In a recent chat with a friend via Instagram DM, we discussed how I never check a bag when I travel. On my first two flights ever, I did, in fact, check a bag. But after realizing all the wasted time and money on checking a bag, I began packing smarter and lighter. It has reduced travel anxiety and saved me time on trips while making my packing intentional. So, today, I thought I’d share how to pack a carry on for flying and how to save your monies from airline baggage fees!
How to Pack a Carry On for Flying
- Instead of folding clothes, roll them! When I packed for Chicago, I rolled all my clothes. I found it maximized space and I could fit bigger pieces on the bottom while layering smaller pieces on top. On my recent trip to Baha Mar, I was able to fit lightweight pieces into the crevices of bigger, bulkier pieces (like my sequin skirt).
- Maximize space by placing larger items on the end. Like I mentioned above, I layer larger items and bulkier pieces on the bottom and on the ends. Then, I fit in smaller pieces where there is space. For our recent trip to NYC, I packed big sweaters, but lots of leggings, so I alternated a sweater with the leggings rolled up on the side. Think of it like a game of Tetris and it makes it rather fun, too!
- Pack multi-purpose clothing. While I enjoy fashion, I travel with multi-purpose clothing to further maximize my space. I’m not generally going to 5-star restaurants, so I gravitate towards pieces that transition from day to night with the change of shoes or accessories. It eliminates having to pack too much, while still giving me options. An example is this Michael Stars off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit. I can wear this with a pair of Rothy’s flats for flying and walking around a city all day, but dress up at night with heels & a faux-leather jacket. The faux-leather jacket is a great travel accessory for the airport and plane, where I tend to get chilly. P.S. You can get $20 off your first pair of Rothy’s here. I’ll get $20 off my next order, too!
- Bring sample size beauty products. Nordstrom and Sephora offer great sample size products. I like to pick products that work double duty so I can get good use out of an eye cream, face cream, or hair product. One of my favorite samples I got from Sephora was a travel size of IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel and IGK Beach Club spray which works well if I’m wearing my hair straight or curled. Use those points wisely and you could land with some really exceptional traveling products like I did. Just check out that line up all with recent samples from Nordstrom & Sephora.
- Use a clutch. I use a clutch when traveling. It serves as double duty going through the airport and is an easy way for me to keep all my valuables available quickly.
- Untangle cords. Between my cell phone charger, my watch charger, the charger for my AirPods, the charger for my Kindle, and the charger for my MacBook, there are too many cords in my bag. I’ve found that keeping my cell phone charger in an easily accessible pocket is the best bet for me. I use the Lo & Sons OG Bag, and there is a great pocket where I keep my clutch and that cord. But keeping them all separate keeps everything easy in the event that I need them on this spot.
One of my best packing tips is to make a list of items to bring. Knowing what’s on the itinerary makes it easier to pack for the trip. That’s one way I make it easier on myself in packing smarter. I don’t plan by day, but by what I’m doing while I’m there. My biggest pro tip is always packing a rain coat though. It’s an easy way to protect clothes from leaking toiletries in a suitcase and always comes in handy!
On my recent trip to The Bahamas, my friend Kayd had these packing cubes. I think they’re a great option for organizing your carry-on and are an even better price. I ordered the beige for the steal of $11 and can’t wait to use on upcoming trips this year! P.S., I don’t travel without my Lo & Sons OG Bag and this Target carry-on bag.
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Do you have any tips on how to pack a carry on for flying? Let me know in a comment below!