How To Pack A Carry-On

Last week, we learned about how best to pack a suitcase; so why not learn about how best to pack a carry-on this week? Packing a carry-on can be less stressful than packing a suitcase, but it’s still as important. If you’re flying, it’s even more important when it comes to packing a carry-on. While it might be less of a tetras-like game when it comes to fitting everything in, there are some things that you still need to make sure that you have in your carry-on bag:

Pack an extra outfit

Make sure to pack an extra outfit in your carry-on! This is helpful in case you lose your suitcase with all of your clothes and need an emergency outfit to hold you over until you get your suitcase or new clothes. Even if you don’t lose your suitcase, this is helpful when you’re tired from traveling and/or jet lag to feel like having to unpack your suitcase and search for what you’d like to wear (trust me, this happens more often than it might seem). Don’t forget to use the roll or cube methods when packing an extra outfit! This shouldn’t take up too much room and can be placed in one of the corners of the bag.

Packing your prescription medication

This is vital: make sure to pack your prescription medication in your carry-on bag! Again, this is extremely helpful, especially in the event of your checked suitcase getting lost and/or stolen. Prescription medications are necessary for a lot of people, so keeping them in your carry-on allows you to keep a close eye on your medications, get through TSA/Customs okay, and ensures that you can keep taking your medication on a daily basis after you get to your destination and don’t have to worry about unpacking your suitcase to get to them or stress over losing them & trying to replace them on your trip.

Keep them together in one place in your carry-on and get a doctor’s note for them with you in case TSA/Customs asks you about why you have them. You can do pack your medications by placing them in a toiletries bag or a clear sandwich/gallon bag.They can be placed at the top of your bag for easy access to them (as long as you keep an eye on your bag and make sure that no strangers can get to them & steal them).

Pack your electronics & entertainment

Don’t forget to bring your laptop/camera/other electronics if you need them for your trip! It’s much safer for the electronics & easier for you to bring most of them with you in your carry-on bag. This might be the only time where you play packing tetris when putting them in your bag – make sure they’re in their cases (i.e. laptop cases, camera cases, etc.) and do your best to pack them in a way that ensures that they won’t break or damage and pack your clothes & medications in around them. The only caveat: you’re most likely going to need to take them out again when going through security checks at the airport. And don’t forget to download movies for the plane ride and/or bring a book with you for entertainment purposes!


If you’re interested in learning more travel tips, check out our Travel page! And check out our Lifestyle page as well if you’re interested in learning more lifestyle tips & tricks.



Briana Maddox View All →

As an recent college graduate who studied media studies and anthropology in college, Briana Maddox enjoys learning about different cultures, traditions, holidays, historical figures, experiences, and opinions. With a vested interest in sharing such learning experiences, Briana created Life & Anthropology in the hopes of helping other people gain a better understanding and working knowledge of such topics.

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