How to Pack for One Week in Punta Cana in a Carry On

How to Pack One Carry On for a Week Long Vacation in Punta Cana

Guys, my vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is coming up so fast! I seriously can’t wait to be passed out on the beach with a drink in my hand. However, I refuse to pay $50 ($25 each way) in baggage fees when I’m only going for a week and I’ll be spending most of my time in my swimsuit anyways. My sister and I also plan on playing tennis and working out most days, so I had to account for that.
Stay tuned for my personal item (aka the second carry on) packing list next week!

How to Pack for One Week in a Carry On for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Some general things to note:

  • I bought this rolling duffle bag last summer when I was in San Francisco at a Marshalls because I realized my small suitcase wasn’t enough at the time (damn souviners! Never again!), but I think it’s one of the cutest things ever. As you can see, the inside lining is a pool blue color. So freakin’ cute.
  • Packing cubes. Seriously folks, invest in packing cubes. They will save your life. Not only do they compress your clothes, but they help you stay organized and they’re much easier to deal with when you get to your destination.
  • As for sunscreen/bug spray/razors, my sister is 100% checking a bag and she’s one of those extreme couponers/product hoarder types so she has all of that stuff to bring down. I will repay her for being my product mule in drinks (even though they’re already paid for!).
  • I am bringing some Tide travel packets (not pictured, still have to buy some!) so I can do laundry in the sink, if needed – which probably will be needed for my workout clothes!
  • If you notice, most of my clothing options here are in the black color range – it makes it way easier for mix and match. For the orange top, I plan on either being really tacky and wearing my black bra or leaving one of my bikini tops on underneath.
  • We’re luckily going in June, before Punta Cana/the Dominican Republic gets too hot and humid. Living in Memphis, I’m so use to the humidity it doesn’t really bother me that much anymore. But alas, I’m sure we’ll still get some, being a tropical climate and all!

Tops & Underwear for Punta Cana VacationWhat I packed:

  • Two workout tank tops
  • Two plain v-neck shirts
  • One T-Shirt
  • Two dressier tops
  • 10 pairs of underwear

Bottoms and Other Stuff for a Punta Cana VacationWhat I packed:

  • 1 pair denim shorts
  • 1 pair black shorts
  • 1 pair thin, breezy pants
  • 1 romper
  • 1 nice dress
  • 1 pair running shorts
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair sleep shorts
  • 1 sports bra (I ended up removing that second sports bra – yay for editing and downsizing!)
  • 2 bras (One of which isn’t pictured, what I’ll be wearing on the plane)
  • 2 black camisoles (Again, wearing the second one on the plane!)

Swimsuits for a Week in Punta CanaWhat I packed:

  • Leopard print bikini top + black bikini bottoms
  • Purple bikini top + purple bikini bottoms
  • Blue & brown tankini
  • Floral one-piece

* The bikini tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched too, if I want to switch it up a bit! Also, I’m definitely still NOT a twig after working out pretty intensely for the past few months. But I’m saying screw it and I’m going to wear bikinis this trip. Confidence people, it’s the best.

Packing for One Week in a Carry On for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic What I packed:

  • Black Old Navy flip flops (for the shower – so important!)
  • Super comfy/squishy Fila flip flops
  • Black TOMS (not pictured)
  • Black strapped leather sandals
  • Tennis shoes (wearing onto the plane since they’re bulky!)

As you can see, since this is a rolling duffle it has grooves in the bottom – perfect place for laying shoes down. I’m also packing a plastic coated beach bag, which I folded and placed at the top of the suitcase onto of my shoes. Then I put the ‘Bottoms’ cube in towards the bottom of the bag (where the wheels are) for load balancing; then the ‘Tops’ cube and squished the ‘Swimsuit’ cube in at the side. Next we’ve got my liquids bag on top for easy access at security and my “dry” toiletries bag.

I actually still have a bit of room on the sides, as you can see but I don’t plan on really buying any souvenirs this time. Maybe some little things for friends, but nothing crazy. Also I plan on throwing away most of the contents of my liquids bag once I finish them, so that’ll give some extra room coming back.

Did I forget anything? What are your beach vacation essentials? Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you stayed at an all-inclusive (not necessarily in Punta Cana) and did any excursions, what were some of your favorites?

  • i could definitely use some tips on packing lighter haha! have fun 🙂

    • It’s definitely always a struggle to pack as light as possible – but this time it actually all worked out! 🙂

  • Girl, I can totally relate to this post. I refuse to check a bag when I travel even for long trips (my fear of lost luggage is huge). Luckily, packing for warmer weather is easier since the items are not as heavy. You did awesome!


    • Thanks lady! I ended up gate checking my bag on the way home in Charlotte – I figured if they lost it between there and Memphis, it would be alright since I was going home. But if they’d lose it on the way there? Yeah anxiety level 1,000.

  • Leanne Lapierre

    Where do you get the packing cubes at?