How To Get The Best Pictures On Instagram When You’re Traveling Out Of A Carry-On

For me, traveling is all about balance. It's a balance between relaxing and adventuring, in addition to seeing new places and going back to your favorite spots. And when it comes to packing, it's a balance between packing enough options and minimizing your luggage size. I'm a stickler for packing everything in a carry-on bag — even if it means I have to stuff my bag to the brim. But just because I bring one small suitcase, that doesn't mean I have to sacrifice bringing the things I need to get the perfect travel pictures. I've rounded up a few tips on how to get the best pictures on Instagram when you're traveling out of a carry-on.

Even though I refuse to bring a suitcase that won't fit in an overhead storage bin, I like to think that I've mastered the art of capturing beautiful travel shots when I'm on the road with just the items that are in that small suitcase. Travel-sized fabric steamers and hair styling tools are always worth the investment, as are beautifully chic travel bags. And bringing stackable accessories like sandals and fanny packs are great for adding variety to your outfits.

There are a ton of tricks for getting the perfect shots for the 'Gram when you're on the road, and you don't even have to pack a giant suitcase to get them. Here are just a few of my tips.

1. Make Sure You Pack A Fabric Steamer

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When you're stuffing a week's worth of clothes into a carry-on, trust me when I say that a fabric steamer will seriously come in handy. Wrinkled clothes can ruin an epic shot, and you'll be so much happier with your pics when you see how beautifully pressed all of your clothes look in them. There are a ton of mini options available, like this one by Joy Mangano, that won't take up too much room in your suitcase.

2. Pick Out An Instagrammable Travel Bag

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Airport OOTD shots are always a good idea, and what better finishing touch than a set of cute travel bags? Investing in bags that are both quality and stylish will ensure you not only have a seamless travel experience, but that your pics come out cute AF, too.

I never get on a plane without my Away Bigger Carry-On with Pocket and Caraa Studio Bag Medium. Not only do they fit a ton of stuff and are super sturdy, but they're also some of the trendiest bags I've ever owned. For adorable pics from my seat on the plane, I love having my Béis Travel Carry-On Cosmetic Case to show off all of my in-flight skincare.

3. Pack Things That Are Stackable Or Easy To Flatten

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If you're always looking for ways to pack options without taking up too much extra room, try to bring accessories that are stackable or easy to flatten, like hats and sandals. I'm guilty of always wanting to travel with too many hats, but my trick is to bring hats that I can stack one on top of the other to save some space.

If I'm headed to a warm climate, extra sandals are always doable, because they're easy to squish together and stack up if I need to. I also love bringing fanny packs. The good thing about them is that they flatten out pretty easily and I can stick them right on top of my clothes.

4. Think In Layers For Your Clothes

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I don't know about you, but I hate when I do a lot of different activities in the same day without changing outfits, because it means all of my photos look the same. The easiest way to fix this problem is to plan each outfit in layers. (This means that, yes, you actually do have to plan our your outfits before you leave.)

If you can add a jacket, kimono, or hat to an outfit to switch it up in between activities, it can give you a ton of variety in your photos — even if they were all taken on the same day. This will also help you spread your pics out over a longer period of time.

5. Don't Be Afraid of Doing A Little Shopping At Your Destination

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If you're concerned about packing enough things in your carry-on, don't fret. Traveling and shopping truly work hand-in-hand, and it would be a shame if you didn't pick up some souvenirs for yourself at your destination.

I especially love shopping at my destination if there's a certain sense of style or article of clothing that's commonly worn in that part of the world. It's OK to under-pack a little bit if you know you're going to be picking up some things along the way.

6. Invest In Travel-Friendly Appliances

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Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your glam, but hot tools like curling irons, straighteners, and hair dryers can be bulky and take up a lot of room. I'm the kind of girl who never goes anywhere without a curling iron, so I picked up the T3 Twirl Trio, which is a curling iron with interchangeable barrels. I can split up the base and the barrel when I'm running low on space and have to cram them into random spots in my bag.

7. Wear Your Biggest Accessory To The Airport

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If you're traveling with boots, a jacket, or a hat, wear it to the airport instead of packing it in your suitcase so you can save room in your bag. This trick can make going through TSA a little bit of a struggle, but it's totally worth it for you to have the things you need and have room in your suitcase for other necessities.