Tips for packing a carry-on


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The last few times i traveled i tried packing as little as possible so that i wouldn’t have to check a bag. Flying is definitely not fun anymore.


Good common sense tips. Packing cubes (or pouches like she uses) are now a must for me. Between that and learning how to military roll clothing I was recently able to pack (really over-pack) for a two-week-plus trip with only one roll-aboard suitcase and a medium sized daypack – no bag check required.

Also, for anyone who has to fold a suit or sports jacket this method is another game-changer.


A towel is just about the most massively useful thing you can pack.


Pun intended I take it?


[quote=“bencw, post:5, topic:101806, full:true”]
Pun intended I take it?[/quote]
Not by me. It is advice I found verbatim in a travel guide.


Timely and useful info :slight_smile:


Towels do take a lot of room though. I wonder if a microfiber towel would be a good, more compact alternative. Has anyone tried?


Been traveling for 30 years and the best advice is not to bring so much shit with you.

Unless you’re moving or headed into the Congo there’s a Walmart (or similar) everywhere in the world so if you run out of toiletries or need an umbrella just buy one when you get there.

Most people way overpack. Seriously. Take half of what you think you need and your trip will be so much easier.


The old Boy Scout advice:

Make three piles

  1. Stuff you might need.
  2. Stuff you’ll probably need.
  3. Stuff you’ll definitely need.

Leave the first two piles behind.


An uncle and aunt of mine recently went with us to a pool here in Austin and they brought 2 large microfiber towels. They’re super thin and fold very neatly and take up little space. I thought it was pretty clever :slight_smile:


Did it say “Don’t Panic” on the cover???


My last trip I over packed and didn’t use about 80% of it. On the plus side a lot of clothes was clean and ready to be put away when I got home.


Tips for packing a carry-on

Any tips for unpacking a carry-on?


BUT, but…

Where’s the laptop ?


Confiscated by the TSA… I kid, I kid!
The last few trips I’ve taken, if I had to check anything, I took a duffel bag where I put anything I could do without for a couple days, gifts, spare shoes if needed, etc.; if I didn’t need the space later, I rolled it up and stowed it in my carryon or mailed it home. A flat rate USPS box is cheaper than most checked luggage, and they deliver to your door. I also plan on taking along clothing that was still useable, but I could wear it anyplace I didn’t have to impress someone, like hiking. At the end of the trip, I usually dump several articles of worn clothing I had brought with the idea they were going to be abandoned.

Trips longer than 10 days, bring along a laundry pod or two, take fewer clothes, find a local laundromat, and unwind for a couple of hours while your dirty stuff goes round in the washer and dryer. Usually cheaper and less stressful than the luggage carousel mambo.

First stop after arrival is usually the local WalMart/Trader Joe’s/Costco equivalent, for anything I decided I couldn’t live without but didn’t pack.


I do everything possible to avoid having to check a bag. Last time i flew though they made me and a coworker check our bags because there wasn’t any space in the overhead compartments. We did so begrudgingly… and when we got on the plane there was plenty of overhead space. I was not amused.


At this point I barely think about and just throw everything in my bag and pockets into a bin or two.


Reserve the carry-on suitcase for clothing. Keep electronics and toiletries (and also an extra change of underwear and socks) in a backpack or other “personal bag” so you can pull them easily and put them into the tray. Doing it that way, the only bag that the TSA will be inclined to open and inspect is the personal bag that won’t require a lot of unpacking.

For longer trips, I also try to stay in an AirBnB or with friends with laundry machines, but a laundromat will do in a pinch. I also keep about five days’ worth of clothes along with toiletries at my mother’s house so I only have to pack a small weekend bag when I visit.

Mailing things is also a good alternative to checking bags. Hotels will usually sign for a package sent ahead for a guest.


I travel with a microfiber camping towel from REI. It’s convenient as heck, but super unsatisfying to use. Feels more like being squeegeed dry instead of wrapped in fluffy warmth. But it works in a pinch.