• Packing the perfect carry-on bag

    2013-09-13

    When you're traveling on long international flights, your carry-on bag is like a life preserver. It's all you have to rely on when trying to stay comfortable and happy while in transit. You shouldn't simply throw a few items into a backpack before you head off to the airport - take time to ensure that your carry-on item is stocked with everything you need to make your travel enjoyable.

    Choosing the bag
    While what goes into your carry-on is important, you must also take time to consider what type of bag you'll bring on your trip. First, visit the website of the airline you are traveling with to determine what size and weight restrictions they place on carry-on luggage. Most airlines allow you to bring both a carry-on bag like a small suitcase or a backpack as well as a personal item, like a purse or computer bag. Think about whether you will be making lots of transfers - if you are going to be rushing to catch a connecting flight, a backpack that you can strap on will likely be more beneficial than a rolling suitcase. However, if it's going to be a long flight, you may want a bag that is easy to sort through, so you can quickly find the many items you'll need to keep yourself entertained.

    Packing the bag
    As you're organizing your bag, think about the order in which you pack your items. Generally, it's best to start with larger items, like a hooded sweatshirt or extra pillow, on the bottom, then put smaller items, like headphones and your wallet, on top. This way, you won't have to sift through your bag to find those little items you need. Your goal should be to maximize space and keep the bag light. This means leaving behind your copy of "War and Peace" and instead bringing an e-reader or magazines.

    What goes inside
    While what you bring on your trip is ultimately up to you, here are a few items that will make a big difference during your trip:

    - Healthy snacks
    - An empty water bottle (to be filled after you pass through security)
    - Earplugs and an eye mask
    - Reading material
    - Aspirin or other over-the-counter medications
    - Cash and credit cards
    - An extra jacket

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