How to Pack the Perfect Carry-On

Here’s how to pack everything you need in one piece of luggage.

Packing Luggage© Comstock/Thinkstock

With soaring baggage fees and no guarantee that your checked bag will arrive at your destination, packing the perfect carry-on bag is an essential skill for the seasoned traveler. But just how much can you expect to carry and what should you carry to make sure that you have all the items you need when you travel? Check out our 5 tips for packing the perfect carry-on.

1. Know the dimensions.
Most airlines post their size requirements for carry-on baggage on their website. Make sure that your suitcase is well within these parameters to avoid checking your baggage.

2. Roll clothes like logs, not in stacks.
Lay out your clothing on your bed or on a clean table and carefully roll the items up together. Separate rolls into pants, shirts, and skirts or choose to roll items in separate outfits if you plan to live out of your suitcase at your destination.

3. Stuff underwear and rolled socks in shoes.
Save valuable space by stuffing underwear and socks inside your shoes. Worried about dirt on these items? Place them in a plastic bag and then stuff in your shoes for space savings.

4. Call ahead to your hotel or destination.
Find out what toiletries and amenities your hotel or destination has to offer. There’s no need to bring a hairdryer or extra soap if they are already provided at your destination.

5. If in doubt, don’t bring it.
Not sure if you’ll wear that new skirt? Will you need those sandals on this trip? When in doubt, don’t bring it along. Unless you’re going to the Sahara desert (you’ll need more than a carry-on for that trip), you can find most of the items that you’ll need at your destination. Who doesn’t love a little vacation shopping?

Plus: 10 Ways to Pack Lighter When You Travel

Sources: Woman’s Day,

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest