How to properly pack a carry-on bag

There are a few things you should always have on a flight

Flying can be equal amounts exciting and annoying. One of the best ways to cut down on the annoying aspect is to properly pack. You want to bring enough things on your trip to be prepared, but you also don't want to bring too many items at once. The key to packing is your carry-on bag. This is the only bag you'll be able to access during the flight. This might not matter so much for a shorter trip. But if you're flying more than four or five hours, it starts to matter much more.

1. Keep all of your electronics (and chargers) with you

Even if you don't plan to use your laptop on the flight, you should definitely not put it in checked baggage. Most of the time, baggage handlers aren't too rough with your suitcases and don't steal your things, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want is to find your laptop cracked or otherwise damaged when you get to your hotel. Bringing all of your electronics in your carry on might mean more time in the screening line, but it's worth it to keep them safe and sound. And you'll also have plenty of options for entertainment on board the flight.

2. Pack toiletries in your checked luggage

The TSA has specific rules for the amount of liquids you can bring on a flight. Most stores carry the travel size bottles that fit this requirement. But instead of going out and buying all of your toiletries in pint sized bottles, just pack your big ones in your check bags. There isn't a limit in this kind of luggage and that comes in handy, especially if you're going on a long trip. Alternatively, you can just not pack toiletries and buy them once you reach your destination. This will also give you more room in your carry on for necessities and entertainment options.

3. Always include a few essentials in your bag

It's a smart move to keep an extra change of clothes in your carry on, just in case your luggage is lost. This way, you have some wiggle room while the airline relocates your bags. The last thing you want is to have to buy a brand new outfit for that business meeting. Or have to buy another swimsuit for your tropical vacation. If you have an outfit or clothing item that you know you'll need in the first few days of your trip, you should definitely find space for it in your carry on.

4. Organize your carry on properly

Packing almost everything you might need on a flight might sound like a good idea, but try to pare it down to the essentials. You don't want to have to leave something behind because your bag doesn't fit the airline's carry on requirements. You also don't want to have to rummage around in your bag for ages just to find your tablet. Pack it light, but also organize it. Make sure the things you would like to pull out on the flight are quickly accessible. This will make the flight a more enjoyable experience for you and your seat mates.


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