As times change so have the ways I pack. It used to be I tried to pack so that I could carry on everything I needed and avoid checking bags. I was hoping to cut down on time by not having to wait in baggage claim and also to avoid the dreaded lost luggage situation. These days though, while both of those are still concerns and even with the advent of charging per bag, I now prefer to do just the opposite. It is so much faster and easier to move through security with as little as possible.
I have a small bag that will fit under the seat in front of me instead of in the over head bin. Inside I bring a book and/or magazine, my travel itinerary, a snack or two, gum, a pair of socks if I’m wearing sandals since I tend to get cold on planes, and charging cords for any electronics I might be traveling with. Additionally, I take the smallest purse possible on my trips and most times it fits inside the travel bag so that I don’t have so many things to carry. I do take the purse out of the carry on bag for the security belt to avoid any unnecessary delays. Once through security, I usually pick up a bottle of water to add to my bag.
For those who are taking a short weekend trip or are trying to avoid baggage fees, make sure you refer back to my TSA post for items that can’t be carried on.