There are a lot of carry-on luggage rules we all have to deal with when we travel. There are many prohibited items that can be useful on your trip, but you can’t bring. Additionally, the number of rules you have to follow can be many and confusing and it can get you in trouble if you’re unaware. So, what are the things you need to remember when packing your carry-on luggage?
Carry-On Luggage Rules: The Do’s and Don’ts
1. Leave Prohibited Items
It goes without saying: the most important of carry-on luggage rules are what airlines consider as prohibited items. Firearms, sharp implements, tools, flammable liquids, and even your lighter is on the no-fly list. Most airlines have even banned the Samsung Note 7 because of reports that the phone has blown up a number of times.
When you’re fixing up your carry-on luggage, do not leave any undesirable prohibited items inside intentionally and unintentionally. If you can’t live without your nose hair trimming scissors or your multi-tool, however, consider putting those in your check-in bag instead.
2. Size Matters
One of the unspoken carry-on luggage rules is the size of your bag. The general rule of thumb is as long as the bag fits through the X-ray machine, it’s allowable. However, allowable carry-on luggage sizes aren’t standardized as some airlines offer much bigger cabin space than others.
Therefore, it pays to be one step ahead and ensure your carry-on luggage is a decently small-sized bag that can fit most of what you need. To help you out, here’s a chart of carry-on size specifications of over 150 airlines.
3. Pack Your Liquids
Some things we just can’t live without. This includes your toner, cleansing water, perfumes, shampoos and conditioners, and various other liquids. If you’re a vaper, you might even have several bottles of juice with you on your flight. Sadly, you can’t just put in any amount of liquids in your bag as you wish.
Airlines have restrictions on the volume of liquid you can put in your carry-on luggage. Most airlines allow no more than 100ml per liquid container. Put your necessary liquids in small, easy-to-carry plastic bottles. Additionally, you must put your liquids in a resealable plastic bag to prevent any leakages from happening. Neither you nor the airline would like your luggage to get wet, right?
4. Watch Your (Bag’s) Weight
If you’re traveling with only your carry-on, be warned. Weight limits are an absolute when it comes to carry-on luggage rules. Most airlines would restrict its fliers to a 7kg weight limit for their carry-on bags. While the luggage compartments are rated for a lot more, weight is at a premium when you fly. When flying inside a metal cylinder weighing a few tons even without passengers, it’s hard to argue.
Weigh your bags before you get to the airport. Try to cut down on what you bring with you. If you end up with more than the weight limit at the airport, be prepared to leave some items. Alternatively, you could just check-in your baggage and bear with the added costs.
5. Portability is Essential
This should go without saying: portability is essential with your carry-on luggage. Several passengers will have to jockey for space inside the compartments, so make sure your bag will fit. That’s not the only thing: you will have to carry it.
When choosing a bag, make sure it’s either pullable or easily picked up. As you will be hauling your carry-on luggage from the plane to wherever you’re going, it’s easier for you to have a conveniently portable bag.
6. Organize, Organize, Organize
Your carry-on luggage will be inspected several times as you go through each gate, so it’s best to organize everything as neatly as possible. This will avoid unnecessary rummaging while having your bag checked. Furthermore, this will make living off your suitcase even easier as you will know exactly where each item will be.
Plan out what you’re putting on your carry-on at least a week ahead of your trip. Put everything in travel pouches and roll your clothes instead of folding them. It would also help if you make a travel checklist of what you need to bring beforehand.
7. Consider Premium
If you’re the type who really can’t live without a lot of stuff when you travel, consider going premium. A lot of airlines offer a frequent flyer package. Most of these perks include free seat upgrades, a private lounge while you wait for your flight and free refreshments in-flight. Most importantly, premium memberships with airlines allow passengers bigger carry-on capacity or waived check-in luggage fees.
Tortuga relays some of the best carry-on luggage tips and hacks in this video.
While it’s true that carry-on luggage rules can be overwhelming and confusing, it’s a necessary evil any traveler has to deal with. As long as you follow these basic rules and organize your luggage as best you can, you’ll be flying off to your dream vacation in no time and with no problems!
Got any carry-on luggage life hacks to share? Post them in the comments section below.