How to pack your carry-on, from packing the right essentials to valuables and the fully committed carry-on only packing for a trip.

How to pack your carry on. The most commonly overlooked aspect of airport travel is a poorly-packed carry-on bag. While a multitude of frustrations can arise before you get to your gate, from that point on, you are alone with your carry-on bag. A well-packed bag can make a significant difference in your travel experience. No one wants to be the person who rummages through the overhead compartment every few minutes, and this stress is easily avoidable through proper planning and preparation. Whether your flight duration is two hours or twelve hours, dedicating a few minutes to pack your carry-on efficiently will transform your travel experience. Here are some things you can do to start your journey off on the right foot.

SOLUTION ONE

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS

SOLUTION TWO

PACKING YOUR VALUABLES 

SOLUTION THREE

CARRY ON WITH NO OTHER BAGS
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SOLUTION ONE

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS

  • how to pack a carry on travel kit items
    HAND SANITIZER: First and foremost: make sure you pack both sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. Plane surfaces are not cleaned nearly enough, and sanitizing your tray table and seat belt will help to limit your exposure to bacteria and germs. Keeping hand gel handy is a good idea so that you can make sure your hands are clean before you eat and drink. You can also use a scented sanitizer so you can fight off some of that dreaded smell from the stale airplane air. You can keep a zip lock bag in your seat front pocket for any trash, to make things easier for your flight attendant. 
  • TRAVEL KIT: Purchasing a travel kit for liquids is an excellent one-time investment that will make your life easier both in the airport security line and on the plane. These kits come with approved volume bottles that you can fill with any liquids- from shampoo to sanitizer to body spray. They all zip into a transparent kit that you can easily pull out in the security line, rather than fumbling to fit your liquids into a zip lock bag. 
  • PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS: It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bringing hygiene products in your carry-on because you never know if you’ll end up with a long layover or a canceled flight. By including a disposable toothbrush, a mini deodorant, face wipes, a comb, and lip balm in your toiletry bag, you will be prepared for any situation that the airline could throw at you. 
  • EXTRA OUTFIT: In the same vein, if you have the room, it’s always best to bring an extra outfit or two in your carry-on bag. There’s nothing worse than your luggage going missing after a long journey, especially when all you want to do is take a shower and get out of your travel clothes. If you don’t have room for an outfit, extra pairs of socks and underwear will tide you over. If you are traveling somewhere with a pool or water, you must include a swimsuit in your luggage. If your luggage is delayed or lost, you can always slip it on in a bathroom and enjoy some fun in the sun. You will need something to take your mind off the fact that you might not see your favorite pair of dress shoes for a while (or ever again?!) 

 

If you can find a carry-on bag with a front pocket, this is the ideal place to place all your frequently used items. If your carry-on has multiple pockets, you can make a designated pocket that you always put your boarding pass and ID. Having a small zip bag or another front pocket with things such as chargers, headphones, an eye mask, and your wallet can make getting into your seat a quick and easy process. It’s always best to make sure your sanitizing products are in there too, once you’re through security. 

 

SOLUTION TWO

PACKING YOUR VALUABLES 

packing valuables in your carry-on

  • VALUABLES POUCH: Bring an extra bag for in your bag with your valuables. If you are traveling with an expensive watch, nice handbag, heirloom jewelry, or technology that is irreplaceable, make sure you have it on you at all times. By putting it in a designated bag inside your carry-on, you can give yourself peace of mind by knowing exactly where to look when you need to set eyes on it, as well as making sure it is with you the entire leg of travel. It is rare, but luggage theft does happen. If you valuables bag is lined, that would also add extra protection against a massive toiletry explosion. 

SOLUTION THREE

CARRY ON WITH NO OTHER BAGS

​The whole trip in one bag? Hats off to you. If they had degrees, you would be summa cum laude. There are two tricks here, shoes and outfits. Depending on how much time you will be somewhere, you may need only one pair of shoes, but never more than three. Let us say you need three.

Pick one casual/workout, one dress shoe, and one weather shoe (sandal or boot). From the three pick the largest shoe and wear it to the airport. Maybe it is summer, and the Nikes are your largest shoe? If it is winter, most likely, your boots are the space taker. From there, build outfits that coordinate with the shoes.

Make sure to dress in layers and thin fabrics, again wearing the bulkiest items, such as blazers and sweaters, on the plane. Bring items you can wear on more than one day. Pack one classic plain button-down you can switch ties or sweaters to change the look, your go-to classic slacks that you can change the tops. Lastly, do not pack multiples of items. Avoid packing three swimsuits or even two different hair products. Even though they are small items, everything counts. It is time to pick favorites here and narrow it down.

With a well-packed bag by your side, full of supplies for every possible situation, you never have to do a mad dash to an airport store to pay too much for essentials. You can breeze through security and boarding without a hitch, and focus your energy elsewhere. No one wants to deal with complications or stress during travel, but properly preparing for the worst can make even the most unlucky trip go smoothly.

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