No matter who you may talk to, there seems to be two main strategies for packing; you either throw everything into a bag helter-skelter or you methodically arrange each piece to eke out every available inch. While some folk may disagree, one is not inherently better than the other, and you should really use whatever strategy works best for you. However, as you begin planning for your holiday trip, you may want to review these five tips to ensure that you are able to pack, cram or stuff all your necessities into your carry-on:
- Make a list of each and every item that you will need to keep in your carry-on. As you compile your list, consider the last few trips that you took to help you determine what is strictly necessary. In case you’re worried that your list may be a bit extraneous, here are a few items that you should have in your bag:
- A collapsible water bottle with a filtering system
- Daily medications
- Any necessary travel documents—like your plane ticket
- Clean underwear
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and facial wipes
Now, that’s not a complete list, and you will most likely try to fit at least twice as much into your own bag, but that list is a good place to start.
- Choose a soft-sided bag over a hard case for your carry-on. Soft-sided bags will be far more forgiving as you force all those hard lines and sharp corners into it. It can also double as one of the world’s lumpiest pillows in case you get stuck at the airport.
- Dress smart, as you probably already know that airplanes are notoriously chilly. So, instead of taking up valuable space by packing a light jacket or sweatshirt, you should instead wear it onto the plane. Also, check to see what the weather is like in the city where you’ll be landing, and dress appropriately. Because, while you may feel silly wearing a parka when it’s nearly 70 degrees outside, you’ll be thankful that you have it when you land and it’s below freezing.
- Layer your bag like an architect rather than someone jumping off a sinking ship. Essentially, you’ll want to store all the items that you won’t need until you land—like that pair of clean underwear—at the bottom of the bag, and pack the items that you’ll be using throughout the flight—like some tasty snacks or that book you’ve been meaning to read—toward the top.
- Remember, airports have some very specific rules about how you can and cannot pack your carry-on. The one that you will most likely forget is that you cannot pack any containers with more than 3.4 ounces of any liquid, which may not seem like too much until whatever is in those containers leaks all over the rest of the things you have in your bag. So, to avoid that awful incident, keep all of the containers in a tightly sealed sandwich bag. That way, if one of the containers leaks, the mess is fully contained.