A Guide To Perfectly Packing Your Carry Ons
2,722. That's the amount of cubic inches you have to pack in a typical carry-on. Even less if you're traveling internationally. Typically, that's enough space for a couple days worth of clothing. Whether you're a weekend warrior who takes comfort in knowing you have multiple outfits to choose from while on the road....or you're a light packer that wants to prove to others that you can get away with only a carry-on during your week long travels, you most likely are looking for ways to utilize every one of the 2,722 cubic inches.
We've put together our list of space saving tips that we've gathered throughout the years in the travel industry. Enjoy!
Wrinkle Free Packing - Use tissue paper or the plastic bags from dry cleaners in between your clothes to keep the wrinkles away. It's an extremely efficient strategy that takes up nearly no additional packing space. If you don't have plastic bags or tissue paper, rolling your clothes is also an option that almost eliminates wrinkles.
3-1-1 - The rules for packing liquids in a carry-on are simple. No more than 3.4 oz in a container. Containers have to fit in a 1 quart, transparent bag. 1 bag per traveler. If you want to pack more, you'll need to check a bag.
Laundry bag - Bring one. If you over pack, it's nice to be able to keep the clean clothes clean on the way home. There are a number of laundry bags made out of a thin nylon material that barely take up any additional space.
Lay it out - Run through each day's activities in your head (or write them down) and lay out each outfit you need on the floor. Try to pack everything you laid out. If it doesn't fit, determine if there are any cross-over items (typically a pair of jeans or shoes) that could work for 2 different outfits, eliminate one of the items and try to pack again. Repeat until you can get that bag zipped!
Suits - If a suit is needed, keep it to 1 and keep it in the plastic dry cleaner bag. Some carry-ons have a suiter which neatly organizes & folds your suit around a padded bar to avoid wrinkles. If your bag doesn't have this, the plastic bag should keep it from wrinkling.
Work out clothing - Bring 1, non-cotton outfit to work out in. Cotton absorbs moisture and is slow to dry. Opt instead for a quick-drying, synthetic, moisture-wicking material. Not only will you feel better while working out, you'll be able to soak & dry these clothes much quicker if you're planning on exercising more than once.
Shoes & Boots - Everyone knows this one, but it's worth repeating....STUFF EM. Socks, underwear, charging cables, jewelry, whatever. It's wasted space if you leave them empty. Once stuffed, pack around the perimeter of the bag w/ the soles touching the side of the bag & not your clean clothes. If soles are dirty or shoes stink (like mine), wrap each shoe in a plastic grocery or target bag.
Traveling essentials - Everyone has different essentials while on the go. Here are mine: magazine, iPad, phone, pen, headphones, charger, travel pillow. With the exception of the travel pillow, I can fit all of these in the outside pocket of my carry-on. The pillow attaches to the zipper pull and sits securely on top of the bag. Your essentials may differ, but two things don't change....make sure they're packed & make sure they're easily accessible.