Be prepared – make a list!
First, make a list of what you think you absolutely need. This helps you organize and prioritize. Then, edit that list! An important rule to consider is ‘do I *really* need this?’ Second, learn the hand baggage rules for the airline you’re flying. On Turkish Airlines flights, Economy Class passengers are permitted a single piece of hand baggage, with a maximum size of 23x40x55 cm and a weight of 8 kg. If you are traveling in Business Class, you may carry two pieces of hand baggage, each with a maximum size 23x40x55 cm and weight of 8 kg. If you’re flying on another airline, check their website for baggage rules.
Weather and clothing: Unfortunately, you will wear again what you have worn once
The climate and current weather conditions in your destination are an obvious determinant of what you’ll bring. Find out what the weather’s like, and select your wardrobe accordingly. A pair of shoes, a pair of pants, 2 t-shirts, a pullover or a sweater, pajamas or track pants, underwear. Bring pieces you like, because you’ll be wearing them more than once. While we’re not attached to color or pattern coordination, bringing items in the same color line does make it easier to mix and match. Add a small bag with travel-size toiletries, and keep in mind that most places have shops where you can buy toothpaste, shampoo, etc.!
The “one pair of shoes, one coat, one cardigan” philosophy
We understand that it is difficult to narrow down items to pack, especially when it comes to shoes. Most items can be easily purchased in another place – shoes are, somehow, more difficult. But flying light requires some sacrifices. No more than two pairs of shoes are really necessary: in winter, the additional pair is useful if your first pair gets wet. In summer, it’s nice to alternate between walking shoes and sandals. Also, consider packing lightweight slippers/flip flops, for wearing around your hotel room and in the shower. Fortunately for travelers everywhere, comfortable and stylish sneakers are suitable footwear for most outfits. For outerwear, choose something versatile and comfortable. If you’re bringing scarves or hats, wear the thicker one on the plane and pack the lightweight items. Airports can be overheated – but planes get cold. You can use your scarf as an extra layer during the flight.
Small spaces, more things, the art of folding clothes and organizing a bag, and the exciting world of liquids!
There have been books written on how to fold garments. From rolling each item, to folding alternating thick and thin items, to using packing cubes…really, it’s an endless discussion. Our position is that you probably know what works best for you. We will say that packing cubes can be extremely useful. As well, soft, transparent bags for toiletries are useful because they both adapt to the spaces in your bag and can be easily removed during baggage checks. Prioritize your toiletries: if you have items that aren’t easily replaceable, go ahead and bring them; just remember that all liquids must be in containers that hold a maximum volume of 100 ml per container, and that the total volume of liquids cannot exceed one liter. For more details, please visit
Other important strategies
- Use all the compartments and zippered sections of your bag
- Items such as hats, beanies and socks can be stuffed into the corners of the bag or in outer compartments.
- Place your phone and other electronic devices in your handbag. Keep the chargers in your hand baggage.
- Carry any medications in your handbag. Remember, if it’s prescription medication, bring what you need for the trip, along with an extra dose or two – just in case.
- Carry your passport, ID and other important documents in your handbag. If you’re bringing items such as jewelry, keep it in your handbag as well.
- When boarding the plane, be considerate. Even on a crowded flight, there’s usually enough room for your bag, though you may have to put it in an overhead bin that’s not directly over your seat. Note: this is not considered a tragedy. Just remember that you’re not the only one who doesn’t want to check your bag!