Packing for Air Travel

Packing for Air Travel

Packing for Air Travel

Driverseat's packing for air travel
Are you someone who needs a little help closing that suitcase?

Packing for air travel is always a challenge; it doesn’t matter if it’s for work or heading out on a vacation. What do you pack, and what bag does it go in? How many bags to pack and how? After slinging hundreds (thousands?) of bags to and from the airport, we have some great ideas for you. 


  • Splurge on a small, lightweight carry-on bag if you get really good at packing, it could be the only bag you need for travel. Make sure it meets TSA guidelines and fits easily in the overhead bin.
  • Make your luggage stand out: Get a fun color, or find some form of decoration unique to you.
  • Wheels are important! Not only in the airport, but at your destination. Make sure they work on very rough and irregular surfaces.
  • Personal item: Backpacks and shoulder bags make perfect personal items, and can be used at your destination.


  • You don’t need that extra jacket: you have a jacket on. Layering works wonders!
  • Pack for Half Your Trip: If you’re going for a week, pack for 4 days. Laundry service is typically still cheaper than forking over more money to the airlines.
  • No Books: You can easily download a book to your tablet or phone. This saves valuable space that bulky books would otherwise monopolize.
  • One Pair of Shoes: You’ll have a pair on – go for comfortable casual shoes appropriate for most occasions, and something appropriate for the activities at your destination.
  • Roll, roll, roll your clothes: Roll folded clothing as tightly as possible to save space. Go even tighter when you secure them in rubber bands or hair elastics. You’ll probably need the room iron, though.
  • Skip Toiletries or stick with samples: Pick destinations that supply the toiletries you need. Grab any containers to use on the next trip. Save the space for other stuff!
  • Pack Electronics in a Single Layer: They are protected from all sides and are easily viewed by TSA staff. This approach gets you through the security lines faster.
  • Outside-in: Start placing items around the perimeter then work toward the center.
  • Place heavy items at the base.
  • Bring two small laundry bags. Use one for lights and one for darks.
  • Bring extra large and small zip freezer bags.
  • Keep important medications in your personal item.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle.

Packing for Air Travel: Make a List

driverseat kitchener east recommends using a check list

Make a List: One of the biggest travel stressors is, “What did I forget?!?” Make and maintain packing lists for the most common trips, such as, destination vacation, weekend trip, or camping trip. There are many great note taking apps that also allow you to add photos for easy reference. Even if you are a last minute packer, the list can save the trip! In fact, use our editable PDF list if you like.

Critical Items


Whatever you bring, consider these packing tips:

  • Bring items you can layer instead of one super-warm coat. That way, you can add or remove pieces as you warm up or cool off.
  • Stick to one or two color schemes so everything matches.
  • Roll up socks and stick them in your shoes to save space.
  • Take the time to plan your outfits while you pack. That way, you won’t toss in a bunch of extra clothing “just in case” ­­and never wind up wearing it.
  • Use packing cubes or stuff sacks to organize your gear

packing for travel tip roll clothing tightly to save space in your suitcase

Personal items

Remember to bring

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Razor or shaving kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Glasses or contacts and solution
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Hair elastics or bobby pins
  • Prescription medications
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup
  • Jewelry
  • Tissues
  • Basic first aid kit with painkillers, allergy medication, moleskin and adhesive bandages

Handy travel extras

  • Quick-dry towel
  • Earplugs and eye mask
  • Travel pillow
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Book or e-reader
  • Small, collapsible umbrella
  • Camera with charger
  • Laptop or tablet, if you need one
  • Auxiliary cord, if you’re driving
  • Headlamp
  • Headphones
  • Watch
  • Journal and pen
  • Money belt
  • Guidebook, map or travel apps
  • Luggage lock
  • Canada flag patch
  • Duct tape
  • Portable power bank
  • Insect repellent

Packing for Air Travel Tips

  • Plan your outfits before you pack. You won’t bring extra clothing ­­and never wind up wearing it, and;
  • Layering lets you add or remove pieces as you warm up or cool off
  • Stick to one or two color schemes so everything matches.
  • Roll up socks and stick them in your shoes to save space.
  • Use packing cubes or stuff sacks to organize everything.

Going on a trip?
Arrange your airport shuttle here

Download our complimentary PDF packing list