Tips on How to Pack a Carry-on

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Tips on How to Pack a Carry-on


For some travelers, the mere thought of packing a carry-on bag can ruin even the most excited vacation anticipation. But packing light can also be a creative endeavor that helps build anticipation for your upcoming vacation. And as checked baggage fees rise, it makes good business sense to master the art of carry-on packing. Here are some tips to save space – and protect your sanity.

If you tend to overpack, first think about why you’re traveling in the first place. This can help you focus on the many sights, sounds, smells, and tastes you’ll experience rather than the many outfits you can’t fit in your bag.

“It’s all about attitude,” said Pauline Frommer, co-president of Frommer’s Guidebooks and Frommers.com, who hasn’t checked a bag in more than 20 years. “When you travel,” she explained, “it’s more about you seeing the world than the world seeing you.”

Pack coordinating colors so you can take fewer items but still have options like wearing the same pants with different shirts. Darker colors mean a stain won’t make something unwearable. And invest in technical clothing. Such pieces keep you warm without adding bulk, are easy to move, have pockets for necessities like glasses and cell phones, and are water and odor resistant so they can be worn more than once. Many outdoor clothing brands (Patagonia and Arc’teryx, to name a few) make clothing that’s great for hiking, yet elegant enough to be chic even when the sun goes down. Just pack a few eye-catching accessories.

“I’m leaning toward maybe throwing in a necklace,” said Ms. Frommer, wearing it over her day clothes, “to make it look more dressy.”

There is no perfect carry-on luggage for everyone. To figure out which bag is best for you, ask yourself how you will use it. Will you be carrying it long distances, through subway turnstiles and through city streets? Or do you normally roll out of a plane and into a car? Bags with wheels tend to put less strain on your body. However, when using public transportation or climbing stairs, a backpack or lightweight travel bag can keep your hands free and make the transition easier. Also think about the things you will bring with you. Structured, harder luggage is often best for keeping dressy clothes wrinkle-free and organizing bulky items like high heels. However, a soft travel bag without wheels has a better chance of fitting in an overhead compartment.

Nerissa Settie, who as butler manager at Raffles Doha in Qatar trains the butler team and oversees daily operations, wrote in an email that “each option offers a different benefit,” with duffel bags offering more depth and being on wheels Bags offer more compartments and less strain on your shoulders. If you choose the latter, buy a bag with four wheels, advises Ms. Settie, which will be easier to maneuver in the airplane aisle.

Whichever bag you choose, know the rules. Hand luggage dimensions vary depending on the airline. Be sure to check your specific airline’s height and weight requirements, including those of all connecting airlines.

Also pay attention to your route and fare class, which may affect the number and weight of luggage you are allowed to take with you. And remember: Even if your bag meets the carry-on baggage regulations, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can take it with you. For example, if you are in a low boarding group, you are more likely to have to check your luggage at the gate. Therefore, keep important items such as medications in a small bag that can easily fit under the seat in front of you. If you are unsure about whether you can pack a particular item, check the government websites of the places you plan to travel through, such as: B. Transportation Security Administration’s “What Can I Bring?” Page and the European Commission’s Information for Air Travelers page.

When packing your clothes, the question arises: should you fold them flat or roll them? Ms Settie recommends rolling as it takes up less space and creates fewer wrinkles. This is easy with t-shirts, but how about a suit jacket? Raffles Doha Butlers use a technique that involves turning one shoulder of the jacket inside out and then tucking in the opposite shoulder, aligning the sleeves and then folding the jacket in half from the inside out, which minimizes creasing and helps with protection Outer layer of jacket (Ms. Settie shared instructions here). Or just wear your blazer on the plane, which Ms. Settie suggests, since jackets and jeans take up a lot of space and weigh more. Plus, it gives you “the added benefit of traveling in style,” she said.

Be careful when storing items in your bag. Place heavier items like shoes at the bottom (near the wheels if your bag has them). Ms. Frommer said she usually packs two pairs and stores things like socks and jewelry in them.

Clothes should rest at the top of the bag to avoid wrinkles caused by weight. Jackets should go in last, Ms. Settie said. You can also add wrinkle protection by placing skirts and blouses in plastic dry cleaning bags, then folding them flat and then placing them in the top of the bag.

A little research beforehand can create a lot of space. Call your hotel or vacation rental to find out if they have items like hairdryers and sunscreen so you don’t have to pack your own, and ask if they have washing machines or offer dry cleaning at reasonable rates.

And don’t worry about packing for every possible eventuality. Shopping for practical items on the go can be great fun. It’s a chance to talk to locals, sample local products (like the affordable beauty elixirs found in Parisian pharmacies), and of course take home a few treasures thanks to the space left in your bag.



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2024-04-03 09:00:21

www.nytimes.com