Your Money MattersConsumer Reports


How to maximize your carry-on bag for your next trip

Posted: 8:30 AM, Nov 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-19 11:13:42-05

If you're taking a plane trip anytime soon you might consider bringing only a carry-on. Some airlines have recently upped their fees from $25 to $30 per checked bag. But it is possible to fit everything into a carry on. 

"The number one thing you need to do is make a list of your essentials," says Consumer Reports Travel Editor, Octavio Blanco. 

Include everything: clothing, shoes, toiletries, medication, electronics and documents like passports. Next, forget about a separate outfit for each day. Instead mix and match - three tops to go with one pair of pants, for example. And stick with three pairs of shoes.

"Big things like shoes should go in the bottom," says Blanco. 

Pack them toe to heel at the base for stability. And roll non-wrinkle prone items instead of folding them. And what about your undergarments? 

"Put them in between the cracks. Stuff your socks into your shoes," says Blanco. 

And into your toiletry bag, too. Tuck scarves and belts along the edges of your suitcase. Save wrinkle-prone items for last. Put them in a bag and lay them flat on the top. And try to use outside pockets for things like itineraries and computers.

Follow these steps and you just might have room for souvenirs.