I’m always so stressed out when I travel because I’m constantly wondering if I forgot to pack something or thinking about the worst things that can possibly happen while I’m gone. I need to take a chill pill! But as I’ve been traveling more and more I’m realizing there are certain things that I have to have in my carry-on, whether that’s on a plane, on a bus, or in the car for a road trip. These are the 13 things to have in your carry on that have saved me time and again!
1. Neck Pillow. There’s something about the car or a plane that makes me want to pass tf out, but sometimes it’s really hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. And most of the time I need to catch up on my sleep anyways (those flights home from Vegas or Mexico, know what I’m sayin’?). And a neck pillow makes it super easy to get comfortable and take a little cat nap or even a full on, mouth agape, drooling hard sleep!
2. Shawl or Small Blanket. Now, I’m not saying to bring your king size comforter off your bed, but one of those small, lightweight camping blankets you get at Academy. Or a square scarf/shawl that can double as a blanket. I always get so cold on flights or in the car (even in the summer with the A/C on) and I’ll either want to kick myself for not packing something or I’ll be the happiest little traveler all snug in my shawl and thank myself for remembering to pack one. So if you always get cold like me, make sure you pack a shawl or light blanket!
3. Change of Clothes. Luckily, I have never been a victim of lost luggage or luggage arriving later than expected. *Knocks on wood*. But I have been a victim of spilling something on myself during a long road trip. So a change of clothes in my carry on has always been the very first thing that I pack so I won’t be stuck in dirty clothes or in the same outfit waiting for my luggage to arrive a few days after me!
4. Headphones/Earbuds. If I’m feeling really productive while traveling, I’ll pop my headphones on and listen to a blog podcast or two. Or maybe I’ll want to listen to music or watch a movie on my phone. Or maybe there’s a screaming baby or a snoring man near me and I just can’t take it anymore and I need to drown out the sound, haha! Whatever the reason, headphones or earbuds are always one of the first things to get packed in my carry on.
5. Chargers. It sucks getting on a plane with 10% battery life on your phone or tablet. Or worse, getting OFF the plane with 10% battery on your phone and not knowing where you’re going, not knowing how to get a taxi or Uber, or where to meet your friend who is picking you up, or not knowing how to get to the hotel or friends house. Yikes! So always bring a charger for every device you need!
6. Power Bank. Speaking of chargers, sometimes it’s hard to find an outlet at the airport. So why not just bring your own?! Having your own power bank to charge your devices makes it super easy to navigate an airport if you’re running late and are low on battery (ahem, me always). Or if you just don’t feel like searching for a vacant outlet. I found this Anker PowerCore 10000mAh power bank portable battery on Amazon. It’s $32, but it sure beats the heck out of your phone dying on the plane!
7. Socks. I know it sounds strange, but hear me out! I’m one of those people who always dresses cute to travel. I would not be caught dead in baggy sweatpants boarding a plane… And in the spring or summer I’ll often wear sandals or wedges to travel, and well, like I said before, I get cold. So instead of sabotaging a cute outfit, I’ll just bring a pair of socks with me in my carry on and put them on if my feet get cold! Or if it’s raining outside and you step in a puddle, you don’t want to travel the rest of the way in wet socks right? You’re welcome.
8. A Book. I always love reading a book while traveling. Whether I’m waiting to board a plane, on the plane itself, or during a layover, I always try to entertain myself with a book instead of wasting my phone’s battery playing games or watching a movie. I feel like reading a book makes me a lot less anxious and impatient than when I’m playing games or scrolling Instagram. I get lost in my little book world and then next thing I know we’re arriving at wherever I’m traveling to! Some of my favorite books right now are The Couple Next Door, Pretty Girls, The Last Mrs. Parrish, and Big Little Lies.
9. Electronic Entertainment. If you have a really long international flight, obviously you can’t sit there and read for 10 hours straight. You’ll need other forms of entertainment to keep you occupied and not miserable. Something to pass the time, you know? So I always like to bring my iPad or my laptop in my carry on with me so I can watch a movie or play games to pass the time when I get tired of reading or finish my book early! I’ll either download a movie before we take off or I’ll connect to the flight’s WiFi or I’ll play the non-internet games on my phone like solitaire!
10. Makeup and Makeup Remover. Definitely don’t bring your entire makeup bag in your carry on, but some foundation, bronzer, and mascara to fix whatever you messed up on the plane never hurt nobody. Or if you end up passing out and wake up with your mascara and eyeliner all underneath your eyes like a raccoon, you’ll need some makeup remover to take care of that ish. I always like to touch up my makeup during that awkward time when the planes lands but we are still waiting to get off the plane.
11. Hand Sanitizer or Wipes. Planes and airports are really dirty… Or if you’re taking a road trip, you’re probably eating your road trip snacks and your hands are getting messy. So having hand sanitizer and/or wipes in your carry on to either sanitize your hands or clean your hands/seat is always a good idea.
12. Snacks. You can’t forget the snacks!! Airport food can be pretty expensive or maybe you don’t have time to grab a meal before you have to board your flight. Always keep snacks in your carry on so you won’t feel famished and make your traveling experience miserable. I always like to pack healthy snacks, something sweet, and something salty depending on what kind of food-mood I’m in.
13. Water Bottle. Don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up before boarding your flight. Obviously you won’t be able to go through security with a full bottle of water, but if you bring an empty, reusable water bottle, you can fill it up at a water refill station or at a water fountain somewhere in the airport.
Of course, there are always a million other things that I pack in my carry on, but these are the 13 things to have in your carry on that should be non-negotiables and never forgotten! All of these things have come in handy so many times, it’s amazing I made it out alive traveling without these in the past. JK! But seriously, I would be so cold or so hungry or my phone would die and I would just have a panic attack and lose it. I would much rather be over-prepared and not need stuff, than be under-packed and need something that I didn’t bring, you know? Or have to spend money and buy something at the airport or wherever I’m at when I have a perfectly good one at home. That’s always the worst!
P.S. I got my Louis Vuitton Keepall 55 on eBay for a fraction of the price! eBay is always the way to shop for designer/luxury handbags for the cheap! Most of them will show a picture of the authentication ID number! Here are some good, authentic LV options that I’ve found: this one for $368, this one for $395 AND it comes with a LV box!!, and this one for $300! You just can’t beat those deals and they’re all in great condition.
What are your carry on essentials?