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Tips on packing a carry-on bag
Photo: Chieko Kato
Packing Guides

Ask a flight attendant: What’s the secret to fitting everything into a carry-on bag?


Checking is for suckers.

by Kendra Mills | 04.03.2019

This month The Glassy’s asking:

What’s the secret to fitting everything into a carry-on bag?

I’m all about carrying on, and I can honestly say in the years I’ve been flying that I’ve only ever checked bags when I was moving to a new city.

Packing light just makes life so much easier. That was hard for me when I first started, because I’m a hoarder. But the key is to make the most of what you do have, instead of just bringing everything.

It’s all about versatile pieces—things you can dress up or down. So when I pack my bag I always have a nice midi-dress that I can either put a jacket on and some cute shoes and wear to dinner, or wear over my swimsuit to the beach or out to drinks.

Then jeans, which are great if it’s cool outside—you can wear with a nice top—or put over a swimsuit and grab drinks at the bar. And then always pack a jacket; they change the whole look of things. I always have either a jean jacket or a leather jacket.

It’s all about bringing versatile pieces—things you can dress up or down.

Especially living on the go, you have to make sure you make time for your workouts—whether they’re at the gym or just running in the area—so I always have sneakers and at least two workout outfits in my bag. But they don’t take up too much space!

I’ve found the most success with putting shoes at the bottom of the suitcase, and then you roll [the clothing]. Roll it and tuck it. You can fit twice as much stuff in your bag—it definitely saves spaces versus folding.

And don’t pack a blow dryer! Every hotel’s going to have one. And you don’t need to bring all of your products; just the go-tos. Flight attendants have a cheat code—we can bring more than three ounces—but just because I can bring the whole bottle doesn’t mean I have to. So I have my travel-sized products and then keep my big stuff at home. Because how much do you really need for a week-long trip?

There’s more to flying high than just booking an aisle seat. From checking bags to finding something that’s actually edible (and TSA-approved) to eat, there are plenty of ways to get grounded beyond just missing your flight.

Cue Kendra Mills: Every month, the wellness-loving flight attendant for a major airline (sorry, our lips are sealed) answers your burning questions.

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