Reconsider those wheels
Acing the carry-on begins with the right bag. If you travel a lot, it’s worth it to invest in one you love. First, decide between a duffel or roller bag. On one hand, the roller bag is much easier to get around and will save you some massive shoulder stress. But it’s worth keeping in mind that on many full flights, the flight attendants will automatically check roller bags at the gates, while duffles tend to slide through a bit more easily. If you don’t want to risk having to check your bag plane-side, opting for a duffel may ensure your carry-on actually makes it into the overhead bin. These are the top weekender bags every travel pro swears by.
Once you’ve got the right bag, it’s not just about how you pack it. What you pack makes all the difference. When possible stay away from fabrics that wrinkle easily like silks and linens and opt instead for durable cottons and jerseys. With limited space, you’ll also want to pack versatile outfits—items that layer and can be worn a few different ways will keep you looking fresh without having to pack your whole wardrobe. Staying within one color scheme makes mixing and matching easier. To help take an item from a walking tour to a nice dinner, pack jewelry to jazz up a standard dress or T-shirt. These are vacation items you’ll always regret packing.