tsacarryonWith the rates that some airlines are charging for checked baggage, it’s no surprise that many travelers are instead turning to carry-on bags to hold everything they need for that trip. Are you planning to skip the bag fees for your next trip? Here are some tips to help you pack in the most efficient manner!
Follow the TSA Rules for Carry On Bags
TSA Rules are constantly changing, so make sure you check the website before packing. As of now, you’ll need to put all of your liquids (3 oz or less) in a 1 quart bag. You are only permitted one clear plastic bag with liquids – and it needs to be taken out of your suitcase and placed on the security belt separately.

Pack the Right Sized Bags
If you are flying domestically, the FAA allows you one carry-on suitcase and one “personal item” – a purse, camera bag, or briefcase. Generally, your personal item will need to fit under the seat in front of you. There are also separate guidelines for the size of your suitcase – get the specific details from your airline.

What to Put in Your Bags
I recommend packing at least one change of clothes, all of your essential toiletries, medications, and fragile materials in your carry-ons if you are planning to check a bag. If you aren’t going to check a bag, put all fragile items, essentials, and medications in your personal item. In many cases there won’t be room in the overheads for your suitcase, and it’ll need to be checked, so you’ll want those important things with you. I also like to leave anything I’ll need during the flight in that personal item, so that I can access it quickly.

How to Pack Your Carry-On Bag Efficiently
You can fit A LOT in a carry-on sized suitcase if you pack efficiently. Rolling your clothes is the best way to fit lots of clothes in a suitcase, and they’ll be much less wrinkled when you arrive at your destination. I also like using packing cubes to separate all of my clothing and keep the suitcase organized.

Remember that if you are traveling on an airline that charges for checked bags, you’ll be competing with all of the other passengers for overhead space. Be prepared to be asked to check your bag if you are one of the last to board.

Photo credit: Javajoba on Flickr