Packing Light: 7 Ways To Carry-On

Packing strategic organization, and with increasing checked-baggage fees, experienced travelers often pare down to the bare essentials to save money. Here are seven tips to help you pack efficiently.

1. Carry-On Size Matters
If your bag exceeds your carrier’s carry-on size restrictions you may pay more. Before you choose your suitcase, check your airline’s carry-on baggage requirements. Most domestic carriers allow luggage that is 45 linear inches (the total length, width and height of a bag) on board. Keep it to 20 inches in length and 20 pounds fully packed and you should have no problem boarding domestic carriers.

2. Less Color Is More
If you’re traveling business, bring along shirts, pants and sports jackets that complement each other in whites, khakis, blacks and browns. Take a white-collared shirt – you’ll find it easy to mix and match pieces and it allow extra room for packing casual clothing too.

3. Pack Ahead
Packing at least one day prior to your flight will most likely reduce the chance of including items that just aren’t necessary. Lay out all the clothing so you can see everything – and evaluate which items can logically be left behind.

4. The Layering Trick
Wear your bulkiest items, like coats, big sweaters and heavy shoes on the flight. If the airplane cabin gets too warm you can always place items in the overhead bin.

5. Take The Air Out
Put your bulkiest items into compression bags or cubes that reduce excess air. And tuck small accessories, like belts, socks and gloves, into larger items like shoes and boots.

6. Rolling vs. Folding
Just roll clothes instead of laying items flat and you’ll save room. Stack the bulkiest items, like pants and sweaters, into the corners of your luggage to distribute the weight, then compile rolled items in the center of the bag. You can insert a piece of tissue paper between each item to prevent extra wrinkles.

7. Save the Lightest for Last
Once the bulky clothing is packed inside your carry-on, place the lighter items like toiletries on top. Just remember the TSA three-ounce liquid restrictions and requirements that you present the liquids at security checkponts.