How To Pack Your Carry-On Luggage Like A Pro

Woman in white top and denim jeans sitting on red luggage bag

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Travelling is stressful enough without all the extra hassle of checking your luggage and waiting for it for an hour or more when you arrive. There’s also the risk of it getting lost too. According to a news story by the BBC, up to 25 million items of luggage are lost each year by the world’s airlines. That’s a lot of bags. 

It can also be costly to travel with a lot of luggage. Airlines charge up to $50 per bag per flight. If you’re a regular traveler, then this can add up to a lot of money. 

So, if you’re looking to travel lighter, faster, and without the worry of your luggage being misplaced, you’re going to need to learn how to pack carry-on luggage like a pro.  

Create A Capsule Wardrobe

It’s tempting to try and pack multiple outfits for every day but it’s not very practical. Instead, create a capsule wardrobe with a few key pieces that you can mix and match in order to create different looks for each day. Of course, the weather at your destination might dictate how many items you can take. If it’s sunny, a few summer dresses won’t take up much room whereas chunky winter knits will take up much more space. 

Wear your chunkiest pieces of clothing and footwear to the airport if you’re really stuck for space. 

Roll Don’t Fold

Traditional folding is the least effective way to use the space in your suitcase. Instead, learn how to roll your clothes. If you carefully roll them, smoothing out any bunching as you go, then they will arrive at your destination with fewer creases than if you had folded them. 

Use Vacuum Bags

That’s right, those giant bags advertised on TV for storing blankets and comforters can be used to help you save space in your suitcase. There are even specialist ones being made for travelers. You simply fold or roll your clothes. Put them in the bag and remove the air. You can do this via a vacuum, or others allow you to roll the air out or have a specialist travel pump to remove the air. 

Another good tip is to roll up socks and underwear and put them inside your shoes to save more space. 

You won’t believe how much you can fit in your suitcase when you use these. 

Wash Items While you Travel

Socks, tights, underwear, and lighter tops can all be washed on the go. That means that you can pack less of them in your luggage. 

Cut Down On Make Up And Skincare

Most airlines still have restrictions on the types and sizes of liquids you are allowed to carry on board. Rather than risk your favorite products being thrown in the bin at security, use travel bottles and decant as much of the products as you need into them Be ruthless with what you’re taking too. Do you really need every item in there? 

Many drug stores have travel-sized items, which are good if you’re in a rush, but reusable bottles are better for the environment, and the products inside cost more per ml than if you bought them as a full-sized version. It’s only the most popular products that get miniature versions, if you use specialist products, you won’t be able to find them. 

When it comes to make-up, again less is more. Take products that perform more than one function, like a lip and cheek stain or a foundation that has built-in primer and concealer.

So once you’ve been ruthless with the number of products you’re taking and have decanted them into smaller bottles, put them all into protective clear bags so that if there are any leaks, the rest of your things are protected. 

Check The Facilities Before You Travel

Before you pack, double-check what facilities you have at the place you’re staying. If you’re at a hotel, you won’t need to pack towels or a hairdryer, both of which can take up a lot of space in your luggage. 

If you do need to take a hairdryer with you, invest in a good travel dryer that folds up very small but still has a good amount of power. 

Buy The Right Carry On Case

Packing everything in one bag can put you over the weight limit for carry on luggage. The case you use can take up a large part of that. Many brands now produce special carry on cases that are the exact allowable dimensions and weigh a lot less than standard bags. 

When choosing one of these cases, look for ones with a lot of good reviews. Sometimes by making the cases so light, they aren’t as robust and break easily. Choose one recommended by other travelers, even if it costs a bit more. 

Pack Your Bag In Reverse

As you only have one bag, you’ll need it to be packed in a way that is useful. The best way to do this is to pack any larger items that you won’t need until you’re at your destination. Do this first. Then, pack any items you’ll need to travel such as documents, purse, baby wipes, and snacks at the top of the case, where you can reach them easily. 

All of your other items can be packed around the spaces in between so that you are using every square inch of space. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a treasure trove of tips to pack the ultimate carry on luggage. Not only will you be super organized, but you’ll only be taking things you will actually use. How many times have you taken a huge suitcase abroad with you, only to have the contents strewn about your hotel room only using about a quarter of the contents? 

Do yourself a favor and take the time to pack your carry-on luggage like a pro. It might be difficult at first, especially if you love fashion or aren’t a very organized person. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back.

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