Mormon Missionary Tips: How to Pack Your Carry On


This article appeared originally at prepare to serve logo

I am currently studying at BYU, and have been traveling back and forth from my home country (Hong Kong) to the U.S. and other countries and cities by plane for the past seven years. Here are some personal experiences about packing luggage that can help you have a safe and pleasant trip to your LDS mission!

Carry-on baggage dos and don’ts:


1. Height: 36 cm (14”), Width: 23 cm (9”), Length: 56 cm (22”), and the total weight of the Carry-on baggage and your items is 7kg (15lbs). It is free of charge to bring a carry-on baggage with you on the plane!

  • If you are a small person like me, you can ask the flight attendants to assist you to put the carry-on in the cabin (out of security reason, flight attendants can’t put it up for you)

2. Books

  • Things you want to read (Book of Mormon, Bible, Preach My Gospel, Study Journal, Gospel Library… etc. or pick some of these)

  • This is more like when I was returning home from mission. I put most of my books on my carry-on so I can save weight for my check-in baggage. (I will talk about check-in baggage next week!) I had a lot to bring home and my check-in baggage just barely make it without paying extra to get on the plane (extra fee depends on where are you flying to and which airline you are using)

3. Extra set of clothing

  • Elders – Shirt, Tie, Socks, Pants, and inner wear

  • Sisters – Blouses/Top, Skirts, and inner wear

  • Just in case your flight gets a layover, you can still look fresh in your extra set of clothing J

4. Light jacket

  • Usually cold inside the plane

5. Liquid (Directly quoting from the Transportation Security Administration – U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

3-1-1 for carry-on

  • 3-1-1

    • 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less

    • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag

    • 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin

    • If in doubt, consider putting your liquids in checked luggage

  • My personal experience (not quoting from TSA)

    • The 3-1-1 bottles, you can buy them in almost any grocery store and listed as “Travel-Size Bottles” or under other names

    • To those who are taking international flight, don’t wear contact lenses on the plane to avoid discomfort on a long flight. (If you want to wear contact lenses on the flight, bring the contact lens case, filled with contact lens solution beforehand and bring your glasses just in case)

    • You can use moisturizers to refresh your hands and face. (read carefully about 3-1-1 above) The air inside the plane is similar to a dry summer climate or to being indoors in the wintertime, humidity is no higher than 10%

    • Drink water, even if it means you need to run to the restroom a lot J


Beside carry-on baggage (which you will put it in the cabin on the plane).  You should have a pocket or purse (see the picture below for approximate size) with you that you should never put down until you arrive your destination. (I mean carry it with you even when you go to the restroom or anywhere, except when you are doing a security check.)

Carry-on Purse

A bag about this size

  • Reason for this is to keep the most important things with you! Think about this, if you lost your check-in baggage and your carry-on baggage, what do you need the most that people can identify you?

  • Your passport, ID, air-ticket, baggage claiming receipt, money (your home country and the country you are going to) – several coins to make a phone call if no one is willing to lend you their cell phone, arrival living address (mission home address and number)

  • Your identity is the most important thing which you need to protect, especially in this sensitive time of traveling! Even though you are a missionary, your Heavenly Father knows who you are, but without your identification, people have the authority to stop you from entering into their country. It will take you a while to get back your identification and back to your home country too.


1. Prohibited items:  (Directly Screen Shot from the Transportation Security Administration – U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Prohibit items

These are just part of the prohibited items, check for detail on Transportation Security Administration – U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.


Personal advice: if in doubt, avoid bringing items with gas (except your personal natural gas, jk); explosives; contain and lead to fire items; or sharp items of any form. Medicine depends on personal need, also check traveler information at the TSA website.

See the original article at Prepare to