Decide what bag you’re going to bring. You might already have one at home that you’ve used for shorter trips or you may need to buy a new one.
Crafting your packing list for carry on only travel is important, as you’ll want to re-wear pieces of clothing or mix and match. Multi use items come in handy in these situations.
The best bags to use as personal items are large purses, totes, briefcases or other soft bags that can be placed at your feet. The bigger they are, the more likely the airlines are to make you check at least one of your bags.
Use this like a traditional carry on bag, where you’ll have your passport, documents and items to keep you entertained. I typically use either my PacSafe Slingsafe, Manhattan Portage messenger bag or my Simic briefcase as my personal item with my purse stored inside for easy access.
Think ahead to what things will need to be removed from your bag, such as toiletries and laptops, and have those in an easily accessible location.
Before leaving for the airport, give your bag one last check of the dimensions and weight. It can be different when full and you don’t want to fork over unnecessary fees for a few inches (or few pounds)!