How to Maximize a Personal Item

How to Maximize a Personal Item

Tired of having to check in or pay for luggage every time you travel?  Even if you only bring a carry-on bag for the overhead bin and don’t have any checked luggage, many airlines now charge an extra luggage fee.

But a small “personal item” bag that fits under the seat in front of you is always free. So, it’s great to know how to fly with only a personal item when you want to forego carrying heavy luggage – and paying extra fees!

But you’re probably wondering how to pack everything in a personal item. Is it even possible? Yes, it’s possible! You just need to plan ahead and have the right tips and resources – which we’ll help you with below.


What is a Personal Item?

While the exact dimensions of what’s considered a personal item vary by airline, they’re typically a maximum of around 18x14x8 inches and up to 22 lbs.

In general, think small backpacks, large tote bags or purses, or small, wheeled bags that will fit underneath the seat in front of you on an airplane. Most people are surprised by how large of a bag will fit airline personal item regulations!


How to Pack a Personal Item Bag

Since you’ll have to be very selective about what you pack in a personal item bag, there’s literally no room for extras or “just in case” items. A general rule is to pack three outfits, including what you decide to wear while traveling.

However, the number of clothing items you bring really depends on how lightweight your clothes are and how long you plan to travel. Always wear your bulkier items and a few layers on the plane. And only bring one pair of shoes, so choose a pair that’s versatile and comfortable.

It’s usually best to leave your laptop behind because the added weight may put your bag over the weight limit. Instead, use your smartphone for your computing needs while traveling. If you prefer a larger screen, consider bringing a tablet or e-reader.  

How to Pack a Personal Item with Packing Cubes

Packing cubes offer many benefits. They enable you to maximize your bag space and stay organized, making the packing process smooth and efficient.

To save as much space as possible, roll your clothing before placing it in a packing cube.


Before your next trip, check out more tips for packing wisely and choose the right personal item bag. A small backpack is ideal for organization since they often have several compartments and allow you to be hands-free when traveling. But a large tote bag or a small, wheeled bag that will fit under an airplane seat are great options as well. Shop for your BR bag today.

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