How to Pack a Backpack for Air Travel

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One of the most important choices you need to make before leaving for a vacation, backpacking or even hiking, especially on an extra-long flight, is packing. What do you need to bring, what do you want to bring? What should you bring with you? Do you want to put everything in a backpack or suitcase? These are just a few of the questions you may be wrestling with or should be considering.

How to Pack a Backpack for Air Travel

Most experienced travelers recommend using a backpack rather than a duffel bag, suitcase, or even a suitcase. It’s safer and easier to use. If you pack well and carefully, which we’ll discuss in more detail soon, a backpack can become carry-on luggage. It stays with you for the entire flight, which eliminates the possibility of the airline losing or misplacing your bag. If you are packing light, it will be able to stay away from the excessive baggage fees charged by the airlines. In addition, you will be able to carry your backpack on your own, without the need for porters.

The main principle of how to pack an air travel backpack is to pack light and use the space efficiently. While backpacks are useful, you shouldn’t carry a heavy backpack when you travel. If you are not used to carrying a heavy backpack, your back muscles and shoulders will be under a lot of stress, which can lead to injuries that can ruin your vacation. Even if you are used to it, carrying a heavy backpack will not allow you to fully experience and explore the locations you visit during your trip. How can you pack light and use space efficiently?

In order to learn and master the art of how to pack a backpack for a plane trip, it is necessary to understand the importance of planning because of the strategies and techniques of planning. Planning can be divided into three different phases.

The first stage. Destination, itinerary and airline determine the contents of your luggage

The destination you are going to determines what kind of clothes and accessories such as footwear you will need to carry during your trip. The itinerary you choose or the activities you plan for your trip determine the extra items you need to bring.

One mistake we often make is bringing too many clothes, mistakenly thinking that it’s better to bring two extra pairs of jeans instead than a spare pair in case you need them on the road. The truth is that it is easy to dry and wash clothes on the road and can be reused over time. Two pairs of jeans are perfect for all kinds of hikes. Wear one pair, wash the other and they’ll be dry overnight. Similar to button down shirts and t-shirts.

What you need to do is clean clothes made of chemical fabrics, as opposed to cotton. Cotton clothing is difficult to clean and wrinkles easily, while chemical fabrics can be washed in the sink and dried quickly.

As with clothing, the destination and travel plans dictate what shoes you need for the trip. If you’ll be spending most of your time at the beach or a museum, you won’t need large hiking boots. A comfortable pair of sneakers and sandals will suffice. However there is no need to bring flip flops on a hiking trip.

Do you really need an iPad, laptop and smartphone on your trip? Will you be able to read on your iPad instead of carrying many books and adding weight to your backpack? Are you really going to use the bulky DSLR camera you plan to take with you, or are you going to take most of your photos with your smartphone? You will have to make an important choice. Gadgets and books add significantly to the weight of your backpack.

The airline you fly on will also have an impact on the type of carry-on you can bring. Each airline has their specific limits on the weight limit you can carry on a flight and the weight of your checked baggage. If your luggage is heavier than the weight limit, you will have to pay a hefty fee to cover that weight.

Find out about the maximum weight limits for carry-on luggage on airlines. If you plan to fly from one place to another during your trip, you should also find out what these airline restrictions are. Try to keep the weight of your backpack below this limit.

Stage 2: Lay it all out

At this point, you already have a general idea of what to bring on your trip. Before we start packing your travel backpack, put all the items on your bed or on the floor. It’s helpful to write the list on paper or even on a notepad on your smartphone. Now, everything you have written down on the floor is in the list.

Then, arrange these items into piles. The first pile should be clothes, then footwear (including socks) and essentials (which includes your passport and travel documents, sleeping bag, and first aid kit, etc.). Luxury items (which includes extra accessories, clothes, toiletries, etc.) and others (which includes other items that are already arranged, but can’t find a place in these piles).

There are some things that are easy to purchase when you get there, such as bathroom supplies. It doesn’t make sense to bring toothpaste or a large bottle of shampoo.

Choose a backpack

A backpack that is best for travel is quite different from a backpack that is suitable for backpacking. At first, you’ll want to pay attention to the size of your backpack. It is not practical to carry a large backpack on an airplane.

Of course, this won’t be necessary when you plan to check your backpack. If you plan to check your backpack and you intend to carry the essentials you need, it should be placed in a separate daypack as your carry-on luggage. Avoid backpacks with wheels attached to the bottom that are used as strollers. The weight of the backpack is unnecessary.

At the airport, you will be carrying your backpack on your back and you don’t want to carry extra weight. When choosing the best backpack, be sure to carefully consider comfort and quality. If you need to purchase an excellent backpack with shoulder straps and a padded hip belt, you can spend a few extra dollars. This can be a huge help on your trip.

Lightweight and non-essential items go first

Lightweight items like your sleeping bag, and other items that you won’t need to use on the flight, such as an extra pair of boots or shoes, should always be placed at the bottom of your backpack. This helps distribute weight throughout the pack and provides a solid foundation for backpacking. Your clothes, folded up and put in a compression sack, will fit in your backpack next.

Clothes packed in compression bags are simpler and easier to store because it’s easy to pull them out to remove the clothes while traveling and then put the bags back in your backpack. If the clothes are folded but not stored in a compression sack, it will take you longer to repack your backpack.

Gadgets in the middle

This doesn’t just mean gadgets, such as your laptop or camera and any other heavy or chunky items you’re carrying. They are placed in the middle of your backpack. The bottom gives a degree of protection to gadgets that could be damaged in the event that they happen. Ideally, place your gadgets in a proper sleeve or in a different form of handbag to prevent scuffs and scratches. Gadgets are bound to push against each other inside the bag, and without a protective sleeve, there is a risk of wear and tear.

Things you need on top during the flight

Depending on how far you travel, how many stops between them, and how long the layover is, you may spend a lot of time on the plane, or lying around at the airport. Therefore, all the essentials you need should be on the top of your backpack for long occupancy.

You must bring an extra jacket in case you catch a cold on the plane.

Keep your tablet within reach so you can read or listen to music or even watch something. You can also put it in one of the side pockets if you have one large enough.

You’ll need an eye mask to make sure you sleep soundly. Ear plugs may also help, depending on your preference.

Every important document, including your passport, other identification, travel insurance documents and your boarding pass, as well as any cash you carry and your credit or debit cards, must be stored in a bag or folder and be readily accessible. Create copies of all necessary documents and keep them in a bag in a safe place.

If you are going on a long trip or flight, then you will need access to your bathroom bag and Bring items such as face wash, wet wipes the most basic makeup for women, lip balm, etc. Put them in a quarter size Ziploc bag or pouch. If your standard bag of toiletries is not very large, you can also put it on top of the bag. The most important thing to remember about the toiletries category is that there are specific restrictions on carrying liquids on flights.

If you don’t like the food or snacks served on the plane and are likely to get hungry, pack snacks such as oatmeal, dried fruit or nuts in an airtight container or in a sandwich. It is best to bring snacks that you can eat and then take off on the plane. Don’t bring containers that you will need to carry for the rest of your trip. Also, don’t bring snacks that could spill or drip.


It’s normal to worry about not bringing some of your essentials. That’s why you made a checklist. Checklists can help you relax. Now you know everything you must be aware of when packing your backpack. However, there are a few more things that must be taken care of.

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