Do not not make these packing mistakes the next time you fly!

These travel tips will help your carry-on bag be packed efficiently. If you are flying in an airplane for the first time, these tips will help you when you pack in a carry-on suitcase. These packing mistakes can lead to an overweight suitcase. If you keep making these packing mistakes, I am here to help.

My goal of this post is for you to get to the airport with only what you need ready for airport security and give you confidence.

But first you have to pack.

Beginner Packing Mistakes

One mistake passengers make is packing in the wrong size luggage. Your airline has luggage dimensions for carry-on and checked suitcases so you are responsible for knowing those. Google airline and luggage requirements.

carry-on size requirements from airline


Packing shoes for every outfit is easy to do if you’re a beginner. You know the shoes you need; now make every pair of pants go with one of those. My rule of thumb is to pack no more than 2 pairs of shoes.


Pack almost empty bottle of shampoo for liquids bag. 3.4 oz rule for containers that go inside that bag can be a mistake IF the bottle is huge. For the Transportation Security Administration the containers cannot be larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml.

The site is wonderful. You can type in What Can I Bring. If you keep scrolling you can see their top frequently asked questions.


Talking to TSA – You may be too nervous to talk but do not. You stop doing what you’re supposed to which holds up the line.


Make jokes with TSA-especially about something you packed in your bag. That will just draw attention to your bag and may have you taken out of line for further screening if it’s an off-colored joke.

One way to avoid the space issue inside your suitcase is to wear your heaviest shoes and pack your smaller ones.

Another MISTAKE that even avid travelers make is to pack both shoes together-separate them if one can squeeze into a certain spot.

For packing makeup one mistake women make is to organize their makeup into a travel case. Those are usually hard-sided and take up too much space. Divide them into pouches.

Some people pack too little in their personal item bag that goes under the seat in front of you. This MISTAKE just makes you lose out of luggage space. I can fit 3 Costco sized paper towel rolls inside this weekender bag. Think of the clothes that can fit in here too.


Wait until last second to have shoes untied is a mistake I still make. About 5 people before you start untying your shoes or unzip your boots.

When you pack, have your ID, your ticket/barcode within reach. Have those out. But also have a pocket you can slide them into after showing the TSA officer so you can now take off your shoes and put them in the gray bin. I can help you know what to do in the TSA line with no stress by the way.



Not reading rules. Be alert – always listening and reading TSA signs.

A mistake that most beginners make is with their suitcase weight. I use compression packing cubes so that I can fit more in but be sure to not go over any weight limits your airline may have. You do not need to buy a luggage weigher. Just stand on the scales with and without your carry-on.

A simple MISTAKE to avoid is to pack in a personal item bag that you have to carry on your shoulder. Some terminals and gates are almost a mile long going one way. You can fit over your suitcase handles.

And think about choosing a bag that has a zipper so your travel essentials do not fall out when the plane is taking off or in turbulence.Neck pillow – they’re bulky to attach to your suitcase handles. I only took mine on a 10 hour flight and barely used it. But I will use it again, but do not buy those smushed ones with no support.


Blanket-A blanket is a uni-tasker. It can only be used in the airplane. Do you agree? If you are tight on space in a carry-on, this is an easy item to leave behind. Just wear a thick cardigan or heavy hoodie. When you get warm, drape it over your under-the-seat personal item or roll it up and pack it in there. Then you can use it as part of an outfit during your vacation.

A dangerous MISTAKE is sliding chair to get phone if dropped. Did you know that your cell phone is combustible? So is your portable cell phone charger (well the battery part). That is why you cannot pack them in checked bags. And if your airplane seat slides over your phone, it could easily catch on fire. Flight attendants have devices to put it out inside the cabin.

For tips for toiletries or hair care, use the hair dryer at your hotel so you do not pack one. But shampoo there or use a mix of the hotel shampoo and yours so you do not have to pack as much.


A mistake that most beginners make is with their clothes. but be sure to not go over any weight limits your airline may have.

Be ready before you enter the TSA line at your airport this year with the Free Seatback Checklist below.

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