The air travel chaos of summer 2022 brought mass cancellations, overwhelming lines and mounds of lost luggage to airports around the world. Although departure schedules and crowds are not within a passenger’s control, many travelers have decided to take action on the lost luggage front ― by vowing to never check a bag again.
“I only check a bag if it is absolutely necessary,” Phil Dengler, co-founder of The Vacationer, told HuffPost. “I avoid checking a bag because it is often more expensive, and the risk of it getting lost or delayed is too high. This strategy saves me money and decreases my stress when flying.”
If you’re traveling with a ticket that allows for a carry-on bag and personal item, that’s the simplest way to get your things to your destination.
“I personally prefer to travel with just a carry-on to save time and avoid lugging a massive suitcase around,” said Casey Brogan, a consumer travel expert at Tripadvisor. “When I arrive at a vacation destination, the last thing I want to do is wait around in the airport.”
Fitting everything into carry-on luggage might feel easier said than done for some people. Still, there are practical ways to make it happen. Below, find 15 carry-on packing tips from Dengler, Brogan and other travel experts.
Wear your largest footwear on the flight
Be strategic about your plane outfit. What you choose to wear can free up precious space in a carry-on, especially when it comes to shoes.
“You should always fly wearing your footwear that takes up the most amount of space,” Dengler said. “Certain shoes, boots, and other footwear can take up a ton of suitcase space, and most can’t be folded.”
He also advised limiting the footwear you pack to what you absolutely need for the trip.
Stick to a color scheme
“The smartest thing you can do to minimize the risk of overpacking is to make sure you will wear everything you bring,” said Gabby Beckford, a self-proclaimed “carry-on-only queen” and founder of the aptly named travel site Packs Light. “I always try to pack with a color scheme in mind. With pieces in the same color scheme, you can mix and match as much as you need.”
As you select clothes for the trip, try to visualize how each piece could work with multiple other garments to create a variety of cohesive outfits. You can mix things up with well-placed accessories that don’t take up as much space in a suitcase.
“I recommend packing clothing with neutral colors that can make a…