There used to be a time, long ago, when you could pack as much as you could into one bag and hope that it somehow fit all cozy and comfy into your carry-on luggage without having to stuff it into the overhead compartment.

But now, since the enforcement of rules and regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the size, weight, and types of items you’re allowed to bring aboard an airplane has changed, it’s time to rethink how to fit your belongings into 45 linear inches of space.



So to avoid the impossible (and unavoidable) fees that come along with checking a second or third piece of baggage at the ticket counter, here’s a few tips, accessories, and words of wisdom for all of you looking to save money while also packing the necessary items that will make your plane ride an easy-peasy endeavor.

The Best Carry-On Luggage Features:

The key to packing the necessaries you need for wherever you’re flying to is having the right kind of luggage to fit comfortably in overhead compartments, and light enough to not cause a concussion if dropped upon someone’s head (by accident). Here’s a small list of carry-on features to look for:

1. According to most airlines, the standard weight for most carry-on baggage is 40 pounds, so purchasing baggage that’s equal or less than the specified weight it s fine idea. This way it will also be easier for you to lift over head as you’re storing your baggage, and won’t weigh you down when you’re running to catch your flight.

2. A bag with wheels is definitely a key fixture to any piece of carry-on luggage. For mobility and overall quality, you can’t go wrong with wheels that act as in-line roller skates.

3. Plenty of pockets are a definite must-have item in every piece of carry-on baggage. This way you can add more items while also having enough space to fit bigger items, as well. Also, a bag that offers accessory pouches and a tri-fold hanger are added bonuses.

4. Opting for a carry-on bag that transitions into a backpack is the perfect feature for travel that involves certain degrees of hiking (whether through the woods or in the city). Other great aspect of a transitional piece of carry-on luggage is the ample amounts of buckles and fasteners that come along with it.

5. This feature is probably the least likely accessory to look for, but when it comes to quality carry-on luggage, investing in the right materials is important. Considering that your belongings will be resting next to others that may cause damage, a bag with ABS Plastic (the type of plastic used in protecting baseball mitts and baseballs) will prevent your property from puncture holes or other forms of breakage.

Essential Items: What to Bring and What NOT to Bring Aboard a Plane:

These Pro Tips are, undoubtedly, the most important tips to “carry” with you as your getting ready to  pack your carry-on luggage. As for the rules as to what is–and what isn’t–appropriate to bring onto an airplane, here’s a list of essential do’s and dont’s. Also, make sure to check out  the Transportation Service Administration website for recommended carry-on items too.


1. 3 ounce container (or smaller) of liquids
2. 1 quarter-sized clear, plastic zip-top bag for the 3 oz. or smaller container of liquids
3. 1 carry-on bag for yourself and whomever you’re traveling with
4. A portable DVD Player (for maximum plane entertainment)
5. Your Ipod
6. 1 laptop
7. 1 Laptop-appropriate bag (no snaps, zippers, buckles on top, inside, or underneath the section in the bag specifically for the laptop)
8. Food items such as pies and cakes (that are subject to additional security screening)
9. Video games such as the Playstation PSP


1. Any bulky items that exceed the 40 pounds or less requirement for all carrry-on luggage
2. Pets
3. Any liquid items that exceed 3 ounces.
4. Anything that the Transportation Security Administration website deems as not allowed aboard air crafts.

Now that you’re aware of the best features to look for in a carry-on bag–as well as the appropriate items for which to pack–now it’s time to go about the packing process. So, for yourself, only carry aboard items that you feel should stay aboard with you on the plane, and if you happen to run out of space, perhaps purchasing a few Packing Cubes (designed especially for travel bags), and the popular travel companion, the Space Bag will help you get the most out of the room in your carry-on luggage.

For everyone about to hop aboard a future flight, may this information help you with your carry-on baggage, as well as all the items that go along with it. Happy Traveling!

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Kara Taylor, a student who has almost completed her degree in a hospitality program.

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