With the rising cost of airline baggage fees, one of the most effective ways to cut costs on airline travel is to carry on your luggage. Most major airlines allow you to carry on a 9×14 size luggage which can be safely and comfortably stored in the overhead storage bin. By carrying on, not only are you eliminating baggage costs but you’re able to de-board your plane and head off on your travel adventures sooner. If you’re considering carry on for your next travel experience, here are our Travel Packing Tips that Comply with TSA Guidelines.
- Verify Carry-On Luggage Requirements Prior to Packing
Although there are industry standards, airlines reserve the right to designate a carry-on luggage size, or depending on your ticket classification, say that you cannot bring a carry on at all. Prior to deciding how to pack for your trip, we highly recommend doing basic research on your airline’s website to determine if you can bring carry-on luggage and If so, what size it should be. This basic information can be found in two places. Most airlines give you this information just after booking your ticket via the confirmation email or you can search their site for a FAQ page. When in doubt, contact customer service for more information. The last thing you want is for your luggage to be the wrong size and have to pay for checked baggage at the gate prior to boarding.
- Choose Multi-use and Travel Sized Items for your Packing List
TSA is very strict when it comes to liquids and items that are not allowed in your carry-on bags and luggage. When in doubt, we recommend checking with your airline or the TSA website for requirements. Some basic knowledge for TSA packing is 3.4 ounces of liquids, gels, toothpaste, lotions, or any other toiletry item. The general rule of thumb is the 3-1-1 rule meaning 3 ounces of liquids in 1 clear quarter-sized bag and each passenger in your group is allowed one bag. To make this easy, most easily accessible toiletry stores like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. have a designated section for travel-sized items, containers, and carrying kits. They are typically inexpensive 3oz sizes of your favorite brand items and take the guessing game out of packing. For more information about items that you can and cannot bring, click HERE to view the checklist on the TSA.gov site.
- Downsize then Downsize Again
If you are a heavy packer, a smaller bag will challenge you to downsize. As to not exceed the TSA limits for weight and make the TSA screening process a nightmare, we recommend downsizing what you pack in your luggage and then downsize again. Only pack what you need for the trip and leave the rest. The best way to organize luggage is by using packing cubes. Packing cubes allow you to stay organize and maximize the space you need in your luggage. Additionally, if you have to remove something from your luggage for TSA inspection, it allows you to keep your items safely stored and easy to repack.
- Plan to Place Removable Items near the Front of Your Luggage
If you’ve traveled via air before, you know how crowded TSA lines can get. To maximize your time and get through TSA faster, we recommend placing your removable items toward the front of your luggage. TSA will ask you to remove snacks, drinks, and electronic devices. Additionally, be sure to remove water bottles with liquid from your luggage as they are not permitted. It is always a great idea to travel with an empty water bottle that can be refilled prior to or after boarding your plane. Placing them in an area of your luggage that is easily accessible will help you move swiftly through the TSA line and get you on your way to boarding your plane as soon as possible. Plus, the patrons in line behind you will thank you.
- Consider TSA Pre-check if you travel Often
While not a packing tip, purchasing TSA Pre-Check can save you a ton of time in the future. TSA pre-check allows you to breeze past the TSA checkpoint without removing your shoes and/or take any items (like electronics and snacks) out of your bag. As long as your bag still adheres to the TSA requirements, your trip through the TSA checkpoint should be swift and simple. This nominal fee is certainly worth the cost if you are a frequent traveler.
Consider using these 5 Tips on your next air travel journey. For more information about TSA guidelines and regulations, visit https://www.tsa.gov.
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