When I married my husband in 2011, little did I know that would mean a series of long haul flights and packing blunders! I had always been an avid traveler prior to meeting him, but at the time, my cross the water trips generally resulted to one every other year or so. However, with a husband working overseas and an international speaking career, my traveling quickly expedited to 2+ long haul trips a year! Now I travel out of the country a minimum of 4 times per year, and I have learned how to do so with style, comfort and class.
The first thing I did back then was search online for packing lists, which I am sure is what you were doing when you landed on my page. I wanted to know, what exactly should I be taking on this 16 hour flight? What should I pack in my carry on and what should I leave at home? If you are a minimalist, this list may not be for you. As I am by no means a minimalist, however, I do appreciate being organized and well planned. I was going to make this post about a packing list in general, however, I feel there should be a distinct strategy to packing your carryon bag.
The first thing to keep in mind is how long you will be traveling for, the time of day you are departing, arriving at your destination, and if there will be any layovers. This is important because it will determine what is necessary to add to the carry on vs what to place in your checked bag. The tips I am providing are for airlines carriers that do not charge extra to carry on a bag or personal item. Although, the premise will work the same, aside from the fact it will cost you extra to bring the two bags aboard.
Most flights allow 1 carryon and 1 personal item. This is good to keep in mind for those traveling with children and or a spouse. The allowance is per person/per ticketed passenger so if someone in your party is not utilizing their "extra item", it is possible to have them help you bring an item if you absolutely need to! (I do not recommend this unless it is something like a diaper bag or medication that could not fit in your own personal carryon).