Packing an organized carry-on bag means you’ll be prepared for short-term inconveniences, since even at the best of times, travel can be stressful and you sometimes need to recalibrate travel plans on the fly.
The name of the game is to keep it E-A-S-Y: Essential, Accessible, Space for Your items.
Ask if it’s ESSENTIAL, keep the items ACCESSIBLE, maximize limited SPACE, and prioritize YOUR needs for a successful trip.
Travelling soon? Here’s a handy list to help avoid getting carried away with packing your carry-on bag the “EASY” way …
At the top of the list for carry-on bag packing are the essentials. These are the items you cannot afford to lose and the ones you cannot travel without. Think: passport, wallet, medications, and charging cords. These items should be packed and organized before anything else takes up space in your bag.
Next come hygiene supplies. These are what you might need if you find yourself without checked luggage for a night. Think: toiletries and a change of clothes.
Finally are the entertainment and comfort objects. Here’s where you could include all the fun items to help ensure an enjoyable trip. Think: a book, laptop or tablet, travel pillow, and snacks.
Keeping your Carry-On ACCESSIBLE
Regardless of your mode of transportation, there are many times that travellers simply don’t have the space to fully open up a bag and sort through all the contents before retrieving their desired items. Sorting your carry-on bag essentials into smaller compartments or containers can help facilitate swift retrieval as needed.
For keeping belongings sorted and easy to access, packing cubes are a fantastic investment, particularly those that offer the additional bonus of varying sizes and colours for an extra level of systematic structure to your suitcase.
Not sold on packing cubes? Ziplock bags are an affordable alternative that can be as effective for keeping small items separate from larger ones.
SPACE for YOUR items in your carry-on bag
Carry-ons have stringent size restrictions that can make for some challenging decisions when deciding what supplies do and do not make the cut on your list of carry-on essentials.
Listen up parents and people-pleasers: As they say on the plane, you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Use this metaphor for packing your carry-on essentials! Sure, it might be nice to fit in a snack for your little ones or hold your travel companion’s power cords for them, but your kind intentions should not come at the expense of your own needs.
You deserve to take the edge off of your own travel stress as much as the rest of your group or family. Not to mention, there can be the unfortunate occasions when travel parties are split up, wherein your generous organizing approach ultimately creates inconvenience rather than assistance.
Ensure your own items are packed in your carry-on and only add additional items if space permits.
Bonus: Expect the unexpected when packing your carry-on bag
1. A refillable water bottle should make it inside your carry-on bag or attach on the outside. With liquid restrictions at security (and the high price of purchasing beverages), being able to fill your bottle at any fountain or sink is crucial.
2. Keep a card with important numbers written down. Be honest, can you remember the numbers of your top three contacts? In the case of a lost phone, this could be a lifesaver.
3. In the unfortunate event of a spill or accident, an empty plastic bag will be your best bud. Just keep it folded and tucked at the bottom of your bag for emergencies.