Stress- free carry on packing? Is it possible? If you are anything like me ” I can’t get everything to fit” or ” I can’t find it… give me a minute” may sound all so familiar when it comes to your carry on luggage. For years I have tried different totes and suitcases. No matter how well I thought I had packed or organised, as soon as I arrived at there airport I would struggle with one or more of the following.

Struggles include:

  • Having to put my bag down. Rummage through my whole tote to find the one thing I needed, therefore, making a mess and everything harder to find.
  • Struggle to carry my tote bag and pull my suitcase. Trying to balancing my tote on my suitcase as there was so much in it. 
  • Having to lay my suitcase down. Unzip it. Find what I need then zip it back up and stand it back up before I can carry on.
  • Packing everything nicely in my tote or suitcase . Always ending up needing something right at the bottom and having to repack the whole thing… 

The list goes on. Now, this is not ideal when you are in a rush or trying to unpack on the plane. Not only is this frustrating but then I feel I have to go back through my mental checklist. Just to make sure I haven’t lost anything when rifling through my bag. phone check, passports check, money check… It goes on. Enough was enough. The whole experience of being in the airport stresses me out as it is as I always worry about missing the flight. (even though we always end up bored as we arrived so early) I don’t want to have to worry about my luggage too! So here are my 5 top tips for stress-free carry on packing.

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stress-free carry on packing
All of the goodies I keep in my carry on


The most important thing is finding the right bag that will make life easy when it comes to your carry on luggage, as you don’t want to go through any of the points above! I recently invested in a MATEIN travel backpack.


I spent hours and hours trawling the internet looking for a good travel backpack, as this was the only type of bag I had not yet tried to solve my issues and I am so glad I bought this bag. This bag is specifically designed for travel so it has everything you need including :

  • A padded pocket designed for your laptop 
  • A strap to attach to your suitcase handle
  • External USB port. You can charge your phone on the go with pouches inside especially to fit your portable chargers 
  • Key fob holder  
  • pen pocket 
  • Anti-theft back pocket 
  • Multiple internal and external pockets 
  • lockable zips so you can fully secure your bag
  • water resistant

The list goes on! I was sceptical when I purchased this bag. It was on the cheaper side compared to a lot of other travel backpacks I had looked at as I was on a tight budget. When it arrived I was genuinely so impressed at the comfort and quality of this bag. I am able to pack everything in its own unique place. I know exactly where everything is and can access it in seconds without the rummaging ( YAY! ). The bag is small enough that it’s easy to carry about but has SO much space! I’m able to pack everything I need into this bag without worrying about having to fish through everything. If you want to check out this bag for yourself and all its other cool features, Check out the link below!


I used to always put my chapstick in a pocket in my back for “safekeeping”. Somehow it was never seemed to be there when I looked for it. I would always hate the hassle of getting to the bag check and having to unpack all my toiletries .Putting them into a plastic bag before they go through the scanner. I decided if I’m going to be stress-free when packing then I need a solution to this and the solution was so simple. You may have read about this solution already in my ultimate travel accessorise guide. I purchased a small clear makeup case. This fits into the front pocket of my backpack so as soon as it comes to bag check I’m ready!

stress-free carry on packing
My clear makeup case. Chapstick is finally safe and secure!

I love these clear cases too as it means I no longer have to rummage through to find what I need. (haha try and escape me now chapstick!). This makes such a big difference for stress-free carry on packing as its s super easy, cheap solution that will save you no end of time in the airports! I have dropped a link below if you want to check out one similar to mine!


Now for someone so young, I’m old school and like to have all of my reservations and tickets printed out… just in case! I would always see people pulling out massive folders at the check-in desk with all their important info in. Great idea but so big! I mean great everything is in one place but then you still have to sift through and find the right document.

A few years ago for Christmas, I received a travel document organizer and it changed everything. There are lots of different types of organisers out there. Mine is an irregular choice travel wallet. Now, unfortunately, these are no longer available as they were only released for one season but there are so many inexpensive alternatives you can purchase on Amazon! They have multiple pockets for passports, documents, cards and are only the size of a purse rather than a massive A4 folder and a lot more organized! I keep mine in the inside pocket of my backpack as it fits perfectly and I know exactly where it is. This makes check-in so easy when I’m at the airport as all my documents have there own place.

Once we are away I keep my passports in here so I know they are somewhere safe and I can just go in and grab tickets out for that day at an easy reach. This really changed the way I organise my all of my most important documents and I never travel without it! I have dropped a link below so you can check them out an alternative to mine!


Okay, I’m terrible for tangling wires…no matter how hard I try or what I seme to do I always end up with my headphone in a knot or my wires broken when I travel. I personally carry a lot of electricals in my carry on: My GoPro, Phone cables, Portable cables and there wires Laptop… you get the picture. We would sit in the airport and go to charge out phones before a flight. spending a lifetime looking for the cable, then have to send out a search party to find the plug head! Enough is enough. Why not purchase a simple solution to make all these worries go away and help with that stress-free carry on packing. Travel electronic cases are the way forward!

You can get different size cases depending on what electricals you plan on packing in your carry on. Some are simple little wallets with bands and pockets for wires and headphone were others have thick bottoms which you can put your mouse or plugs in! How great is that! I have linked two types. Above: slimline- nice and compact. Below multifunctional case with organiser base. Ill let you decide which best fits your needs!


Now packing cubes were something which had been on my shopping list for an eternity. Something else always came up so I never got round to purchasing any. I recently bought a pack of 6 packing cubes – 2 big 2 medium and 2 small. Now you may think what does this have to do with carry on packing? I always keep a super-thin lightweight rain mack in my carry on bag just in case. I use my carry on backpack as my main day to day bag ( once we have arrived, I just swap out some bits and I’m ready to go )

Anyways… I use the small packing cube for my rain mack as its waterproof. This means when I am done with my mack I can fold it up, pop it in the packing cube and not have to worry about anything else in my bag. These are also so handy for keeping things packed nice and compact saving you valuable room in your carry on bag. Not to mention how easy this makes finding things. No more unpacking and repack everything. you can grab them out get what you need and put them back into your bag no bother! No more ” Oh no it doesn’t fit” making this the perfect item to wrap up my stress-free carry on packing list! I have linked a set below that are the same style as the ones I purchased for you to check out!


Well, there we have it! You can now start on your stress-free carry on packing and head to the airport smug knowing your airport and flight will be a breeze! These simple tips have changed how I fly and I never have to worry about my travels again! Do you suffer with carry on stress? are you sick of the hassle of carry on luggage drama? which tips will you try first? Let me know in the comments below and see you on the next one!

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Hi there my name is Emma and I love to travel. I hope that some of my stories will help inspire you with your own journeys and our tips and guides will give you ideas of fun things to do when you are traveling around!