It’s just about time for Spring Breaks to begin and if there is anything that I used to struggle with, it was overpacking, underpacking or just not having the right things. As I’ve begun to travel more and more often I’ve learned what and how to pack a carry on perfectly and you can too!
So when I say that I was a terrible packer, you really have no idea. I remember I was going away for a weekend camping trip and the rest of my friends had a small duffle and I showed up with this huge bag that I probably could have fit a body in. Even with that huge bag I still did not have everything that I needed. Me overpacking probably came out of growing up with a mom who was always prepared for anything and I just took that on as I’ve gotten older. I will say that over the years as I’ve tried to break this habit of overpacking there have been a few trips where I have not been prepared at all and I totally under packed. Finally, I’ve gotten to a place where I can say that I pack to prepare, I pack appropriately and dare I say perfectly. 😉 Okay not perfectly but I’m pretty proud of how I pack now!
Finding a bag that meets your travel needs is key! I love using my FEED Projects bag because not only does it have a ton of pockets, but it also provides meals to people in need. By the way, if you’re interested in this bag, it’s actually the diaper bag which I love because it has a waterproof lining inside, perfect in preventing stains if something spills! When I look for bags to use as a carry-on, I look for plenty of strap options that are comfortable (like these wide straps) and plenty of spots to put items that need to be easily accessible. Another important aspect to me is being able to zipper the bag, this is so important, especially in a crowded airport. A mistake that I used to make was just getting any giant bag to pack but I would always end up with something way too heavy to carry. Oh! One important note, make sure your bag fits your airlines dimensions for a carry-on, because I use a purse type of bag I don’t usually check but just keep it in mind.
These were gifted to me by a friend and I absolutely love that they are in different sizes and such fun colors. They’re perfect for small things like makeup, liquids, hair ties and other easy to lose things in big bags. They make organizing your stuff easy and you can grab everything you’re looking for quickly even in a tight plane seat. I usually organize these bags by item category, makeup in one bag, pens in another, medications in the last one, etc.
When I travel, I am an avid reader. This is because when I’m in school, I honestly just don’t have the time. Usually, I have at least 1500 pages of dense reading to do each week for my masters, on top of lectures and other work so when I have a break, catching up on my own reading is on top of my list.
On this trip, in particular, I was reading Breaking Vegan. I do have a history of both anorexia and orthorexia which was debilitating for years upon years and I finally found a book that shared an experience that so much reflects mine.
In addition to bringing books along, I do have my iPad with some back up reading and lets be real, plenty of games. I do always seem to have work to get done so the iPad makes it easier for me to finish up work without having to lug around my heavy laptop. Actually, while I was in undergrad, my iPad was a lifesaver when I was traveling from coast to coast during internships and finishing up papers.
Notebook & Pens
I never leave the house without a notebook and pens because I’m someone who has ideas and they need to be written down immediately. On vacation when my mind is even more open and free of worry, I especially need to bring one with me. Depending on how long I’m leaving and what kind of vacation it is, I’ll bring a sketchbook and maybe some water colors.
Headphones, Chargers & Pouch
Self-explanatory, who wants to be on a plane for hours and hours without listening to either music or a great podcast. Sometimes I just need to listen to some background anything to drown out the sounds of the plane. Always having chargers is also key, if your plane is delayed you’re going to need a charger. By the way, this beautiful pouch is from Sseko Designs which is an incredible company that helps young women in Uganda earn money to go to university. *Note, I usually bring a solar panel charger with me as well since outlets are sometimes hard to come by.
No matter how much I hydrate before a trip, recycled air plane air is always super dry and ultimately gives me chapped lips. Being the complete indecisive person that I am, I carry around ALL of these flavors of burts bees chapstick, plus the lip pencil for a little bit of extra color. Anything to help me look a little bit put together.
Cameras and GoPros
So this isn’t a need for packing a carry on but I am someone who is obsessed with photography and documenting everything. It comes from watching home movies when I was a kid and I loved that I have videos and photos of all my loved ones even though they might have passed.
Just like getting chapped lips, my hands and face get so dry, so having my favorite lotions are a must on any trip. Plus after I land I love to wash my face and throw on lotion. It helps me feel so much more refreshed. The lotions here are both organic and they give back.
TSA now mandates that liquids are kept together and are under 3oz per item. I do my very best to not waste plastic so I have these reusable sandwich bags that are perfect for holding liquid makeup and such. The plus to having these is that if something leaks they really are leak proof as long as you seal them properly.
This is another given, airline and airport food is so expensive now, it’s a little crazy to plan on buying food when you get to the airport. Sometimes you can’t help it but if you can, you’re going to want to, plus you get to bring healthy snacks that you probably won’t be able to find at the airport. I usually bring some type of fruit like a banana or an apple, some nuts, granola bars (My favorite is This Bar Saves Lives), and some type of sweet treat. For any trip, I love bringing these sweetriot candies with me, they’re a certified B corporation and also give back to the world.
Once you get to security, they’re going to make you dump your water or get rid of anything that is a liquid. If you have a reusable water bottle or cup you can refill after security and not worry about buying a $4 bottle of water. An extra tip is that you can usually get free ice and water from soda fountains, just ask a cashier first.
Resusable Coffee Mug
I’m all about everything reusable, if I’m at the airport I’m bound to get coffee. I always, always book red eye flights or super early flights to save money so coffee is always a must for me. There’s also something really comforting about having a favorite familiar mug with you.
Having any kind of eye mask is a must, I never leave for a trip without one because I am completely unable to sleep without one. This one is Bucky brand and there’s a little pocket in the front that holds ear plugs. Perfect for traveling! This eye mask also has a velcro strap so you don’t have to worry about messing up your hair at all.
For years I traveled without one because I thought they were so unnecessary but I take it back! I don’t think that anymore and I rarely even go on car trips without one. In fact my husband often steals my pillow from me. If you do buy one, try to find one with snaps so you can snap it around the straps of your bag, one less thing to carry around.
This is one thing that I haven’t accepted that I need. I do not accept the fact that I need glasses so I too often leave them behind. I will say it’s super helpful to have glasses so you can read what terminal your gate is now in after the third time its changed. Also, don’t forget your sunglasses! Both my glasses and sunglasses are Warby Parker, another company that gives back. Are you seeing a trend here?
All Packed Up
Here you can see everything all packed up neatly, there are a few additions like my Manda sun paste, pen case, and some makeup. See, the bag you pick is really key to packing your carry-on! What are some tips you have for packing the perfect carry-on?
Some Extras That Aren’t Shown
Burts Bees Facial Wipes: These are super helpful to freshen up while on the plane and when you land
Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup and other things you might need. I don’t ever put these items into checked luggage because I would be really irritated if these items were lost. Plus I need to brush my teeth when I land because I just feel not so great from flying. Also, don’t forget tissues!
Hair Brush, Hair Ties, and Dry Shampoo: More items that help me feel refreshed and presentable after flying
Wet Wipes Sanitizing Wipes: I don’t leave home without wipes, especially when I fly. Have you ever thought about who touches your tray on the plane and how dirty the bathroom door handle might be. I’m not a germaphobe but airlines are really dirty.
Blanket Scarf or Sweater: Flights are often chilly especially the red eyes so it’s always nice to have something to keep you warm. I usually wear layers, including a sweater and I bring a blanket scarf or pashmina because they’re just great to cuddle with on the plane, especially if you want to nap.
Vitamins & Medications: Don’t ever forget your medication, so so important! Also, put back airborne and those vitamin c drops because they’ve been medically proven that they don’t prevent illness and are a waste of money. But, melatonin is a supplement that is worth your money! It’s a supplement sleep aid that helps adjust from jet lag. I always opt for gummies!
Oh Darling Be Adventurous