11 tips for packing your carry-on bag

Seasoned travelers know that there is an art to packing your bags for a trip, especially your carry-on. Since your carry-on bag has to go through security with you, it has to adhere to more rules than your standard checked luggage. But, it can be a great way to keep your valuable possessions close to your while traveling as well as make the flight easier. To help you pack your carry-on like a pro, here are some helpful tips and tricks.

Traveling with only a carry-on

If you are traveling with only your carry-on, you are a bit more restricted than if you have brought checked luggage with you. Everything you bring with you on your trip has to get across security with you, and fit your airline’s baggage parameters.

We recently posted some tips as to how you can travel with only a carry-on bag. Doing so can be a great way to save time at the airport, and ensure that you know exactly where your belongings are at all times. Lost baggage can be a huge issue at airports, and one of the best ways to help combat that is to not check a bag.

Here is a quick run-down of some of the points made in our previous article.

Know your airline’s baggage policy – Regardless of whether you have a checked bag or are relying solely on your carry-on bag, it is imperative that you understand your airline’s baggage policy. Knowing the maximum baggage size, and what you are allowed to bring across security with you will save you headaches while trying to board your flight.

Take only what you need – Be sure to think critically and not over-pack. With a smaller bag, it is important to only pack what it is you need for your time away.

Think critically about your wardrobe – Much like only packing what you need, be selective about what clothing you pack. If you are going to a hot climate, chances are you don’t need many warm clothes, and vice versa. To the best of your ability, it is advised that you only bring clothes that you are bound to wear and at appropriate for the activities ahead of you.

Roll your clothes – To help save space in your carry-on bag, roll your clothes instead of folding them.

Utilize reusable travel bottles – When bringing over toiletries and liquids, employ the use of re-useable travel bottles. Airlines do not let you bring liquids over 100ml across security with you, so by putting your favorite shampoos, conditioners, etc. in travel sized bottles, you not only save space but ensure you can bring them along with you.

Wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes – When leaving for your trip, it is best to wear your bulkiest shoes and clothing, that way you save space in your bag for other things you may need.

Traveling with a carry-on and checked bag

While it is best to just forgo needing a checked bag while traveling, sometimes it is unavoidable. On the plus side, bringing a checked bag gives you a bit more freedom when it comes to pack, but there is still some strategy involved.

Use a smaller carry-on bag – If you have a checked bag, you may be able to opt for a smaller carry-on bag. This will help you maneuver your way through the airport by cutting down on the bulk of what you need to lug around. If you are going on a long trip, and need the room, this may not be a feasible option, but it is a good way to save on space if you can. 

Pack your carry-on with essentials – It is an unfortunate reality, but checked baggage can get lost or delayed. So, it is best to pack your essentials in your carry-on, that way there is no chance of losing it during your travels.

Set aside what you need for the flight – When packing your belongings, be sure to pack anything you will need for your flight in your carry-on. This includes any documents you need for the flight, a book or some sort of entertainment, neck pillow, and an extra layer in case the plane is cold.

Still be choosy with what you pack – Even though you have more baggage space, you should still be careful with how much you pack. This way your luggage is lighter to carry around, and packing it back up at the end of your trip is easier. Not to mention, you’ll have room for all the souvenirs you’ll want to bring back!

Ensure you have baggage insurance – Because there is there is always the possibility that something could happen to your checked bag, it is in your best interest to get affordable travel insurance to cover your baggage before you leave. Whether your bag gets lost, delayed, or damaged, your travel insurance will be able to cover you, and help ensure you have what you need for your trip.