Traveling as you know, is something I love to do.  It’s in my blood. Packing simply is not. Here are a few packing strategies for your carry on.

We all have the same issue, how to pack everything we need in that small carry-on to avoid checking a bag and paying those fees.  

There are many ways of doing it and it differs from person to person. But once you find what works for you it makes it less of a hassle in the future.

Make a list

Great packing strategies for your carry on I recommend is to start by making a packing list. Do this as soon as you know when you’ll be traveling. It’s less likely you’ll forget something that could be important.

Consider how many days you’ll be away. Then, pack things you can reuse. For instance, a pair of pants that can turn into shorts or a pair of pants that can be dressed up and down.

For women, solid color skirts can be used several times if you mix up the tops your pack. Throw on a printed scarf (if weather permits) and you’ve not just dressed the outfit up, but you’ve made it look completely different.

The Day Before Travel

Pull everything from your packing list and lay it out. Purchase travel-sized toiletries. These are already TSA compliant and are designed to travel.

If you’ll be staying in a hotel, consider using the amenities they offer. This saves on space and accidental leakage.

Click here for a free Female Packing List

Click here for a free Male Packing List


There are a couple of benefits if you consider rolling rather than folding your clothing.  

Rolling your clothing tightly creates more room in your carry on and a lot less wrinkled.  If you’re like me and hate ironing, this is a fantastic way to avoid that task.

Packing cubes and or compression sacs can also be a great space saver. Using them allows you to separate your clothing. Staying organized is a time saver as well.

I prefer packing cubes over compression sacs. With the compression sacs, you may not stay within the weight limit for a carry-on and that may be an issue with some air travel.


I suggest only packing two pairs of shoes. For women, depending on the weather, pack a pair of black flats for boots that will go with both a dress and pants.

A pair of comfortable walking shoes like runners is perfect for exploring a new destination.

Also, take advantage of the spaces in the shoes for smaller items. You can stuff your undies, socks, hairbrush, sewing or first aid kit in them.

Take advantage of every little bit of space you can find!

ALWAYS be sure to check with the airline you’re flying as well as TSA to comply with their rules.  

You definitely want to avoid any rule breaking that could potentially disrupt your trip.

Hope some of these packing strategies help. Do you have any tips of your own? Share them with us.

Happy travels!

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