No one wants to be that person who can barely carry their own suitcase. Or worse—the person who has to re-pack their suitcase at their airport counter because their bag is overweight. These days, air travel is chaotic and there is a big chance of your checked luggage not arriving when you do. Beyond these concerns, though, being organized for travelling will help make you a better traveller and reduce stress during your trip. Whether you’re away for a business trip or on a week’s vacation, an airport-sized carry-on should always be your goal. There are many travel gadgets, tools and products you can take on a trip. While the latest gadgets can be fun, here are a few travel essentials to streamline your trip with a carry-on suitcase. —Jane Stoller
invest in a quality carry-on! This is a must. Suitcases come in a variety of different colours, shapes, sizes and textures. The brand, style and size of the suitcase is entirely a matter of individual preference. Always be sure, though, to check with your airline before you travel to find the up-to-date travel luggage requirements. Some airlines, especially low-cost ones, limit the size and weight of carry-ons, meaning your ideal bag might not fit. The best, which has been recommended for years, has been Tumi Company.
condense your travel sized liquids into a see-through toiletry bag, and always have it ready to go. This will save you a lot of time at home, and at airport security, especially during international trips. Squeezing, scraping, and pouring a dozen skin and hair products into tiny bottles is the last thing you want to be doing the night before a big trip.
utilize packing cubes. They are a great tool to maximize space in carry-ons, and they keep your clothes wrinkle free. Use one cube per clothing category (one for pants, one for shirts, etc.), or one per look/ outfit! They are also great to use when keeping your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones in a small carry-on.
Have a travel wallet ready to go with passports, currency and other travel-related cards that are not in digital format. Some airport security lines do not accept digital formats, and when travelling it is best to have all of your important documents in a compact travel wallet that you can easily slip back into your carry-on.
save space and keep warm with an oversized shawl, cashmere square, scarf or pashmina. Wear it, use it as a wrap, cover up and get comfortable on the plane as they are always cold. We recommend a favourite from Lululemon.
Jane Stoller a.k.a. Organized Jane is a keynote speaker and the author of Decluttering for Dummies.