The Ultimate Packing Guide: Carry On Edition

My carry-on packing method is essentially identical no matter where I travel in the world. I make sure I have all of the necessities and anything else I might need to keep comfy.

Whether it’s a 10-hour transatlantic travel or a 1-hour commuter trip, be sure to check out my Ultimate Packing Guide: Carry-on Edition for a stress-free trip!


Depending on your trip, you may only require a large purse or a carry-on suitcase. Here are my suggestions for carry-on luggage:

Depending on my needs, I sometimes bring a backpack, and sometimes I bring a tote. That usually depends on whether I end up needing to bring my laptop with me.

I like this backpack from Amazon because it has several large compartments and can hold everything I need. It has a section for my laptop, electronics, easy front access pocket, side pockets to hold my water bottle, a spot to store my sunglasses and is large enough to include a storage cube of clothes if need be.

I recently added this tote to my carry-on collection. It’s huge. You could easily use just this for a long weekend getaway plus all of your carry-on essentials. I love that it has a separate zippered storage compartment on the bottom where you can put shoes or extra clothes and keep it all out of the way from the main compartment.

I use these clear bags when I travel. They’re TSA authorized because of their clear design, so you may bring your liquids and small items inside.


A long-haul flight might seem overwhelming, so bring plenty of things to keep yourself occupied.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding boredom:

I always bring my iPad with me when I travel. I head onto Netflix or Huli and download episodes and movies that I can watch without internet. I also download a couple of books in case I decide for a change of pace.

To avoid paying roaming fees when traveling outside of the nation, turn off your cellular data. Smartphones have all of the functionality of a tablet, including a plethora of games, books, and apps to pass the time. Be sure to check out the Skyroam wireless device if you wish to stay connected.

For frequent travelers, a nice pair of headphones is a good investment.
I prefer powerful, more compact, wireless earphones to since they are more of a functional solution.

Don’t forget to bring any chargers you’ll need for the devices you’ll be bringing in your carry-on! I love these charging blocks! You may need a universal adapter for your plugs depending on where you’re going.


Most airlines no longer provide pillows and blankets to economy travelers. So, it’s always a good idea to be prepared!

I’ve tried every kind of travel cushion out there, and I really like this sleep set. It includes a pillow, a mask and earbuds to give you a restful slumber.


My travel wear varies based on where I’m going, but I always make sure I’m prepared.
These things will keep you comfortable on your next trip!

You may not be a fashion icon sporting these sandals, but I swear by them. They are SO comfortable. I literally live in them. Once you get my age, you usually go for comfort over style and that’s been my mantra for a few years now.

Finding the perfect travel sweater is like to finding the ideal travel partner. I’m not joking.
You’ll never leave home without it after you’ve found “the one.”

For flights, I’ve discovered that a long cardigan is ideal.
You can wear it as a sweater, wrap it over your neck like a scarf, or put it over your shoulders like a blanket.

If you prefer an actual blanket, this one is a great option.

On a more serious note, compression socks should be worn at all times when traveling.
Long flights can have a negative impact on leg health. Travel-related deep vein thrombosis (DVT), sometimes known as “economy-class syndrome,” is a disorder that forms blood clots in the legs during long-haul plane travel in confined conditions.

According to studies, airline passengers who wear compression socks on trips of four hours or more reduce their risk of DVT and leg swelling dramatically.


Even before COVID, many airlines were reducing their in-flight service options. Now, you’re lucky to get a pack of peanuts or pretzels.

I always have snacks on hand, especially on long journeys and when I travel with my kiddos.
During the flight, I pack beef jerky, nuts, protein bars, and something sweet.

If you’re traveling to a region where food or water contamination is widespread (such as Central America, South America, or Asia), there are a few simple things you can do to lower your chances of getting the dreaded Mmontezuma’s revenge such as taking an OTC like Travelan. Start taking it before your first meal to avoid spending your trip in the bathroom.


Because commercial airplanes have very low humidity, it’s critical to keep your skin and body hydrated.

For your travels, I highly recommend buying an insulated water bottle.

Water bottle filling stations are found around most airports. This can save money instead of buying those pricey water bottles at the airport.

Drinking plenty of water before and throughout your travel can help with jet lag and exhaustion, even if it means more trips to the restroom.

One of the worst side affects of travel for me is tired eyes. I really like these eye masks and you can even sleep with them on!

If you prefer an eye cream, I recommend using LilyAna Naturals beneath your eyes before and during your travel to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Cliganic is my favorite natural lip product. If you prefer something with some color, you can’t go wrong with Laura Geller’s Tinted Lip Balm.

A great tinted moisturizer combines the coverage of a foundation with the hydrating properties of a face lotion. The MyChelle Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 50 is one of my favorites. If you’re looking for something more on the budget side, check out this one from Neutrogena.


Long days on the go might make you feel filthy and insecure. These goodies will help you feel revitalized:

The fact that airplanes are covered in germs is nothing new. And now with COVID, we have to make every effort to avoid germs and to prevent them from spreading.

For keeping bacteria at bay, I like this organic sanitizing spray and these disinfecting hand wipes.

I like to use biodegradable body wipes to tidy up while traveling because they’re great for a variety of things. Every flight, I bring oil-free facial washing wipes and feminine hygiene wipes.


With minimal carry-on capacity and liquid restrictions, it’s wise to travel with less makeup.
Here are some of my favorite things for reviving my flight.

After a flight, a little mascara can go a long way in brightening your eyes. My favorite travel-sized mascara is courtesy of Too Faced.

A good concealer for under the eyes should be moisturizing and not dry out or crease.
This Radiant Brightening Cream Concealer from Neutrogena is one of my favorites because it conceals flaws while also moisturizing.


On a long trip, a little freshness is a lifesaver. These products will keep you refreshed both during and after your flight:

While flying, try to avoid chewing gum. Stomach aches might result from swallowing too much air. Choose something like Icebreakers.

Long days on the go usually mean no shower. As a result, I always bring a few pantyliners with me and change them throughout my trip.

Reapply during your flight as a courtesy to everyone. I prefer natural deodorant, but an underarm deodorant wipe is a great solution for carry-on requirements.

On a flight, I always bring my toothbrush, but for a quick brush, I like Colgate single-use Wisps. I put these in my bag wherever I go so that I can stay fresh and clean.

We already know flying can dry out your skin, so I like to use a hydrating facial mist to stay moisturized.


Everything I’ve listed so far is replaceable and available in most parts of the world. So don’t worry about forgetting the little things.

The following are the most essential items to remember:

  • Credit Cards and/or Cash
  • Valuables
  • Passport and/or Identification

If you store valuables in your checked baggage, you might never see them again.

Every trip should be covered by travel insurance, in my opinion. SquareMouth is a travel insurance marketplace where you can search policies based on your specific coverage needs.

I always recommend traveling with copies of your passport or other identification documents in case of loss or theft. It’s also a good idea to have a photo of them on your phone as an extra backup.

Obviously, any medication you’ll need should always be carried in your carry-on. Keep in mind that some medications may require you to provide proof of prescription.

I normally keep a little pill case with me to take care of minor ailments like headaches, nausea, and allergies.


When packing liquids, remember the 3-1-1 rule. Liquids must be less than 3.4 ounces, fit in a quart-sized plastic bag, and only one bag per person is allowed.

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