpacking. The luggage you choose plays a big role in getting the balance right. Read on as we break down how to determine the ideal sized suitcase for a 7 day getaway.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: For a 1 week trip, look for a medium-sized carry-on suitcase around 21-25 inches for the best mobility and ease of use. Softside designs weigh less and compress more than hard shells.

Assess Your Packing Style and Needs

Before choosing the perfect size luggage for your 1-week trip, it’s important to assess your packing style and needs. Everyone’s packing preferences and requirements can vary, so taking the time to consider these factors will help ensure you choose the right luggage.

Light vs heavy packer

Are you a light packer who prefers to travel with just the essentials, or do you tend to pack a little more than necessary? Knowing your packing style will determine the size of luggage you need. If you’re a light packer, a smaller carry-on suitcase or a medium-sized duffle bag might be sufficient.

However, if you tend to pack more items, you may need a larger checked suitcase to accommodate everything.

Weather and activities

The weather at your destination and the activities you have planned will also influence the size of luggage you should choose. If you’re traveling to a warm destination where you’ll be spending most of your time in swimwear and light clothing, you may be able to get away with a smaller suitcase.

On the other hand, if you’re heading to a colder climate or have activities that require specific gear, such as hiking or skiing, you’ll need a larger suitcase to accommodate bulkier clothing and equipment.

Toiletries and accessories

Don’t forget to consider your toiletries and accessories when selecting the size of your luggage. If you have a lot of toiletries or plan on bringing multiple pairs of shoes, you’ll need a suitcase with ample space and compartments to keep everything organized.

Additionally, if you plan on shopping or souvenirs, you might want to leave some extra room in your luggage to accommodate any items you may acquire during your trip.

By assessing your packing style, considering the weather and activities, and thinking about your toiletry and accessory needs, you’ll be able to choose the perfect size luggage for your 1-week trip. Remember, it’s always better to have a little extra space than to struggle with an overstuffed suitcase.

Safe travels!

Carry-On vs Checked Luggage

Airline restrictions

When considering the perfect size luggage for a 1 week trip, it is important to take into account the airline restrictions. Most airlines have specific size and weight limitations for both carry-on and checked luggage.

Carry-on luggage is typically restricted to a smaller size, usually around 22 inches in length, while checked luggage can be larger, up to 62 inches in total dimensions. It is crucial to check the specific restrictions for the airline you will be traveling with to ensure your luggage meets the requirements and avoid any additional fees or complications at the airport.

Mobility and convenience

Carry-on luggage offers great mobility and convenience, especially for shorter trips. It allows you to keep your belongings with you at all times, eliminating the risk of lost or delayed luggage. With carry-on luggage, you can easily navigate through crowded airports, avoid long waits at baggage claim, and have quicker access to your essentials during the flight.

Additionally, carrying your luggage on board eliminates the need for extra time spent checking in and waiting for your bags to be unloaded after the flight.

On the other hand, checked luggage can be more suitable for those who prefer to travel with larger items or need to pack more clothes and accessories for a 1 week trip. It allows you to bring items that may not meet the size restrictions of carry-on luggage, such as sports equipment or larger toiletries.

However, it is important to keep in mind that checked luggage may be subject to mishandling or loss during transit, so it is advisable to pack any valuable or essential items in your carry-on bag.

Risk of lost luggage

One of the main concerns when it comes to checked luggage is the risk of it being lost or delayed. While airlines have improved their baggage handling systems, there is still a small chance that your checked luggage may not arrive at your destination at the same time as you.

This can be particularly problematic for a 1 week trip, as you may not have enough time to wait for your luggage to be located and delivered to you. By opting for carry-on luggage, you eliminate this risk and ensure that your belongings are always within your reach.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Transportation, in 2019, approximately 1.8 million bags were mishandled by airlines globally. This highlights the importance of carefully considering your luggage options to minimize the risk of lost or delayed baggage.

Hardside vs Softside

When it comes to choosing the perfect size luggage for a one-week trip, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether to go with a hardside or softside suitcase. Each type has its own advantages and considerations, so let’s take a closer look at the key factors to consider.

Durability and protection

When it comes to durability and protection, hardside luggage takes the lead. Made from materials such as polycarbonate or ABS plastic, hardside suitcases are built to withstand impact and rough handling. They provide an excellent level of protection for your belongings, especially fragile items.

Hardside luggage is also more resistant to water and stains, making it ideal for travel in all weather conditions.

On the other hand, softside luggage, typically made from fabrics like nylon or polyester, offers more flexibility and can absorb impact better than hardside luggage. This makes it a great option if you are planning to squeeze your suitcase into tight spaces or if you tend to overpack.

Softside suitcases are also easier to clean and often come with additional exterior pockets for easy access to essentials.

Weight and flexibility

Weight and flexibility are important factors to consider when choosing the right luggage for your trip. Hardside suitcases tend to be heavier due to their hard shell construction. This can be a disadvantage if you are trying to maximize your luggage allowance or if you prefer to travel light.

However, many hardside suitcases now come with lightweight materials, so it’s worth exploring those options.

Softside luggage, on the other hand, is typically lighter and more flexible, allowing you to squeeze it into tight spaces or overhead compartments more easily. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re planning to travel with a carry-on bag only.

Softside suitcases also often come with expandable features, allowing you to accommodate any extra souvenirs you might pick up during your trip.

Key Features to Look For

Telescoping handle

When it comes to finding the perfect size luggage for a 1-week trip, one of the key features to look for is a telescoping handle. This feature allows you to easily adjust the height of the handle to your desired level, making it comfortable to maneuver the luggage around.

A sturdy and durable telescoping handle ensures that you can easily pull the luggage without strain or discomfort. It’s always a good idea to check for reviews and ratings of different brands or models to ensure that the telescoping handle is of high quality and built to last.

Smooth rolling wheels

Another important feature to consider when selecting the ideal luggage size for a 1-week trip is the presence of smooth rolling wheels. These wheels allow for effortless navigation through airports, train stations, or any other travel destinations.

Luggage with four multi-directional spinner wheels is highly recommended as they provide excellent maneuverability. Smooth rolling wheels not only make it easier to transport your luggage, but they also reduce the risk of strain or injury to your arms, shoulders, or back.

Pay attention to customer reviews and feedback regarding the quality and durability of the wheels.

Interior organization

Efficient interior organization is a must-have feature for any luggage meant for a 1-week trip. Look for compartments, pockets, and dividers that will help you keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.

A well-organized interior prevents items from shifting or getting damaged during travel. Consider luggage with a separate compartment for shoes, a zippered pocket for toiletries, and adjustable straps to secure your clothes.

Having a structured interior layout will save you time and frustration when packing and unpacking. Check out travel and lifestyle websites like Travel + Leisure or Lonely Planet for expert tips on interior organization and packing hacks.

Recommended Sizes

Underseat carry-on (max 21 inches)

If you’re looking for a compact and convenient option for a one-week trip, an underseat carry-on is a fantastic choice. These bags are designed to fit under the seat in front of you on airplanes, allowing for easy access to your belongings during the flight.

The maximum size for an underseat carry-on is typically 21 inches. These bags are perfect for travelers who prefer to pack light and want to avoid checked baggage fees. They offer enough space to fit a week’s worth of clothing and essentials, while still remaining compact and easy to maneuver.

Some popular brands that offer underseat carry-ons include Samsonite, Travelpro, and Delsey.

Standard carry-on (21-25 inches)

If you prefer a slightly larger bag for your one-week trip, a standard carry-on is the way to go. These bags typically range in size from 21 to 25 inches and offer a bit more space than an underseat carry-on.

They are still small enough to be carried onto most airlines, but offer additional room for those who like to pack a little more. A standard carry-on is a great option if you want to bring along extra shoes, toiletries, or other personal items.

Some popular brands that offer standard carry-ons include Briggs & Riley, Tumi, and Away.

Medium checked bag (25-29 inches)

If you’re someone who likes to have plenty of options when it comes to your wardrobe, a medium checked bag is the perfect size for your one-week trip. These bags typically range in size from 25 to 29 inches and offer ample space for clothing, shoes, and other essentials.

While they may require checking at the airport, they provide the convenience of being able to pack more without having to worry about size restrictions. Just be sure to check with your airline for any weight limits on checked bags.

Some popular brands that offer medium checked bags include Samsonite, American Tourister, and Travelpro.

Remember, the perfect size luggage for a one-week trip ultimately depends on your personal preferences and packing style. Consider factors such as the amount of clothing and personal items you plan to bring, as well as any airline restrictions, when choosing the right size for your trip.

Happy travels!


When it comes to picking the perfect sized luggage for a 1 week vacation, focus on a carry-on in the 21-25 inch range for maximum convenience. Softsided suitcases around 24 inches with handy features like interior pockets and smooth rolling wheels are ideal for most travelers’ needs.

The right bag keeps you nimble and prepared whether you’re a light or heavy packer. With a properly sized suitcase that’s not too big or small, you can focus on enjoying your 1 week getaway.

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