How To Pack Your Carry-On Like A Pro
For many of us, the less luggage we travel with, the less problems we have to deal with while on our journey. By electing to use a carry-on when you travel, you avoid a lot of the headache of your belongings being out of sight, out of mind. Therefore, many passengers prefer to travel with carry-ons in lieu of checked bags. (Plus, there’s the added bonus of traveling light.) However, with the weight restrictions, liquid restrictions, and size restriction, it can feel a bit daunting to know where and how to begin when packing for a seven-day trip abroad.
Nevertheless, it’s A LOT easier to pack a carry-on like a boss than you might think. If you’ve never packed a carry-on but find that the time to print your boarding pass is creeping up on you and don’t know what to pack, this is the list for you. Let’s get started, shall we?
Know Your Carry-On Specs
First things first, you need to know how to hold ‘em before you know where to fold ‘em. As previously stated, carry-on luggage comes with its share of restrictions due to there being limited space in the overhead bin. The standard for most domestic airlines is a bag with dimensions of 22” x 14” x 9”. Be sure to confirm height and weight qualifications to avoid accruing additional charges (or having to check your bag) once you arrive to the airport.
Instead Of Folding Your Clothes, Roll Them
Maximize the space in your carry-on by opting to roll your clothes instead of folding them. It’s a military technique that allots for more surface area in your luggage, meaning more items can fit in your bag overall. Take things a step further by segmenting your rolled clothes by using packing cubes. Packing cubes will allow for more organization as it creates additional edge space for toiletries and shoes you might want to take with you on your trip.
Limit Shoes To Two Options
Speaking of shoes, as with everything in your carry-on, it’s best to keep things light in order to pack the most efficient way possible. Realistically, even if you’re staying somewhere for a week, two shoes will more than cover you. You even might be able to increase that to three depending on what kind of shoe it is. Bulkier shoes like sneakers take up more real estate in your bag, so two might be the maximum; whereas with heels and/or flats, you might be able to get away with padding your carry-on with three shoes - plus the pair you’re traveling with. Place your packed shoes at the very bottom of your bag, underneath your packing cubes (see previous tip). To protect your items from debris, place them into a Ziploc bag or even a shower cap.
Use TSA-Approved Toiletries
TSA has strict rules when it comes to liquids (gels, creams, aerosol, paste), for both carry-ons and checked luggage. For carry-ons, that means liquids must be placed in containers of 3.4 oz or less and be able to fit in a quart-sized resealable bag. Placing them in this bag makes it easier to separate the liquids from the carry-on when going through the security checkpoint. You can make the choice to purchase travel-sized bottles to carry along your favorite products with you or opt for travel-sized toiletries like the kind you find in Target or Wal-Mart.
Additionally, you could also get away with packing some of your favorite things in tight spaces by employing some of the hacks below:
- Use a pill compartment to store your accessories, specifically rings and small earrings. It’s a great way to avoid losing your jewelry or having them get tangled.
- Speaking of jewelry, necklaces can circumvent any unintentional tangling by placing your necklace in between two sheets of Press ‘n Seal plastic wrap.
- Place a paper clip over the head of any razors you might have in your bag to avoid cutting yourself on the blade(s).
- Avoid losing earphones and chargers by storing them in an empty sunglasses case.
Well, there you have it! That’s how you pack your carry-on like a boss. Did we miss anything? Do you have any packing hacks to share? Let us know in the comments down below!