Travel Light with a Carry-On

We’re all about proper planning at Bus.com, but we’re also about comfort. These qualities make us especially well positioned to offer advice on how to pack your carry-on while travelling by charter bus. Easy access, pairing down to the essentials, and making things as compact as possible are at the heart of good packing practices. Maximizing your carry-on space is an art. We’ll break it down and provide some helpful tips.

What to pack in your carry-on

Whether you’re traveling with a full luggage set or just a backpack, you’ll want to include the following in your carry-on: clothes, toiletries, electronics, something entertaining, work material, your essential documents, and, most importantly, valuables like jewelry that you don’t want to leave unattended.

How to pack everything into carry-on luggage.

How to make the most of your carry-on space

Don’t let an inch go to waste! Start with the golden rule of packing clothes: Roll, don’t fold. Rolling your clothes optimizes the space in your bag and it helps you avoid crease wrinkles. And don’t underestimate your clothes. They’re not just for wearing. They can be used as padding to protect your electronics, and your shoes can be used to hold small items like toiletries. Speaking of toiletries, transfer soap and shampoo into smaller bottles. You can pick up empties at any pharmacy or dollar store.

A carry-on for every trip

For every trip there’s a perfect bus type, but there’s also the perfectly packed carry-on to compliment your bus ride. Below are our carry-on essentials for our most popular bus trips.

Tips for packing everything you need into carry-on luggage.

Getting to a Music Festival

If you’re heading to Electric Forest, Osheaga, or any other summer festival, limit yourself to only one bag…and make it a backpack. Besides clothing for all climates and a few fashion accessories to complete that perfect festival ensemble, include the following items in your carry-on. A limited amount of electronics. Your phone should be sufficient. Unless you’re a photographer, there’s no reason to weigh down your bag with extra equipment.

Tip 1: Sunscreen

Sunscreen! It doesn’t matter what type of skin type you have, you need sunscreen. Period.

Tip 2: Bring baby wipes

Your festival best friend isn’t some guy named Rainbow that you met in line for the water station. It’s a pack of baby wipes. Dirt is unavoidable, so keep wet wipes on hand for a quick refresh.

Tip 3: Print your tickets

Print out your tickets and bring them with you, even if they are accessible by phone. You never know when you’ll run out of batteries or be too far from wifi to access your QR code.

How to pack everything you need for a music festival into a carry-on.

Conference Travel with Colleagues

Conference travel is all about being presentation ready. That means feeling fresh as soon as you step off the bus. The following items are essential for corporate travel by charter bus.

Tip 1: Only bring tech essentials

Many coach buses come with wifi and power outlets, so you can work on the road. Bring along your laptop and charger, but leave the tablet at home. You don’t want to go overboard with electronics.

Tip 2: Look your best

Makeup, toner, deodorant, moisturizer—you may not need all of these items, but be sure to include the toiletries you need for a touch up.

Tip 3: Have business cards at the ready

Don’t forget that the bus is a great opportunity for networking. Slip a few business cards into your wallet for the friends you’ll meet on the road.

How to pack everything into a carry-on for your corporate trip.

Going on a Field Trip

There are special considerations you’ll need to take into account when traveling with minors. Have your passengers pack the following to stay entertained and comfortable when on a charter bus headed to a field trip.

Tip 1: Beat the boredom

Ask every passenger to bring a book and one other small entertainment item (like an iPad or a card game). Encourage sharing to promote social exchanges and foster new friendships.

Tip 2: Snack smartly

Avoid unhealthy snacks. Not only are they bad for you, but sugary and salty treats can lead to bloating and discomfort. Fruit, trail mix, muffins, dips and pita are better alternatives.

Tip 3: Have contact info on-hand

Put the chaperone’s phone number as well as the name of the school, camp, or other institution on a laminated card and have every passenger carry them at all times.

Tip 4: Have corresponding documentation on-hand

Chaperones should have copies of the attendance lists and permission slips.

How to pack everything you need for a field trip into a carry-on.

Taking Home Gold with your Team

For sports teams on the way to an away game or tournament, you’ll want to rent a coach bus for its extra luggage space. Sports equipment should go under the bus and not in the aisles. Safety first!

Your carry-ons should include the following:

Tip 1: Have the uniform ready

Pack your uniform in your carry-on. If you have to wear a suit, place it in a garment bag as if you were traveling to a conference.

Tip 2: Wardrobe change

Locker rooms are smelly. Gym bags are smelly. Take a break from the smells by changing into fresh socks before you get on the bus. And bring deodorant.

How to pack everything you need for a sports tournament into a carry-on.

Final Tips for the Ultimate Carry-On

Before you zip up your carry-on, use these tips to ensure you’re travel-ready.

Tip 1: Value versatility

Choose clothing in colors that are neutral so that you can mix and match items as opposed to traveling with complete outfits. Pack clothes that are thin and layerable so you’re prepared for all types of weather.

Tip 2: Rock the jacket

Wear–don’t pack–your outerwear. A lot of valuable real estate is too often occupied by down parkas.

Tip 3: Pack wisely

Pack heavy items in the middle of your bag so that they’re protected by lighter, less fragile items.

Tip 4: Keep regularly-used items accessible

Put items you will use on the bus (laptop, phone, book, snacks) in outside pockets. That way you can avoid opening the tightly packed main compartments while you’re on the road. There’s nothing worse than digging through your clothes to find chapstick.

Tip 5: Pack chapstick!

Just do it.