Time To Start Packing: Here's My Carry-on Packing Tips
Hey all, or should I say Hey ya'll, it's Gadabout Gal Michele and I'm about ready to get packing for my trip to Texas! I'm so excited to head to the state where everything's bigger, even the cowboy hats.
But just because Texas is big doesn't mean your suitcase needs to be as well.
Texas has become like a second home to me so packing for my upcoming adventure isn't my first rodeo. I've learned how to make the most of my carry-on suitcase space creating plenty of room for clothes to last me through a five day stay.
I thought I'd share some of my carry-on packing techniques that works for me.
First off, you need to choose the right bag. A bag that is designed well will make packing easy breezy keeping things organized. But even before that you need to make sure it is the correct size and weight parameters for the airline you are flying. Unfortunately not all airlines are alike and there are MANY airline carry-on size restrictions. View the 2018 Carry-On Luggage Size chart to see if your bag dimensions will work.
Next you need to pack for the weather. About two weeks before my trip Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel becomes my best friend. I start looking at the extended forecast just to get a basic idea of temperatures (day and night), and any possible chance of precipitation that could occur while there. I know you might be thinking "Hey Michele, don't you think that's a bit far out!" Actually it's not because it kicks-off my packing preparations by washing some of the items I might want to take and then setting them aside so I don't need to rewash just days before packing. When it's about seven to four days before my departure I look at the Weather Channel again to get a better and probably more accurate idea of the weather.
Then pack only what you need. Yes this is the absolute hardest part. Think of your itinerary. What will you be doing? Do you really need that extra pair of heels (or any at all), or that second sweater? Chances are you won't. Remember what Jim on the Weather Channel said and pack for the weather. Luckily I'll be visiting Texas when it is still warm so I'll be wearing more summertime clothes which are smaller and easier to pack into a carry-on.
Here is my packing clothes list for Texas:
4 tops - short sleeves and maybe one of those sleeveless
3 bottoms - 3 pair of shorts or 2 pair of shorts and one pair of capris
2 sundresses (makes packing so easy because just one dress is an entire outfit)
1 pair of pjs
1 cover up - most likely light sweater type
1 bathing suit - our Waco getaway has a pool!
1 pair of shoes - most likely sandals that will go with everything
As for undergarments I'll probably pack six pairs of undies and a couple bras (maybe one strapless depending on my dress choices). Of course this list doesn't include my flying outfit. To save space the shorts and shoes that I fly to Texas in will most likely be the ones I wear for the flight back home.
Once you decide what you are taking should you roll or should you fold? For me I do both. I fold my bottoms - jeans and shorts and I roll my pjs, tops and dresses. I'd prefer to roll everything if I could because it maximizes my space, it keeps my contents better organized, and my clothes creased and wrinkle free! (The suitcase in the photo is not mine it's merely an example. But oh how I'd love to have those sandals, that tan bag and that hat!).
Want to fit in even more clothes? I'll share a secret ... Tightly roll your clothes and snugly place them into gallon ziplock bags. When you squeeze air out of clothes miraculously you can fit even more! Also your shoes are open containers for socks and undies.
How big and how many toiletries are really allowed in a carry on? I actually just learned this the hard way when I flew to Belize (yes I traveled to Belize with just a carry-on and personal tote). I had the size right - liquids and gels in a 3.4 ounce or less bottle. But what I didn't realize was the amount. My clear toiletry bag was just slightly larger than the allowed quart size. Luckily some of the toiletries weren't considered liquid or gel so I was able to move some things around and not throw anything away. So what I learned is that just my liquid and gel toiletries - body wash, shampoo, conditioner, liquid makeup, mouthwash, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion will go in one bag and my other types of toiletries will go in another. TSA calls this the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.
Now I will always put my toiletries in a clear ziplock baggie in the front zipper compartment of my carry-on to easily remove and then place back into my carry-on after clearing security.
My personal bag. I have a big tote-like purse (I'm holding it in the photo we took in the Belize City airport) and that is where I keep my smaller purse, valuables, cell phone, snacks, headphones, chargers, a book, pen and notepad. My tote purse is big enough that I could add a light jacket in case it's cool on the plane as well as extra room for a possible small purchase while in Texas. You never know when a girl is going to see that one item that she just has to take back home! If I pack only what I need in the way I described above, and after I've used up my toiletries, I should have a some room for a couple small purchases. Yay!
Packing tip: This might be the most important. If for some reason you just can't travel without checking a bag be sure to never check essential and valuable items. They definitely belong in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. Things like your passport, ID, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you.