Ditch checked bags, use these carry-on packing tips and essentials from the daughter of a flight attendant
Travel TikTok is full of informative, fun and aspirational videos ranging from ASMR sounds of clicks, compression and zips to helpful tips like how to easily and successfully pack just a carry-on to speed through the airport without checking luggage.
“My mom was a flight attendant for Air Canada for 25 years. I grew up using my flight passes to fly to places like London for a weekend while in school, and flying standby is easiest with a carry-on, which is how I got so used to traveling that way,” Katherine Johnsen told “Good Morning America.”
The Toronto-based startup founder and marketing expert, who travels routinely for work, racked up 72 flights in 12 months last year and said she was amazed to see hundreds of thousands of views when one such video of hers — a list of travel tips — took off.
“I was taken aback by how popular it’s been. I started with comparing my favorite suitcases and it’s really taken off from there,” Johnsen said.
The self-appointed “carry-on queen” amassed over 620,000 views on her “ultimate flight essentials” video, so “GMA” asked her for additional tips and tricks to help travelers in 2024.
Johnsen shared all the secrets to a perfectly packed personal item and small rollaboard, which went with her on 68 flights last year from Canada to Los Angeles and New York dozens of times.
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Top 10 carry-on essentials
Try these carry-on hacks to making packing a breeze
Influencer Katherine Johnsen says she took 73 flights last year and used a carry-on for 68 of those trips.
When it comes to packing a personal item, Johnsen recommends using pouches to categorize and easily access things like electronics or toiletries.
- Noise canceling headphones
- Bluetooth adapter (to use your headphones with the in-flight system)
- Computer, tablet, e-reader or book
- Tech pouch – cords, adapters, chargers
- “Essentials” pouch – lip balm, painkillers, tissues, toothbrush, throat lozenges, hand cream
- External battery pack/portable charger
- Sweater (“My flight attendant mother says with black cashmere, you can’t go wrong,” Johnsen said.)>
- Eye mask
- Small water bottle
Carry-on packing tips
Whether you’re already a carry-on queen like Johnsen or made a New Year’s resolution to pack lighter, here are some more specific tips to make the packing process a breeze.
“If you really think about what you wear in a week, you definitely have a selection of favorite pieces,” Johnsen said. “Focus on a capsule collection of clothing, with favorite basics. You need to be able to get at least three wears out of each piece you bring.”
Put silks inside of your cottons, and then roll to avoid wrinkling.
Fold larger items (sweaters/denim).
Roll layering pieces (t-shirts).
Fill your shoes with socks or smaller items.
Choose multi-purpose shoes. For example, a shoe you can work out in and also wear with a trouser — which is Johnsen’s sole purpose at her footwear company, Common Ace.Packing cubes are for checked bags, unless they’re compression ones.
Travel TikTok is full of informative, fun and aspirational videos ranging from ASMR sounds of clicks, compression and zips to helpful tips like how to easily and successfully pack just a carry-on to speed through the airport without checking luggage. Carry on luggage tips for traveling. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images “My mom was a flight attendant…