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Percentage of carry on bag

If you are packing for Europe (Spring or Fall) for a 7-10 day trip, what percentage of your carry on (21x14x9) is devoted to:

I know there are many other factors to consider such as body size, season, gender, personal preference, etc. Just give me a general percentage.

Posted by
18761 posts

My carry on is all clothes. Everything else goes in the one allowed personal item (about a third the size of the carryon). My preferred airline has a weight limit on the carry on so that gets all the heavy stuff out of it.

Posted by
8634 posts

Just like James. 100% clothes. No extra shoes. Personal item has absolute minimal toiletries, chargers, e-book, papers. No other electronics.

Posted by
7448 posts

Leaving for the trip, it would be approximately 75% clothes, 5% toiletries kit, 5% electronics and 15% empty space. This is the same for my 3-week trips to Europe. The electronics are my iPad, charger & small adapter as an example.

The empty space is to be able to buy a souvenir, snack, etc. & also to keep my bag lighter - my preference is traveling on trains and staying in multiple places.

Posted by
18761 posts

Well Stan and i do differ a bit. For toiletries I dont have much (if/when I run low I buy more in Europe).

The truth is I have two personal items; one is fairly small, a cross body bag for passport, tickets, necessary meds, phone battery, E-Reader and my watch and wallet when I go through Security and it fits in the larger personal item if need be (hasn't yet).

The larger one carries the laptop (I work on holiday), toiletries, dress shoes (sports coat is in the carryon), electric beard trimmer, all sorts of meds if I get sick, down jacket that squeezes down to about the size of a softball (winter), shopping bag (European grocery stores dont give away plastic bags) and a couple other small but heavy nicks and knacks as my preferred airline has no weight limit on personal items.

That way the carryon is 8kg of nothing but clothes.

Oh, for weight issues the only jeans I take are the ones I wear on the plane; otherwise mostly cargo pants (easier and more secure carrying of documents and money).

With that combination I can bring regular clothes and everything I need to go fly fishing (something I enjoy in Europe).

Posted by
5118 posts

My primary bag will be checked, so my carryon will be a small gym bag with one change of clothes, all of my meds and electronics. Plus a snack and water bottle. My purse has all my docs, passport, money and credit cards.

Posted by
581 posts

100% clothes including an extra pair of shoes. Electronics, toiletries, meds and any paper travel docs are in my personal item.

Posted by
1117 posts

I'm a photography nerd, so 90% of my carry on is my photography equipment plus laptop. I am definitely not checking any of my photography stuff except for the tripod.

The rest is just minimal toiletries as I need them during the flight. No clothes except for the ones I've got on me.

So, are we going to hear the outcome of this survey?

Posted by
3260 posts

My carryon has my clothes, about 70%. Then my toiletries and first aid kit take up about 20%. A ‘bedside bag and book take up the rest. It is not packed full.

In my 12x16x4 personal item are my documents, financials, snacks, electronics like phone and iPad with chargers and battery backup, camera…compact dslr, and my prescription meds, and one change of clothes.

Posted by
15675 posts

I've never thought of it as percentages. I put what I need in my carry on with the valuable stuff in my personal item.

I mistly do this because if I'm flying and forced to check my carry on, I want my valuable stuff with me.

Posted by
4174 posts

I've never gone to Europe for such a short time. Perhaps that doesn't matter because no matter how long the trip, I pack for a week and do laundry in the room or a laundromat as needed.

Whether I take my 41L (22x14x9) carry-on or the 36L (20x14x8) international one, it's about 98% filled with clothing of some sort. It goes in the overhead bin on the plane and stays there until I get to my destination.

As so many others have said, the things I need or want during the flight and the truly important stuff is either on my body or in my personal item which easily fits under the seat in front of me.

Posted by
2744 posts

My carryon suitcase is all clothes. My small backpack/personal item holds my toiletries and electronics (kindle & phone). I also stuff my purse in there.

Posted by
4472 posts

Agree with James E. Since I don't work, I don't take laptop-just phone and Kindle. Wear largest/heaviest shoes. In the past , I have traveled with only one pair of shoes and had no problems, but realize that's risky so now take another pair that is as small as possible but good for walking. Like some people on this forum, I pretest all clothes to see how long they take to dry from sink washing. I like Rohan pants and Merino wool sweaters.

Posted by
203 posts

We never check bags. Our rolling carry ons (overhead bins) are all clothes and an extra pair of shoes. Our second bags are backpacks that have books, electronics, toiletries.

Posted by
2631 posts

I check a bag, so my carry-on will always have a 3-1-1 bag, jacket, spare top, undies and socks. It's not full going over but coming home it will be full of interesting goodies I have found and would be sad if they were lost or broken, better to handle them myself.

Posted by
993 posts

I carry a small day pack as my personal item that includes my electronics, amenity kit for the plane (sleep mask, ear plugs, sanitizer wipes, lip balm, small moisturizer, and travel toothbrush/toothpaste), money, iPad, phone, passport/other documents, pen, small notebook, and snacks.

In by carry-on I have mainly clothes, an extra pair of shoes, other electronics (e.g. extra battery pack), toiletries, a foldable duffle, accessories. I can travel with this for a month if I don't change climates and plan for laundry in between.

Love the other ideas on this forum and I will re-review my standard checklist.


Posted by
1259 posts

Never thought about percentages. I am a carryon-only guy. Cannot imagine traveling any other way.
The Aeronaut 45 liter just has EverYThinG in it, with lots of room to spare. The 20 liter backpack (personal item) contains some in-flight convenience stuff but it could all go in Aeronaut if required.