Packing Your Carry-on

Packing a Carry-On Suitcase


Back when I used to travel a fair amount for work, I usually preferred to check my bag, as I wanted to avoid the dog-eat-dog reality of multiple passengers vying for the limited overhead space for their carry-ons.


These days, however, with so many stories of lost luggage, and long wait times at the baggage carousels, there has been a big swing towards carry-on bags.  To help you embrace the era of the carry-on I’ve put together some tips on how best to pack your bag.


  1. Choose your bag wisely. Check your airline’s website for the specific requirement of that airline; however, most airlines follow a rough guideline of 14”x9”x22”. Remember that this includes handle and wheels.


  1. Lay out all of the clothes you want to bring, then consider the following:
  •      Think lightweight. For example, denim is heavier than other materials, so think if there is a lighter cotton material that you could choose.
  •      Coordinate the colours of your outfits. This will help you stretch the clothes you bring into more outfits.
  •      Try this rule of thumb: shirts get worn for two days each and pants or shorts get worn for three days each.
  •      Think neutrals – white, black and navy go with everything


  1. Plan out your toiletries. Because you have a carry-on, you will most likely be limited to the standard one-quart, plastic, resealable bag of toiletries for your liquid items. For larger liquid items, consider buying these when you get to your destination or use the free ones that you get at hotels and motels.


  1. Plan your travel outfit before you pack your suitcase. You should wear your heaviest items on the plane so that you don’t have to stuff them into your carry-on. Wear your jeans and jacket or sweater as well as your heaviest shoes. This will give you more room in your suitcase.


  1. Packing Techniques. There are many different ways to pack efficiently; I am going to share my favourite – The Rolling Method. Regardless of what method you use, make sure to keep anything you will need to take out for security right at the top.
  •      The Rolling Method: Roll your clothes into tubes – this is a great way to save space. It also does less wrinkle damage.
  •      Stuff things into every nook and cranny; like stuffing your socks into your shoes.

Happy Travels!

Nancy Wiskel
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