After my recent flight from Cleveland to Chicago for work, I landed at my destination only to learn that my luggage hadn't arrived with me. Somehow, my bag didn't make it onto my 45-minute direct flight, & thus began the process of trying to figure out what I had & what I needed as I waited for my luggage to make it to the Windy City.
Luckily, as an experienced traveler, I'd brought some of the important stuff with me in my carry-on luggage. What I didn't bring was a change of professional clothes, which is how I found myself at a Macy's upon my arrival, buying a quick change of clothes so I could be presentable for work (note to self: Don't wear neon "Hello, there!" sweatshirt while traveling to work events).
In case you don't travel much, or just want to be nosy & peek inside my bag, here's a look at what goes into my carry-on.
The BasicsMy wallet is a tiny leather card case from Dagne Dover, which I received in a recent Box of Style (here's $10 off a subscription, should you be interested!). I used the 25% off coupon that came with it to purchase this bag from Dagne Dover, which is the perfect size - & has the perfect amount of pockets - for traveling. It's big enough to carry magazines & my iPad, but it fits neatly under airport seats; I also like that it has a zippered top so that nothing spills out of it if it shifts around in flight.
BeautyI usually shlep all of my makeup around with me in this little zipper bag from Target. If I'm trying to downsize my carry-on, I pack most of it & only bring the important stuff in my carry-on. That includes...
- Lip balm: My favorite is this Burt's Bees balm in "mint and cocoa" flavor. It smells so cozy!
- Concealer: I'm now a devotee of the brand Makeup Forever, expensive though it may be.
- Mascara: I have an annoying habit of picking off my mascara, especially when I'm bored, so I keep this with my for touch-ups on travel days (& all other days).
- Powder: I'm the shiniest, sweatiest human alive. Gotta have this on hand for a quick fix!
Health & WellnessThis is by far the largest category of my carry-on items because I never want to find myself without something important... & the essentials cost so much in airports!
- Anxiety medicine: I take Lexapro every night for anxiety, & without it, I start to get headaches. I always make sure the whole bottle travels in my carry-on bag with me in case of lost luggage.
- Allergy medicine: I always have a Zyrtec on hand during flights, lest my allergies flare up at random. I pack the rest, though, because my allergies aren't that bad.
- FitBit: I'm always surprised by how many steps I get in on travel days as I rush from terminal to terminal. If only I could remember to pack the charger for my FitBit Alta...
- Earplugs: I'm weirdly sensitive to noise, & sitting next to a snorer or a baby can ruin a flight for me. Enter these squishy Mack's earplugs, which I also use nightly.
- Tissues: Again with the allergies. I sneeze all throughout plane rides!
- Gum: I pack my toothbrush, & I'm not one for mints, but I love Orbit Spearmint gum for freshening up, especially after airport snacks.
- Deodorant: Yes, I wear Old Spice, & I keep it in my carry-on to stay fresh throughout the day. Traveling can be a sweaty affair!
- Makeup removing wipes: Speaking of freshness, these Neutrogena wipes are a godsend for refreshing my skin up, & they smell so calming.
- Healing stick: I prefer to have lotion with me for dry airports & hotels, but because I try to minimize liquids in my carry-on, I travel with this shea butter stick from Perfectly Posh.
- Glasses & contact case: I always fall asleep on flights, & waking up with my contacts suctioned to my eyeballs is so unpleasant. For long flights, I fill my contact case with clean solution & pack it in my carry-on so I can pop out my contacts as needed.
Technology & EntertainmentI used to all kinds of things to keep me busy during travel: books, magazines, my iPad... it started to get heavy! Finally, I admitted that I spend most of my time on my phone, on my Kindle, or asleep, & I stopped packing so damn much. Now I just bring...
- Phone charger: My new phone holds a charge much better than my old one, but when I travel, I use it so much that I suck up the battery reaaaal fast.
- Power bank: For times when I don't have access to outlets, I have this pig-shaped power bank with me. It's not as powerful as some varieties, but it works in a pinch.
- Headphones: I hate the new Apple headphone situation (no headphone jack in the new iPhones), & I've yet to master remembering to bring the right listening apparatus for actually being able to use my headphones while I travel... but I'll get it right eventually!
- Kindle & charger: Buying a Kindle Paperwhite revolutionized my reading - & it's so much lighter than traveling with books!
- Camera remote: This CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter goes everywhere with me, in case I want to take better photos than the standard selfie timer can provide.
- Magazines: If I finish them while I'm away, I leave them behind to lighten the load on the way home. I often offer them to flight attendants to read during their downtime.
- Pens: My favorite pens come from my old workplace, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. I swear, they're the best pens in the world.
- Note cards: Sometimes, if I have a lot of thank-you notes to write, I tuck a few into my bag so I can get them done in the airport.
Tell me: Am I missing anything that you always make sure to bring in your carry-on? I've got a few trips coming up - including D.C. & New Orleans later this month! - so I'd love to hear your travel wisdom.