These days more and more people are traveling with only a carry-on bag to avoid paying extra baggage fees charged by the airlines. But anyone who’s tried to pack for a whole week in a bag that fits in the overhead compartment knows it isn’t easy.
Well, there’s no doubt flight attendants are experts when it comes to getting everything you need into a small piece of luggage and some of them are offering up their tips on how best to pack in order to accomplish that.
Tips from flight attendants include:
- Plan around your shoes first – Flight attendants suggest limiting the amount of shoes you bring so they don’t take up space, with one suggesting folks bring flip flops or flats, since they are small, a pair of dress shoes, and boots, sneakers or walking shoes, which you wear on the plane. Also, pack those shoes at the bottom of your bag, and roll all your clothes and put them on top, with underwear and socks stuffed into open crevices.
- Try using packing cubes – Packing cubes are lightweight pouches, that keep things neat, compact and organized, and stack in your suitcase like a puzzle, with each containing a different type of clothing.
- Wrap fancier clothes in plastic – If you want to keep your fancy stuff fresh, try packing them in plastic. One attendant says she packs such items in either garbage bags or bags from the dry cleaner, which results in no wrinkles or stains.
- Always bring a swimsuit – You may be headed to a cold location, but flight attendants say it’s good to always have one on hand. As they note, “you never know.”
- Make yourself a portable Rite Aid – Don’t forget to pack all the toiletries you may need. One flight attendant suggests having a medicine kit, with various medicines, ear plugs and hair ties, as well as an airplane kit, that includes an eye mask, Dramamine, neck pillow and more.
- Embrace being basic – It’s hard but do your best to scale back on how much you bring. Folks always think they need more than they do, and that will just weigh down your bag, and make you have to pay money to check it. One attendant suggests sticking to basic colors and clothes, which can be re-worn without anyone noticing. They also advise folks to pack their bag, and then take a quarter of the items out.
- If it doesn’t fit in a bag, wear it – If you really want to bring something but it’s too bulky to pack, wear it. Since planes can be cold, wear that bulky sweater instead of putting it in your luggage. And if it isn’t cold, you could even use it as a pillow.