How To Pack Carry On Luggage

It’s important to know how to pack carry on luggage. It often costs extra to check in a bag when you fly. Not only does it cost more, there’s a greater chance of your luggage disappearing. It’s possible to pack everything in a carry on suitcase and doing so may save you some money.

To pack carry on luggage, you will need:

  • Medium size suitcase that meets the airline requirements for carry on bags
  • Clothes
  • Bathroom essentials
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Plastic freezer bags
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  1. Gather the items you are taking with you. Make sure that you have one outfit for each day, an extra outfit just in case, underwear, socks, shoes, bathroom necessities and any accessories you may need while you’re gone. You need to take the least amount of stuff you can, but you also need to make sure you have everything you need.
  2. Pack your clothing first. Starting with the bulkier items; lay the clothes flat in your suitcase. There is limited space when you pack carry on luggage and it's important to make the most of the space you have. Folding the clothes not only takes up more space, but can wrinkle your garments. Laying your clothes as flat as possible will give you more room to pack other items you need.
  3. Pack your socks, underwear and shoes. These items can easily fit around the clothes you have packed. Simply stuff socks and underwear around the sides of the suitcase. Shoes can also be pushed down along the sides. When you pack your shoes, make sure that the soles are facing towards the suitcase. This will ensure your clothes aren’t getting dirty.
  4. Place any accessories you are taking in plastic sandwich bags. This way they won’t get ruined and you can keep them all together. Pack your accessories in the inside pocket when you pack your carry on luggage. If you are taking expensive jewelry items, wear what you can while traveling. The rest should be packed down in your bag where they are not easily accessible.
  5. Pack small bathroom essentials. Also pack small items, like toothbrushes, in sandwich size baggies. Then place them in the inside pocket with the accessories.
  6. Pack other bathroom essentials. The remaining bathroom items are items that could easily spill or melt. Place shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and hair products in the plastic freezer bags. Place the freezer bags in the outside pocket when you pack carry on luggage. This will contain any messes that may invariantly happen during the flight.

Tips and Warnings:

  • There are numerous items that are not allowed to be packed in carry-on luggage for safety reasons. These items include razors, sharp objects, guns and firearms, gel shoe inserts, gel candles, flammable items and explosive materials.
  • Non-flammable liquid products, like shampoo, conditioner and hair gel, may be packed in carry-on luggage. However, they must be packed in a container that is 3.4 ounces or smaller.


FAA: Preparing to Fly

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