Space inside my carry-on is gold. I approach packing like an engineer. That is why I don't favor those spinners (the four wheel hardsides that are so popular.) Yes, you glide along without a care in the world with your cute little suitcase by your side. But, you have just spent valuable cubic inches for the two extra wheels. For me, I could fill that space with just one more outfit or pair of shoes. Dimensions for a domestic carry on are usually 22"x14"x9" (international flights a tad smaller 20"x14x9”). If four wheels take up 3 inches all around, that's sucking up packing space. Personally I always choose the suitcase with two tucked in wheels. But I choose the biggest strongest wheel and handle system I can find. This will steady the bag over curbs, up and down stairs and over cobblestones.
OK, I'm a girl and my bag is heavy. I clunk around and need a wheel that can take serious abuse. The other packing "must" for me are packing cubes. They are an efficient way to cram a lot of clothes into a small space. I organize my outfits, then pile them into a cube. I smash them down and zip up the cube. And my clothes stay perfectly folded and fresh when I unzip. All the extra spaces around the cubes are for shoes and miscellaneous items. When you open your bag, your clothes are tidy. This avoids the constant folding and unfolding. My last tip for women is accessorize. A pair of earrings or scarf can take you from day tour to captain's dinner. Pack a neutral color theme and doll it up with accessories. You can go for a month in a carry on. Yes, I do it all the time.
Take a look at our packing cubes for stress free packing here!
- Sharna Heyne, owner of En Route Travelware