5 Tips for Fitting it all in your Carry On Bag

Part II – Summer Travel Packing – 2nd part to my packing for summer blog series (if 2 blogs can actually be a series).

I saw this article that was published on USA Today, the newspaper for those of us in the Hotel Business.  You can always tell when I’ve been on a trip, or planning a trip, because I always try to post about travel packing trips….and this is 2 travel blogs in as many weeks.  Very telling!

From USA Today:  This was Not written by me…I’m just reposting this.  I mention this, because my sister called last week asking when I was in Europe for 3 weeks, because my blog last week mentioned that, from an article I reposted.  

Maximize your bag.  I didn’t realize just how small my normal carry-on bag is until I bought one that comes close to the maximum carry-on dimensions for US airlines. Consult your airline’s website for dimensions, and you may be able to get a bigger bag than you thought.

Personal item.  Forget wasting my personal-item allowance with a tiny purse. I’ll bring a larger tote bag that I can stash under the seat, but will still give me extra storage space. This will come in handy for keeping all of the things I’ll need on hand during the flight within arms’ reach as well. It’s also a good idea to separate essential, irreplaceable items, like money and passport, into the personal item, just in case the plane is full and you’re forced to gate-check your main carry-on.

Zip-lock bags.  Getting everything for a big trip into one suitcase means that it will be jam-packed. Rather than having my suitcase explode all over the hotel room every time I open it, I like to keep everything separated in zip-lock bags or packing cubes. One bag will hold socks, one bag will hold a few t-shirts, etc. The clear bags make it easy for me to find things, will help keep everything wrinkle free, can save space (if you compress all the air out), and makes it easy for the TSA to root through my belongings if they have to do a hand-search. It can also be handy to pack an entire outfit, from top to underwear, in each bag, so you just have to grab one bag in the morning and you can be dressed in a snap. Another great tip is to put a dryer sheet in each bag to keep clothes smelling fresh. Same goes for small items like chargers and medicines—keeping them in bags makes them much easier to find. I use small sandwich-sized bags as well as the larger gallon-sized variety, and keep them in my suitcase between trips for reuse. I also pack empty bags for dirty laundry.

Roll clothes.  I roll rather than fold clothes in order to create more space. Rolling makes items more compact and can reduce wrinkles. The heaviest rolls, like jeans, go on the bottom of the suitcase; smaller rolls go on top or crammed into extra spaces. Small rolls in bags can fit in shoes, for example.

Liquids.  The 3-1-1 rule is my personal carry-on nemesis. From contact solution to sunscreen, I need to pack a lot of non-solids. Since I’ll be staying in hotels, I plan to leave behind most of my toiletries and will use the in-room ones provided instead. I also look for alternatives, like face-wipes instead of liquid face wash, to replace my liquid beauty products in solid form. Other essentials, like the giant bottle of SPF 100 I imagine I’ll need in New Zealand, I plan to buy in duty-free. Contact wearers, did you know that saline solution and eye drops are not included in the liquid ban? You’ll still have to separate out the bottles and declare them during screening, but you can have a bigger bottle than 3.4 oz. I plan on printing out that rule from the TSA webpage, just in case my screener is unaware.

(Source:  USA Today)

b9108c2d536a90efd8c5367828bc2f88 (1)








This is a list of items for your small carry-on bag, from Caitlin Schmidt (www.caitlinschmidt.com)…she writes a Great blog…you should follow it:

Things you will always find inside her carry on:

Scarf, sunglasses, and reading glasses
Passport and oversize wallet for tickets, receipts, business cards, etc.
Digital camera and charger
Moisturizer and eye cream
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Mints and gum
Snacks: chocolates and dried fruit are always a good choice.
Magazines and other reading materials (perfect time to put a dent in a reading list!)
Antibacterial wipes and tissues
Travel-size of my favorite scent.
Small mirror and a bag of cosmetic basics (cheek tint, lip gloss, mascara, concealer) to make sure you look fresh before landing!
Jewelry and any other valuables – if you’re luggage gets lost or stolen, you’ll be happy to have lugged it with you! (Also in the case of stolen or lost luggage pack an extra outfit with you. There is nothing worse than wearing the same thing for 48+ hours).

I would be remiss if I didn’t Congratulate the Chicago Black Hawks…Stanley Cup Champs…How exciting is that?!



Have a great weekend, and happy and safe travels, if you are lucky enough to be able to get away…and Happy Summer!



Next Week’s Blog:  Food and Wine Pairings…suggested by Meredith!




One comment

Leave a Reply