How to Pack a Carry On Bag

Posted On Monday, May 24th, 2010
Filed Under: How To, Travel on a Dime

I never check my bags when flying. Seriously, I never (ever) check them. Besides the fact I’m afraid of my luggage being lost, I refuse to pay the fees. Though some airlines like JetBlue and Southwest allow you at least one checked bag for free, others charge on average $20 per bag.

Other than Spirit airlines, which now charges for carry ons (how insane is that?), other airlines allow you two gratis bags to bring on the plane. The key is to effectively pack so you can save cash, but also have your necessities.

Here’s how I pack a single bag for a 10 day vacation.

I start out with a general checklist of clothing:

  • Dresses: they just make it super easy to get dressed. No need to worry about matching a top and a bottom, the dress is just one easy piece. Bring a mixture of casual day dresses and at least one LBD.
  • Jeans: dark denim is pretty versatile. They’re great for day with a tank and sandals or with pumps.
  • Dress pants: a white or black dress pant is always great to take along.
  • Shorts: shorts or a romper depending on how you style it, can go from a day on the beach to a night on the town.
  • Tops: an array of neutral tops will go with everything in your bag. A black cardigan or jean jacket is essential for chilly nights.
  • Shoes: you really just need a comfy pair of flats, sandals, dressy heels in a neutral tone and maybe some sneakers.

Click more to see how I packed everything in one bag with plenty of space to spare…

There’s still space for a Ziploc bag of trial size toiletries, accessories and underwear, all of which can be stuffed in the empty crevices. It’s also a good idea to leave a little space in the bag for items you may pick up while traveling.

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2 thoughts on “How to Pack a Carry On Bag

  1. Wow, that’s some serious packing skills. I’m going to Miami next week and I definitely won’t be paying the baggage fees, they’re almost $30 on some carriers.

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