Airline carry-on luggage DOs and DON’Ts

Airline carry-on luggage dos and don'ts
Airline carry-on luggage dos and don'ts
Avatar of Harry Johnson
Written by Harry Johnson

In recent months more travelers are opting to solely take carry-on luggage over fears of check-in luggage getting lost,

Many of us look forward to our holidays all year long, dreaming of the moment we finally step off that plane.

However, packing can be one of the most stressful parts of a holiday, especially in recent months as more travelers are opting to solely take carry-on luggage over fears of check-in luggage getting lost. 

Travel industry experts have compiled the ultimate guide to packing your carry-on, with a helpful list of dos and don’ts:


Put all liquids in a clear zip bag

You will need to transfer your liquids into the airport-provided bags once at security, so make sure your toiletries are at the top of your bag and easily accessible. That way, you won’t be rummaging around your neatly packed bag to find items like your lipgloss, medications, or hand sanitizer. Grab a couple of extra clear bags for next time too!

Double check carry-on luggage weight and size restrictions

We’re always triple checking the weight of our hold luggage to avoid extra fees, but did you know that some airlines weigh and measure your carry-on? The standard weight and size limits for international flights are about 7kg or 15.5lbs and 56cm x 36cm x 23cm or 22” x 5.5” x 9”. To maximize your space, choose a soft-shell bag with multiple compartments and pockets, or invest if you’ve not already got one.

Be the first on the plane

If you are near the end of the queue when it comes to boarding, your carry-on bag may not fit in the overhead compartment meaning you will have to store it under your seat, or it could be put into checked luggage. This could result in endless waiting at the other end to retrieve your bag. Consider buying priority boarding ahead of time to make sure you’ll be first on the plane and save time.

Roll your clothes

To fold or to roll is the age-old question, but we find that rolling is the best space-saving method. Clothes stack much easier when rolled, and if rolled tightly, creases are also avoidable. An alternative here would be to invest in packing cubes. They help you keep items separated and compact.

Charge all your electronics fully before you set off

The last thing you want to be doing after spending hours packing your bag as tight and neat as possible is rummaging around for a charger. Avoid this hassle by ensuring all devices are at 100% before departing. It is also wise to pack your electronics such as straighteners and laptops at the top of your case as you will need to get these out when preparing your bag for security. 

Wear your largest items while traveling

We’re talking winter coats, big boots, hats, and even an extra pair of underwear. 

Pack versatile items

Make sure to pack things that can have multiple uses, for example, a scarf could be used as a blanket or an accessory. 

Buy things when you get there

Many of your everyday essentials, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and sunhats, will be available at your destination. So why not save space, and consider purchasing these out there? 

Go digital

Make the most of any available switches to digital devices such as eBooks, digital boarding passes, and any other important documents. This way they are easily accessible and won’t take up extra room in your bag. 


Pack liquids above 3.4 ounces (100ml):

Even if you only have half of a 200ml product remaining, you still cannot carry this in your hand luggage. Liquids must be contained in containers of 100ml or less. Make sure liquids are kept at the top of your bag or in an easily accessible pocket so that you’re not holding up the queue at security.

Pack meat, fruit, or other agricultural items

If you are wanting to bring any similar items, make sure to declare them to avoid potential prosecution. 

Pack any sports equipment

Even if it’s just a tennis racket, most sports equipment cannot be taken on as carry-on luggage. If you are planning on participating in any sports while away, plan ahead and hire some equipment out there.

Pack powders more than 12 ounces (350 ml)

First liquids, now powders? Yes, we now have to be wary of how much powder we’re bringing onto the plane according to the new TSA powder rule. So, make sure you’re double-checking your makeup bag before you fly.

About the author

Avatar of Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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