The Art of the Carry On

I travel a little bit for work, and at least once a year for a family vacation. And I am starting to become a pro at the carry on game. Just recently I packed for a conference and a day of snowboarding all in my carry on. (even snowpants)

So what do you need to know? First of… put that purse in your carry on. You’re only usually allowed 2 items on the flight and that purse is not big enough to be efficient. So pack it.

What kind of bags will you need to master the art of carry on? You’ll need a good carry on suitcase + a backpack.
Now airlines are starting to crack down on the size, which is fine. So make sure your carry on adheres to the sizes. Airlines like Air Canada actually make you put your bags in “sizers” and if approved you get a tag saying you’re good. So you really have to make sure they adhere to the dimensions.
For your standard article (23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm [9 in x 15.5 in x 21.5 in] Wheels and handles included.) and 16 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 in x 13 in x 17 in) for your personal item.

How to pack
In your backpack (or larger purse – think Lug Puddle Jumper bag), put everything you’ll need to take out when going through security like your electronics (laptop), your liquids (we’ll get into that in a second) and wallet/ID.

Everything else that you absolutely don’t need for the flight goes into the suitcase. So no need to deal with opening and closing that bad boy.



I use a plastic see through bag for all my liquids. That way it’s super easy to pull in and out and you’re totally abiding by the rule of having your liquids in a bag that security can see into. I use to always use those security bags they have at the airport, but it got annoying so this was an amazing investment.
As are mini versions of the products you use. Put them all in there. Hotels that have shampoo bottles with a removable top are gold. You can use those over and over again with other products.

On the plane
Unless you’re on a smaller plane, your suitcase should fit up top. And then you take your backpack and place it under the seat in front of you.
Remember how I told you to keep all your items that you need for the flight in that backpack, well it’s super easy to get to if it’s at your feet!

These rules apply for anyone with a seat. So if your toddler has his/her own seat, they are also allow the same amount of items.

If you are travelling with an infant on your lap, you may bring one standard carry-on bag not exceeding 10 kg (22 lb) in weight to carry their belongings, in addition to your personal carry-on allowance. (from the Air Canada Website)

That being said, having 3 items is A LOT especially if you’re traveling alone with the infant, so think ahead on that one.


Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

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