1. Choose the right carry-on.
So. Many. Choices. Whether you prefer the durability of a hard shell or the pliability of a soft-sided suitcase, the most important considerations are keeping it lightweight and well-designed. Look for bags that have smart extras like interior pockets, exterior padded laptop compartments and designated spaces for gadgets. Double-check the size (22H x 14W x 9D is the standard); brands may claim they meet regulations, but actually are larger than some airlines allow. Expandable versions let you unzip around the outside to add a couple inches to the depth of the bag. “Wheelability” is another factor—four wheelers (also called spinners) can effortlessly be pushed and pulled in any direction; two-wheeled designs offer more control.