12 Genius Packing Hacks & Tips for Your Carry On Bag

So if you travel by air at all, we don’t have to tell you how much luggage fees have gone up in the last couple years. We also probably don’t have to tell you that traveling with a carry on can save you from lost luggage, missed connections and precious time.

These genius packing hacks & tips for your carry on bag will help you pack everything you need for your trip, without having to pay that luggage charge.

We found the secrets the top travel bloggers and magazine editors use to traverse the world, with nothing but carry on luggage. So here are our top picks on how to pack a carry on like a pro!


12 Genius Packing Tips & Hacks for Your Carry On Bag


Packing Hacks & Tips for Your Carry On Bag

Use Packing Cubes

The number one packing tip we get over and over from travel bloggers is to use packing cubes. ‘Her Packing List‘ is a site dedicated to travel, and they tell you everything you need to know about how to use packing cubes. We suggest you check out Ebag packing cubes at ‘Amazon‘, the highest rated packing cubes.


You also might want to check out the compression packing cubes from ‘Tripped Travel Gear’ or browse the huge selection at Amazon.


Another one of our favorites is the Calpak Packing Cubes. Their signature 5 piece set comes in 12 different colors and patterns. Check out the Calpak packing cubes here. Calpak has some fantastic bags and luggage as well!


Mix and Match Clothing AKA Carry On Capsule Wardrobe

Caffeine and Roses‘ suggests choosing what you pack in a carry on is as important as how you pack it! Choose clothes that can be mixed and matched. Just a few pieces of neutral clothing and a few accessories can create many different outfits when put together in different ways.



Learn Clothes Rolling for Carry Ons

One of the best ways to pack more clothes into your carry on bag is to learn how to roll clothes effectively. This also helps keep them wrinkle free. (Or at least, not looking like you slept under a bridge.) ‘Lifehacker‘ has perfected what they call “The Skivvy Roll”. All your basics for each day rolled into a nice, neat ball!


For everything else, check out the tutorial at ‘Seven Graces Blog‘ on how to roll clothes for packing. From shorts to bathing suits, she can fit everything inside of a duffel bag!



Pack Inside Your Shoes

Here’s one of our favorite packing hacks. From ‘Sara Laughed‘, use your shoes as packing space. At the same time, wrap your shoes with a shower cap or laundry bag to keep your clothes clean.


Jewelry Packing Hacks

If you want to take jewelry on your trip, don’t pack it in a bulky case in your carry on bag. Save space and keep your jewelry safe by using these easy packing hacks. From ‘Sincerely Katarina‘, try slipping your necklaces through a straw, then clasp them. This will keep them from getting tangled and allow them to be tucked into a small pocket.


Slip earrings onto buttons. Small enough to efficiently pack, not so small that they will get lost! Choose brightly colored buttons so you can keep track of them in your bag. From ‘Cosmopolitan‘.


Limit Makeup and Liquids in Your Carry On

Not only do the airlines limit your liquids, they also limit the space your liquids can take up in your carry on bag. More than once my allowed “quart size” bag of liquids has expanded (unintentionally, of course!) to a “gallon” size. And you don’t want to have to throw away your expensive cosmetics at security. Trust me. You don’t.  It hurts. And instead of brining along a huge makeup bag, don’t you want room to bring home souvenirs? So take only as much as you need by using these carry on packing hacks. Store enough eye cream, serum or foundation in an empty contact case. Packing tip from ‘Cosmopolitan‘.


This packing hack is brilliant. From ‘The Mighty Girl‘, create your own one use travel size cosmetics and lotions using straws!


Travel Fashion Girl‘ nixes liquid face soap, and she cuts up a bar of soap and wraps each piece separately. That way, she just has enough to use at each stop. No more sloppy soap to take home! And no liquids to declare.

Pack Your Hat

Pack a hat without crushing it by filling the bowl tightly with firm clothing. Then you can simply pack away and the hat will not be crushed! Tip from ‘Pure Wow‘.


Toothpaste Packing Tips

I always like to take my specialty toothpaste with me, anywhere. And you can’t often find it in the travel size section. Consider limiting your liquids and your carry on bag weight by making toothpaste dots! From ‘Lady Light Travel‘.

Try these genius packing hacks & tips for your carry on to make your next trip go smoothly! We think you will also want to jump on over to our post on 20 Best Beauty & Makeup Hacks and 14 Clever Home Hacks. Also check out DIY Jewelry Organizers over at TBD, there is one for travel there as well!

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Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates & Steve Bates (co-owners) – Woodard Bates Media LLC consisting of three blogs: TheBudgetDecorator.com, OhMeOhMyBlog.com and TheGardenGlove.com.

Kathy Bates’ previous writing credits include:

Former home decorating expert for Lifetime TV, Galtime and Country Woman Magazine.

Her book spent time at #1 on Amazon’s Home & Garden Topseller List in 2002.

Published or featured in numerous national publications, including:

Country Sampler’s Decorating Ideas magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch, Decorating Solutions magazine, Decorating Ideas magazine, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City News, The Oklahoman, Akron Beacon Journal, Pensacola News Journal and The Telegraph.

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