As millions prepare to take to the skies this Christmas, your friendly flight attendants are here to help you get the most out of your carry-on bags.
In an effort to keep passengers’ flights as turbulent-free as possible, a handful of seasoned flight attendants recently shared their best packing tips with Thrillist. After all, nobody likes being the person who holds up the boarding process because their over-packed suitcase won’t fit into the overhead compartment. As one Delta attendant noted: “It will not fit no matter how hard you body slam it. And no, we will not try to make it fit for you.”
Flight attendants spend most of their waking hours flying, so as you can imagine, they’ve got the whole packing thing down the a science. Read on for their best tips to help you pack like a professional.
More from Southern Living
1. Plan around your shoes first
As one American Airlines flight attendant told Thrillist, shoes should always go at the bottom of your bag. To save space, also try to limit the number of shoes you pack. If you can’t avoid bringing a particularly bulky pair, consider wearing them instead. (This goes for larger clothing items as well.) “Then, fold all jeans and pants as you normally would and roll them up, placing them on top of the shoes next to each other,” the flight attendant continued. “Then do the same for shirts. Lastly, all underwear and socks go on the top or in empty crevices.”
2. Or opt for the "packing cubes" system
The Virgin America flight attendant Thrillist spoke to can’t say enough good things about packing cubes. These zippered compartments of various size stack in your suitcase like puzzle pieces, which keeps everything neat and easy to access.
3. Go basic
This one isn’t as easy as it sounds, but bear with us: pack less stuff. Re-wearing shouldn’t be your enemy, notes one JetBlue flight attendant. “In general, I stick to all basic colors and clothing items I know that I can re-wear without showing their reuse.”