How to Pack a Backpack for Air Travel: Our Best Tips
Getting on a plane for many travelers is more than a trip because it’s the experience of a lifetime, but it can be quite easy to bring too much or too little on your trip. The vast majority of airplane guests will bring a carry-on either in the form of a backpack or duffel bag, but knowing how to pack a backpack for air travel is one of the first things you need to think about before heading off.
Hence, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite and easiest backpack packing tips to help you prepare yourself or your upcoming excursion.
Best Ways to Pack a Backpack for Air Travel
1. Make a Packing List
As one of the most basic tricks for learning how to pack a backpack for air travel, you’re first going to want to make a list of everything you’d like to bring. This is also when you’re going to want to consult your itinerary, as the length of your trip and where you’re going will make a huge difference in what you bring with you. Some of the best things to consider adding to your packing list include:
- An extra pair of pajamas (you never know when you could get caught in an airport hotel overnight)
- An extra pair of comfortable clothes
- Slip-on shoes
- Earplugs and an eye mask
2. Prepare the Paperwork
Even though most airlines check booking information online or through your smartphone, it’s always important to make sure that you have paper copies of everything you need. This is mostly because you can never predict when your phone might die or if your reservations don’t show up on the computer like they should.
Aside from having physical copies of your paperwork, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’ve made copies of your passport, health card, driver’s license, and your primary method of payment, such as a credit card. It’s imperative that you bring these documents in your carry-on as you won’t want to leave them at the mercy of the employees checking your bag into the plane and you’ll want to make sure that you always have the documents with you.
3. Decide on Entertainment
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a short or long-haul flight, you can guarantee that you’re going to crave some entertainment before boarding and once the plane takes off. There’s nothing more mundane than staring out of the plane window without any music or movies for one to six hours or longer. It’s also essential that you don’t assume your plane will come with the built-in seat TVs, as more aircraft are beginning to get rid of luxuries to cut back on costs.
There are plenty of different types of entertainment that you can bring with you, but we recommend downloading a couple of your favorite movies and television shows from either Netflix or iTunes so that you can easily watch the content offline no matter where you are. You might also want to consider other forms of entertainment, such as:
- Books or eBook
- Crossword puzzles
- iPad or tablet
4. Pack Extra Plastic Bags
Aside from the plastic bag that you’ll have to put your basic toiletries in, you’re also going to want to make sure that you pack some extra plastic bags. Even though most people will only bring an extra pair of clothes in their carry-on backpack, having plastic bags gives you the ability to separate your dirty clothes from the rest of your bag. This can also become quite useful if you have a checked bag as well and your accommodations don’t offer a washing machine.
5. Pack Essential Toiletries
The main point behind a carry-on is to give you access to the essentials that you’d need in the event that your checked bag gets lost or if you’re unable to claim your bag. With that being said, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a few necessities to help keep you clean and comfortable during your travels. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a delayed or canceled flight with no toothbrush and no way to freshen up in the airport if you can’t make your way to a hotel.
It’s important to remember that the TSA has regulations regarding the number of liquids that you can bring on a plane, and as such, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you only use carry-on sized toiletries. Typically, you can find them in the beauty section of your local big box store, and they only cost one to two dollars per bottle, at most. You’ll also want to make sure that you have:
- A plastic toothbrush carrier
- Shampoo and conditioner (dry conditioner is optional)
- Feminine supplies
- Hand soap or sanitizer
- Body wash
- Face and body cream
Preparing Your Backpack is as Easy as One, Two, Three!
Even though it might seem overwhelming at first, learning how to pack a backpack for air travel is simpler than you might think, as long as you stick to the essentials. With the help of your thorough packing list, you’ll have more than enough space to fit everything you need without overpacking and being forced to carry a heavy bag through the airport. The only thing left is to enjoy your time away from home and have some of the most exceptional experiences of your life!