How To Pack A Carry-On Like A Pro

13 February 2015
Read Time: 1.9 mins

Words by Carlie Tucker

Those that travel frequently for work can certainly appreciate the value of a well-packed carry-on. Zipping through check-in by skipping the back-drop line is one of the best ways to save valuable time in departing. Plus, you’ll rush to the front of the taxi rank en route to the big meeting as you surpass the need to stand around the baggage carousel on arrival.

Whether you're hitting the road for a couple days, or you're off on an extended two week trip, it is possible to perfectly pack everything you need into a neat and tidy carry-on bag that meets all luggage guidelines. Here's a few tips and tricks that will help you pack like a pro.


1. Carefully Evaluate What You Need

Like most tasks, it’s best to have a plan when it comes to packing. Before you start rifling through the closet, take a few minutes to consider what you'll need. Don’t be afraid to make up a list. This not only ensures you don’t miss anything, but it also restricts you to the essentials. Consider the weather. Limit awkward items such as shoes, and plan daily outfits around a few versatile pieces. 

2. Plan To Wear Your Bulky Items

One of the best ways to save space in your bag is to leave out the bulkier items and wear them to the airport. This includes things like sports coats, blazers and suits.

3. Rolling & Bundle Wrapping

Rolled clothes take up less space than folded clothes, so roll your more casual items. This will also help keep these items wrinkle-free. For thinner items such as shirts and undergarments, you can roll a few together. For thicker items, like jeans, roll one pair at a time.

Bundle wrapping is a technique that helps to ensure the clothes that can't be rolled won't get wrinkled. It's as simple as interweaving clothes into a bungle.  This technique should be used for your dressier pieces such as slacks and collared shirts.

Lay your item with one end in the bag and the other hanging over the edge. Repeat with the next piece hanging over the opposite edge of the bag. Then fold in the overhanging edges, alternating sides as you go.

4. Toiletries

When it comes to packing toiletries, it’s best to keep it simple. This is especially true if you’re travelling overseas. Pack the essentials in small, travel size containers. Pairing down and putting them in a large resealable bag helps to ensure no surprise spills.

5. Put It All Together

Once you have all of your items selected, folded, rolled and ready to go, things get a bit more challenging. Start off by packing your shoes with the soles facing the edges or bottom of the bag. Don’t forget to stuff your shoes with loose accessories or socks. Don’t let any space go to waste!

Next layer your items heavy to light. Create a base around the edges and bottom of the bag with the heavier rolled and folded clothes. Depending on how much you have, you should be able to create an even layer followed by your toiletries. If you have any delicate items (rolled or folded), make sure to put them on top. 

Finish off with miscellaneous items such as chargers, accessories and belts as well as any electronics such as lap tops.  

Image: Getty