How to pack your carry-on like a pro

Try these trusted tips to help with a seamless travel experience.


Gail Ducharme, Vacation Manager



Tickets & Passport

Your passport and travel documents, boarding pass, vouchers, itinerary should be packed in a SECURE but accessible location in your carry-on bag.

You will need to reference them multiple times during your journey!

Although technology is advancing in airports, and customs forms are often done electronically at the airport, always pack a blue or black pen just in case automation isn’t in place or the system goes down.

Always pack your prescription medication in your carry-on bag! If your checked luggage was lost, you do not want to worry about filling prescriptions in a foreign destination on your first day of vacation.

In addition to prescription medications, it is always smart to pack some pain killers for that unexpected but pesky headache or anti-nausea medication for surprise flight turbulence.

Planes have very low humidity due to the HEPA air filtration systems. Pack some Halls to avoid a throat tickle and Nasal Spray for a dry noise.

Although airports and airlines have invested heavily in surface sanitization and air filtration systems, practicing good hygiene is still recommended to avoid a cold on your holiday.  Pack disinfecting wipes to clean your seat tray, arm rests and head rest.

Hand sanitizer (max 3.4oz) is an option for cleaning your hands when you do not have access to soap and water.

Take an empty water bottle. Once you are through security find a water bottle filling station so you can stay hydrated during your flight.

Make sure you are comfortable on your flight!

A power nap is always a great way to re-energize so pack some ear-plugs or noise cancelling headphones to reduce passenger noise, a neck rest to support your head, a face mask to block the over-head lights and a warm sweater or over-sized scarf to bundle up in (planes can be cold).

Hint, if you like to sleep during flights, request the window seat so you can lean against the side of the aircraft.

Don’t forget your headphones, although you can purchase a pair from the airline the quality is poor and they are not comfortable!

Do not forget to pack a good book or magazine as they are expensive to purchase in the airport.

Even when you prefer the on-board entertainment, you want to have non-electronic entertainment for take-off and landing, or in case something happens to the on-board system.

Camera, Jewelerry, Credit Cards - Leave Valuables in your Carryon

Anything of value should go in your carry-on luggage: camera, money, travel insurance, jewelry, medication, personal identification.

Never pack anything in your checked luggage that you are not prepared to walk away from.

Picture of Carryon Luggage

The design and size of your carry-on bag is equally important!  You need to be able to pack all these essential items so they are accessible during your flight.

Make sure you have a bag with exterior pockets so you are not digging through one big compartment crammed full of stuff.

Although you hope you have an over-head bin, what if you arrive at your seat and it is FULL.  To avoid this risk, make sure your carry-on bag is soft sided and able to fit under the seat in front of you so it never leaves your side!