Ask Valet.The Expertly Packed Carry-On
  • I'm going on my first three-day business trip and am clueless on what to bring. It'll be some meetings, some dinners and some time off for drinks at night. Can I get away with just a carry on?

    - Matt, Columbus, OH

  • With nearly every airline imposing a baggage fee nowadays, if you can get away with flying with just a carry-on, do it. Save your money for drinks with the boss. The key to an expertly packed bag is space optimization. Shoes (stuffed with socks or ties) and other heavy items like your dopp kit go on the bottom, in the ridges of your bag. Then fold and stack clothes, starting with your most casual pieces (jeans, gym clothes) and topping off with more refined pieces (suits, dress shirts). Fill in any gaps with rolled undershirts and underwear. As for what to bring here's a fail-safe list.


What to Bring

Water repellent wheeled case, $124 at Muji

  • 1 suit, either navy or grey (see below on how to fold)
  • 1 pair dress shoes (if you're wearing your casual pair on the plane)
  • 1 belt per pair of shoes (coiled into your shoe bag)
  • 3 dress shirts (folded with tissue paper to reduce winkling)
  • 1 pair of dark jeans (can be worn on plane)
  • 1 V-neck sweater (can be rolled for space, if needed)
  • 1 cardigan sweater (can be worn on plane)
  • 2 or 3 ties (rolled inside a shoe)
  • 3 or 4 pairs of socks (rolled and stuffed into other shoe)
  • 3 or 4 pairs of underwear and undershirts (rolled)

* Optional: workout gear.


Carry-On Size

American Airlines restricts carry-ons to 40 lb. All other major carriers don't have a weight limit, but do restrict size to 45-linear inches.

L + W + D ≤ 45"

How to Pack

Step-by-step instructions on how to ensure your suits and blazers arrive wrinkle-free.







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