Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of any business trip or vacation. The varying carry on luggage restrictions and rules don’t make it any easier! Although there are several key guidelines agreed upon by most airlines, familiarize yourself with the rules of your specific carrier to avoid having to waste time re-packing at the airport.
Carry on Luggage Restrictions: Do's and Don’ts
Don’t: pack liquids above 3.4 ounces (100ml)
Do: put all liquids in a clear zip bag
Do: Put laptop in an easily accessible case
Helpful hint: some airlines ban laptops over certain sizes, as well certain models. Visit the website of your airline carrier to see the specific regulations for laptops.
Don’t: pack sharp objects such as knives, razors or large scissors
Do: pack disposable razors, nail clippers and scissors smaller than inches if needed
Do: double check carry on luggage weight and size restrictions
Helpful hint: your allotted carry on weight is the combined weight of your small personal item plus your carry on luggage.
Don’t: pack meat, fruit, or other agricultural items. If you’re bringing any similar items, make sure to declare them to avoid potential persecution.
Do: bring a snack for the wait. Don’t forget your favorite power bar - you’ll need it to fuel the next few hours of travel.
Do: pack your immediate toiletries and anything you need to freshen up.
Don’t: spray your items with perfume - others around you may find the scent overwhelming, especially in a confined space.
Carry on Luggage Size and Weight Restrictions
While every carrier will have their own carry on luggage weight rules. Here are a few standards most airlines can agree upon.
Carry on Luggage Allowance
You are allowed one piece of carry on luggage, and one personal item. Your allotted weight includes both of these items. Some airlines will also allow you to pay for extra weight for your carry on luggage.
Standard Carry on Luggage Weight and Size for Domestic Flights
Weight: 15 lbs
Size: 22" x 14" x 9" (this includes the handle and wheel, if applicable)
Helpful hint: although this size is typically accepted, it may not fit in the overheard of some carriers, and you will be asked to check your bag anyway.
Standard Carry on Luggage Weight for International Flights
Weight: 7kg (about 15.5 lbs)
Size: 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (about 22” X 5.5” X 9”)
Remember, less is more - especially when traveling! If possible, refrain from using your entire allotted weight allowance. Instead, leave space for any souvenirs or memorabilia you may want to buy along the way.