Tips & Tricks for Packing a Carry-on

Why pack a carry-on?

  • Easier to transport.
    There are many times in travel when heavy bags can be a pain. If you’re going to a place like Europe there are metros with stairs. Some boutique hotels don’t have elevators. All in all it’s difficult with large luggage and can become a real hassle when you’re traveling.

  • You won’t lose your luggage in transit.
    I’ve had several friends whose luggage didn't make the flight, so they’re stuck without clothes in a foreign place for 24 hours+ without their things.

  • It forces you to plan your outfits and be more efficient.
    Most people who pack large check-in luggage don’t end up using everything in their bags. If you pack a carry-on, you’re forced to ask yourself what you really need on the trip. It’s like the Marie Kondo of packing. What do I really need? Who wants to lug around a bunch of stuff you’re not even going to wear or use?

Tips for packing a carry-on.

Get a 40L, soft case carry-on. 

40 Liter is the largest carry-on you can get that still fits in most overheard bins. If you get a soft case it's easier to maneuver your items within the space because you aren't limited by it's shape. I use a Patagonia Wheeled Duffel. It’s pricey, but waterproof and after 10 years it’s still in great shape. Herschel Carry-on is another great option that’s hard shell and come in many fun colors.

Bring a backpack instead of a purse.

I always bring a backpack as my second to carry-on to load up any overflow. I'll bring a small purse inside of my luggage or inside the backpack.

Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane.

Heaviest jacket or sweater, jeans, and biggest shoes onto the plane to save space. Most planes run cold as well so you can also stay warm and change into whatever you want when you get to your destination.

Limit the Number of shoes you Bring. 

If it's winter wear, I don't bring more than two pairs of shoes. Comfy tennis shoes and some dressier shoes for the evenings. If it's summer, pack your clothes and then see what you can fit. I've been able to bring 5 pairs in a carry-on when it's sandal and flip flop weather. ;)

Use an Unstructured bag for your Toiletries.

Gallon ziplocks are great, they are easy to shift into the blank spaces between your clothes, and once they're too dirty or if you have a spill, you can refresh instead of trying to clean the fabric. If you want to be more waste conscious (always a plus), get a soft cotton bag you can throw in the wash. 

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