How To Pack Your Carry-On Bag Like An Expert

by Lindsay Shapka in ,


Packing a carry-on for a trip involving air travel isn’t rocket science, but you would be surprised how many people forget to throw even the smallest (but often the most important) things into their bag. 

The first thing to remember is that your carry on CAN NOT be more than 10kg. Though you can often sneak through with a heavier bag (I do it all the time), there is always the risk of getting caught and having to pay to check your heavier items…not fun. 

Liquids, gels, lotions, etc… in containers larger than 100ml/100g/3.4oz are NOT permitted, so assume that when I mention these items I am referring to the small version of them.

Though many people consider their carry-on to be their source of entertainment or simply a vessel to throw all of the things that they could not fit in their checked luggage in, I approach it in a slightly different way. 

To me, the carry-on is your survival kit in case your luggage gets lost. It needs to contain everything that you would need to survive a full day and even a few nights at your destination. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Prescription Drugs 
  • Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, etc… (cures for headaches, back spasms, etc…) 
  • Prescription Glasses/Contact Case with solution in it (if you wear glasses/contacts)
  • Sunglasses
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Bathing Suit (if headed on a beach vacation)
  • Change of Clothing (usually underpants and a shirt will suffice)
  • Socks (even if you are wearing sandals, these will keep your feet warm on the plane)
  • Scarf/Sarong (use as a blanket on the plane and a shawl/scarf if your destination in cooler than you are dressed for)
  • Blue or Black Pen (for filling out landing documents, jotting down directions, etc…)
  • Paper Map (wireless may not be available or your smart phone might die)
  • A Small Pouch that can fit ALL of your important documents (passport, hotel information, foreign currency, etc…) so that they are easy to access.