Consumer Reports: How to pack a carry-on bag

If you're taking a plane trip anytime soon you might consider bringing only a carry-on. Some airlines have recently upped their fees from $25 to $30- per checked bag. But not to worry, it is possible to fit everything into a carry on. Consumer Reports is here to help with space-saving packing techniques.

"The number one thing you need to do is make a list of your essentials," said Consumer Reports Travel Editor Octavio Blanco.

Include everything: clothing, shoes, toiletries, medication, electronics and documents like passports.

Next, forget about a separate outfit for each day. Instead mix and match, three tops to go with one pair of pants, for example. And stick with three pairs of shoes.

"Big things like shoes should go in the bottom," Blanco said.

Pack them toe to heel at the base for stability. And roll non-wrinkle prone items instead of folding them. And what about your undergarments?

"Put them in between the cracks," Blanco said. "Stuff your socks into your shoes."

And into your toiletry bag, too. Tuck scarves and belts along the edges of your suitcase. Save wrinkle-prone items for last. Put them in a bag and lay them flat on the top. And try to use outside pockets for things like itineraries and computers. Follow these steps and you just might have room for souvenirs.

One more important note from Consumer Reports: not all carry-ons are created equal. Airlines have different size requirements, so ask your airline before you travel what size carry on they allow. You don't want to arrive at the gate and have to check your bag because it's too big to fit in the overhead compartment.

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