There are two kinds of people in this world. The people who carry-on luggage and the people who check luggage, and without fail, they marry each other. Am I right?
I am a luggage checker. Take my suitcase! In fact, take both of my suitcases, because chances are I have overpacked and loving it.
My husband never checks luggage. He finds glee in packing an entire week in one TSA-approved carry on bag. I do not understand how he does it, nor do I care to learn.
We recently traveled together, and as proof that we are both growing and changing, he graciously stood with me at the luggage carousel, and I complimented him on his gold-level packing abilities and thanked him for his patience. Yin and yang.
Regardless of what you do with your main luggage, we all know and love that one personal bag we use to carry all the in-flight necessities. I love a good carry-on bag, and today I am sharing what I tend to include in mine for happy travels.
Kicking things off with a luxury item, but hear me out. This enormous cashmere travel blanket from J.Crew is a nonnegotiable when I fly. Somehow it manages to be lightweight and warm at the same time, and I use it as a blanket, a wrap, a neck pillow, or a scarf, depending on the situation. It’s so cozy and soft, and it does not take up a ton of room in my carry on bag. It also does double-duty as a throw blanket when at the hotel, and I guess you could call it an adult woobie. Sometimes we all need a cuddly blanket when away from home, right?
I don’t travel with a ton of tech items, but there are always chargers and cords to keep up with. I love this zip bag from Calpak for all of my tech items. It has elastic compartments, lots of pockets, and zips up to keep everything well-stowed.
I suffer from motion sickness which means movies, reading, and needlepoint are all (sadly) out of the question when I am in a moving vehicle of any kind. My saving grace? Audio books. I close my eyes, pop in my air pods, and listen for hours while trying to keep nausea at bay.
Scarves are not just for fashion. I always bring a cute scarf with me in my carry on (or tied to the handle). In a pinch it is a headband, an eyeglass cleaner, or a cute accessory if you go somewhere for lunch right after you get off the plane. So many uses!
I know the airport sells bottled water, but my beverage needs are high-maintenance. I don’t like it when chilled bottles of water sweat and make all the items around them wet. Therefore, I do not like to put a cold bottle of water in my carry on. Instead, I purchase a bottle of cold water and decant it into my Swell bottle. This way I have cold water at the ready without any condensation.
I love this zip pouch wallet from MadeWell. It provides ample room for credit cards, a passport, cash, coins, and receipts. It’s a powerhouse item and keeps everything wallet-related in one place.
MOISTURIZER + EYE PATCHES
No thank you to the dry air on planes! The Summer Fridays Jet Lag Moisture Mask is a good one and comes in a small tube perfect for carrying on. I also like to pack a couple of moisturizing eye patches for good measure.
I try not to go overboard when it comes to carry-on toiletries. A brush, some Advil, lip balm, lipstick, a hair tie, and a couple of bobby pins are all I want to fuss with. I have found a long tubular zip bag is a great shape for toiletries because it can be stashed upright in a corner of your bag.
Even though the motion sickness keeps me from stitching on a plane, I always bring a needlepoint project with me when I travel. You never know when you will have extra time on the tarmac or might be delayed at the gate. Having a non-screen-related project is a life-saver during unexpected lulls. I store my needlepoint in these vinyl zip bags, and they come in handy for a million other tasks. Highly recommend.
What are your favorite items to carry on when you travel?