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tips for packing for a flight

Tips for Packing for a Flight

Packing for a trip seems like an easy task, but nowadays you have to pay a lot more to put your luggage on a plane.  I have tried to put everything into a carry on for short trips, to save the wait to pick up luggage and ultimately the cost. To be honest I find it all overwhelming.

I decided to try to help others with my dilemma. So I asked myself:

  • How many days stays warrants a carry on versus checked baggage?
  • How many bags can you bring on the plane? and what is considered the standard size?
  • What types of clothes travel well, what do you actually need?
  • The Packing List, tried tested and true advice from Otis Batterbee’s and Garance Doré’s packing experts!”

HEYS SuperLite Three-Piece Set




HEYS SuperLite Three-Piece Set (Blue)

$ 575.00 $ 258.75






How many days stays warrants a carry on versus checked baggage?

From what research seems to dictate, it looks like carry on luggage should be good for a four day trip. anything over four days you need your larger suitcase and baggage should be checked.  The trick is to be versatile with your packing, and yes remember its OK to wash clothing along the way.


HEYS Nottingham Executive Business Case 17 Inch



HEYS Nottingham Executive Business Case 17 Inch




Baggage Guide

How many bags can you bring on the plane? What is considered the standard size?

Carry-on baggage allowance*:
1 standard article and 1 personal article

* If you are traveling with an infant on your lap, you may carry on 1 additional Standard article for their belongings.

Some Examples:

  • Carry-on bag, roller bag, backpack, briefcase,
  • Laptop computer,
  • Cat or small dog in its carrier,
  • Airport shopping and duty-free purchases,
  • Sport racquet (e.g. tennis, squash, badminton),
  • Camera bag,
  • Garment bag (size and weight restrictions apply),
  • Diplomatic or consular bag,
  • Musical instrument.

For more information check with the company you are flying with, as these details might change from carrier to carrier.

Carry On Baggage (maximum size, weight and more…) Information provided by Air Canada

Maximum Size

23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm
(9 in x 15.5 in x 21.5 in)
Wheels and handles included.

Maximum Weight

10 kg (22 lb)

Checked Baggage (bags going in the airplane’s cargo hold)

Number of bags allowed free of charge, maximum size and weight, and much more…

Sport equipment and more…

Information on packing and pre-registration

Restricted and prohibited items

(liquids and gels, batteries, flammable liquids …)

Restricted and prohibited items
Essential information on dangerous, restricted and prohibited items.


Packing Well

What types of clothes travel well, what do you actually need?

It seems the trick is to plan well. Packing what you need and not being afraid to hand washing at the hotel should something get soiled. Hotels will dry clean and there is always laundromats!

Here are some tips for packing for a flight:

The trick to packing is pack clothes that are versatile.  (possibility of doing laundry at the hotel) Here’s how it works.

The “Carry On” suitcase:

For a get away weekend, city travel, beach holiday etc… The rule of thumb is if you are traveling for up to four days, a rolling suitcase is ideal.

Bring a big bag to keep your purse in, a good book, music, ear buds, phone charger, magazines, passport carrier, phone, travel blanket and, or pillow, and snacks etc.

Leather Traveler Bag




Leather Traveler Bag







Lug Puddle Jumper Bag

$ 115.00  $98.65

Again, not checking luggage will minimize your time in the airport and the risk of losing your bags.

The get away weekend, what to pack:
  • Sneakers
  • Blouse
  • Heels
  • Sunglasses
  • Play suit
  • Dress
  • Top
  • Cosmetic Bag
  • Jeans

For touring the location, Take the same shoulder bag from the airplane for your camera, tour book, and Wayfarer’s.

For your nights out, keep the jeans (dark are especially versatile) and dress the rest up with a blouse, hoop earrings, and a bright pair of heels.

Both the play suit and a black dress are easy to dress down for day and up for night. Wear the jumpsuit one day and the dress the next—and then add heels at night.

Shop it!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox White



Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox White

$ 51.92

Indian Boteh Travel Shirt

Indian Boteh Travel Shirt

$ 48.00



 Anne Michelle Enzo-01N Ankle Strap Open Toe Stiletto High Heel Dress Sandal

Anne Michelle Enzo-01N Ankle Strap Open Toe Stiletto High Heel Dress Sandal

$ 31.99


Ray-Ban Square Sunglasses


Ray-Ban Square Sunglasses,Tortoise Frame/Brown Lens



 Carmen Marc Valvo Jumpsuit

Carmen Marc Valvo Jumpsuit Caribbean

$ 142.00



Rachel Zoe Women's Beck Sleeveless Tie Waist Dress


Rachel Zoe Women’s Beck Sleeveless Tie Waist Dress

$ 475.00 $ 142.40


Lug Caddy Vertical Toiletry Bag


Lug Caddy Vertical Toiletry Bag

$ 29.99


Lou & Grey Slouchy Skinny JeansLou & Grey Slouchy Skinny Jeans

$ 89.95




Going to the beach, this holiday is sure to be a little longer so you will want to take a full suitcase!


Go for minimal packing while still maximizing the number of outfits by picking pieces in a similar color scheme.

Packing List:

White is the main color here. It stands out on the beach and is easy to match.

  • Cosmetic case
  • Bikini(s)
  • Cover up
  • T-Shirt
  • Shorts
  • Beach Tote
  • Sandals
  • Dress
  • Cover up
  • Sunscreen
  • Jeans

When you get off the plane and its hot, you will want to change into some shorts and a tee. Wear the outfit to the beach or for walking around a beach town. I picked whites and pastels here, for easy outfit switches.

For the day you hit the beach, wear a cover up dress with a bikini. If you need to dress it up a tiny bit, swap in a light jacket.

If you’re spending a day in town, take a sun dress that’s light enough for the weather but dressy enough for dinner.


Shop it!

Vintage cotton V-neck T-shirt

Vintage cotton V-neck T-shirt

$ 38.50



Lou & Grey Brushed Linen Shorts

Lou & Grey Brushed Linen Shorts

$ 49.50



iecool Women's Cross Strap Bikini Set

iecool Women’s Printed Cross Strap Bikini Set

$ 21.87



Deus Ex Machina Boardshort -Scallop Hem Mens washed navy

Deus Ex Machina Boardshort – Scallop Hem Mens

$ 79.95 $ 31.98





Asceno Silk Georgette Beach Coverup

$ 215.00



 Straw market tote

Straw market tote




Boohoo Floral Print Ruffle Neck Maxi Dress

Boohoo Floral Print Ruffle Neck Maxi Dress

$ 51.44



Bali metallic slides

Bali metallic slides





Packing Tips

The Packing List, tried tested and true advice from Otis Batterbee’s and Garance Doré’s packing experts!

Otis Batterbee’s Packing Tips

The maker of luxury travel accessories is a bit of a packing expert himself. Here, he lends us his tips.


The Travel Drawer: Before you go anywhere, start a travel drawer that includes: A passport, coin purse, travel adapters, sunglasses, phrase books, maps, guides, and swimsuits. You can take this a step further by creating The Travel Beauty Drawer.


Roll Your Clothing: I acquired this tip from a flight attendant, as they always have the smallest bags. Tightly roll casual trousers, t -shirts, and shorts, which also minimizes wrinkling. (Naturally, we don’t advise this for evening wear or designer dress suits.)


The Suitcase: While overstuffing your suitcase can damage your clothing, lots of empty space can also cause creasing. Fill up empty spaces with white tissue paper and place a towel over the top.


Security: Always remember to have two identity luggage tags on your case, including one on the inside, in case the outside label gets ripped off.


Pack it Out: Tissue paper and more tissue paper! I buy reams of tissue paper for placing between shirts and knitwear; it really is the best way to keep clothes in shape. Plus, it feels like you have been shopping a fabulous boutique when you’re unpacking at the other end!


The Travel Pouch: A shameless plug. Those leather passport and boarding pass holders are such a waste of time, as you’re forever having to take everything out anyway. In my travel pouch I keep my smart phone, passport, boarding pass, money, sunglasses, and a good book.

Garance Doré’s Packing Tips

Fashion illustrator and photographer Garance Doré travels constantly, so we asked her for advice. Side note: we loved this piece on traveling with sweatpants from her blog


Re-Package Your Beauty Products: Buy some small containers for liquids—Muji has good ones—so you can bring your beauty products from home.


Layer: Don’t fold silk shirts. Just lay them flat on the bottom of your suitcase, one on top of the other.


Pack a Steamer: Depending on where you go, bring a mini steamer. Hotel irons are a crime.


Don’t Forget:

  • some sort of pajama
  • toothpaste
  • tweezers
  • cotton pads for removing makeup
  • workout clothes


Pack Tea: It’s always good to bring your favorite tea. It can make anywhere feel like home. And your favorite oatmeal, too!


A Scarf for Carry-On: I always bring a scarf when I fly. It can double as a blanky.


Hand-wash: I recommend washing underwear by hand. It takes three seconds before bed and they’re dry in the morning.


Re-Think Jewelry: Check with your hotel to see if they have a safe. In certain places expensive jewelry can become quite a burden. When in doubt, leave it at home.

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