According to Living On The Cheap, more and more airlines are “unbundling” their services so they can offer lower base fares. While this can be a good thing in some cases, it also means that hidden fees and fees for checked baggage are now more common than ever!
Because of this, many people are now opting to pack a carry on bag for both domestic and international flights. If you’re considering making the switch, today’s post is packed with tips that will help you out!
We’ll start by discussing the benefits of this practice, then I’ll share three different methods for how to pack a carry on bag. Finally, I’ll round out today’s post by sharing thirteen quick tips for packing your carry on like a true professional! :-)
4 Benefits To Packing A Carry On Bag
1. Save Money
Most airlines still allow carry on bags without charging extra fees. Fees for checked bags can cost you between $25-100, so packing light in a carry on can be an easy way to save yourself money!
2. Save Time
Waiting for your bag at the baggage carousel can take forever! If you pack a carry on, you can breeze right past the carousel crowds and be on your way.
3. Less Stress
Anyone who has had an airline lose or misplace their bags can tell you what a stressful ordeal it is! But packing a carry on allows you to keep your stuff with you on the plane, eliminating the chances that it will get lost along the way.
In addition to providing some much needed peace of mind, keeping your stuff with you is also convenient! If you want to touch up your makeup or grab a sweater during your flight, you’ll have easy access to all your stuff.
How To Pack A Carry On – 3 Useful Methods
Method #1 – Fold & Layer
This is probably the simplest method, and also particularly useful if you’re bringing a lot of clothes that are prone to wrinkling. All you do is fold your clothes so that they lie flat in your carry on, then layer them on top of each other.
The key is to try to match the shape and size of the inside of your carry on when you fold your clothes. That way, the clothes will lie flat in your suitcase with fewer folds, and that means less ironing when you arrive at your destination. :-)
Method #2 – Roll
This packing method is a favorite of backpackers, making it a good option for those who need to fit a lot of stuff in their carry on. All you do is roll each clothing item tightly, then stack the rolls neatly in your carry on.
Another benefit of the rolling method is that it allows you to see more of what you brought. This makes it much easier to choose an outfit for the day when you don’t have to rifle through your entire suitcase.
Method #3 – Packing Cubes
If you want to save space without sacrificing organization, using packing cubes is the way to go! Group your clothes together in whatever way makes sense to you, then fold and pack the clothes into a zippered packing cube.
While you’re on your trip, everything will stay neatly contained in the cubes and be easy to find. If you know you packed your swimsuit in your medium-sized packing cube, you only have to open that one as opposed to digging through your entire suitcase.
13 More Tips For Packing A Carry On Like A Pro
1. Know The Rules
Before you even start packing a carry on bag, look up your airline’s rules and regulations for carry on baggage. The most important thing is to make sure the bag you want to bring doesn’t exceed their size requirements for a carry on bag, which can vary widely from airline to airline.
You also want to make sure that you don’t pack anything that airline doesn’t allow in carry on baggage. Rules for carry on bags can typically be found on the airline’s website.
2. Use Every Inch
Once you do start packing, make the most of every inch of space! Stuff belts, underwear, or other small items into your shoes, or into the nooks and crannies at the very bottom of your bag.
3. Pack A Blanket Scarf
A good blanket scarf is a must-have on any flight! You can wear it as a scarf as a cute accessory, or wrap it around yourself like a blanket if you get chilly. You could also use it as a pillow or a sleeping mask if you want!
4. Mix & Match
When choosing clothes to bring on your trip, pick clothes that you can mix and match into different outfits. Planning to wear a shirt or pair of pants more than once can save you a lot of space in your suitcase!
5. Don’t Overpack
When you’re packing in a carry on bag, you need to be especially careful not to overpack. Lay out everything you want to bring or think you might need on your bed, then pack just half of the items at first.
If you still have room in your bag after packing half the items, you can choose a few more of them to fill the space.
6. Pack Liquids Last
Make sure to pack your TSA-approved quart-size bag of travel-size liquids and gels last, and place it near the top of the bag. This will make it much easier to pull the bag out when you’re going through security at the airport.
7. Use Small Containers
Need just a dab of your favorite eye cream during your weekend getaway? Use a contact lens case to store small amounts of your skincare and cosmetics products!
8. Shoes In Shower Caps
Wrap a disposable shower cap over the soles of your shoes before packing them. It’s the easiest way to prevent any dirt or grime from rubbing off onto your clothes.
9. Press & Seal Jewelry
Keep your long necklaces from tangling up by sealing them up in a piece of press and seal plastic wrap. You can seal and reseal the plastic wrap a few times before it loses its stickiness, which is good enough for a quick trip.
10. Wear Your Bulkiest Shoes
If you can’t bear to leave your riding boots behind on your trip, wear them on plane instead of packing them. It will save you a lot of valuable space in your carry on bag.
11. Avoid Tangled Cords
Use some sort of cord wraps to keep your charging cord and cables organized in your bag. These cord tacos are simple to use, affordable, and keep all my cords neat and tidy!
12. Balance Your Backpack
Some people prefer backpack-style bags for their carry on luggage. When you’re packing a backpack, make sure to place the heaviest and bulkiest items near the back of the bag.
This will keep the weight closer to your back, making it more comfortable for you to wear.
13. Review & Revise
When you return from your trip, don’t forget to review your packing job! Did you forget anything important, or pack stuff that you never used or needed?
Write those notes down somewhere you won’t forget about, like in your Notes app on your phone. You can reference them next time you travel to help you pack smarter!
What’s your best tip for air travel?