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Packing a carry-on

Aside from the glorious beaches, picturesque towns, beautiful scenery and incredible cultures, taking a holiday can be stressful, especially when it involves travelling by plane. The worst thing about travelling by plane is packing as concisely as possible, particularly when you are hoping to minimize costs by only packing carry-on bags. Here are some tips as to how you can maximise the space in your travel bag and pack a carry-on like a pro.

Pack the right bag

It is extremely important that you choose the right travel bag, especially for a carry-on. Before you purchase a new bag, make sure that you check the dimensions of an allowed carry-on for the airline you are traveling. Once you have the correct size, look for a bag that has wheels so you can easily and quickly manoeuvre through the airport. Also, choose luggage that is structured and shapely, as this will allow you to pack as much as possible.

Start with the little things

Pack any small clothing items you have first so they are at the bottom of your bag. For instance, start with scarves, swimsuits, socks and underwear, and pack those at the very bottom of the bag, in between the ridges that are made by the extendable metal handles of a wheeled bag. Large pieces of clothing like pants or sweaters cannot fit in those crevices, and as a result, those open gaps are often wasted space.

Roll, not fold

The best way to maximize space is with the roll method, particularly when you are packing a carry-on bag. Rolling your clothes saves space and allows you to pack more. It is also helpful if you are bringing along items that easily wrinkle, as rolling your clothes will keep the items looking fresh and wrinkle-free.

Wrap your footwear

The most difficult part about packing shoes is that they can easily dirty the rest of your clothes. To prevent dirt and sand from staining your clean clothing, wrap each pair of shoes in a plastic bag. This is also helpful because you can use the plastic bags during your travels for separating dirty laundry, bringing home souvenirs and much more. And if you like to be environmentally friendly, once you use plastic bags to cover your shoes, designate those as your travel bags by reusing them to separate your shoes from your clothes each time you travel.

Next comes your cosmetic bag

At the top of your carry-on, lay your cosmetic or toiletry bag flat across your shoes. Having these items at such easy reach in your carry-on is helpful if you need anything during the flight. All you have to do is unzip your bag and retrieve whatever you need instead of being forced to dig through your folded clothes and packed shoes simply for a bandage or hairbrush.

However, if you find there are items in your cosmetic bag you might need frequently like medication or hand lotion, pack them in a smaller cosmetic bag you can keep in your second carry-on bag. Most airlines allow travellers to bring one larger carry-on that can be stored in the overhead bins, and a second, smaller carry-on bag like a purse, backpack or laptop case that you can keep by your feet.

Wear your bulky items

The most efficient way to save room is to not actually pack any big items. You can do this by wearing the bulkiest items you hope to bring. For instance, wear big boots or thick sweaters on the plane so that you have extra room in your carry-on for other items. Airplanes are notably kept at a cooler temperature, so it is always helpful to have an extra layer anyways, and by wearing your heaving items you are now kept warm and allowed to pack more.

The best part about travelling with only carry-ons is you minimize the chance of the airline losing your luggage, or someone mistaking it for their own. However, in order to be extra precautious, especially if you are bringing along checked baggage, make sure you purchase travel insurance that can over luggage delay or loss.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Maurizio Pesce; cropped from original