My Carry On Essentials

A while back, my jet-setting friend Amanda shared her carry on essentials.  You can check out her awesome post here.  I picked up tons of tips from her, like using a little jewelry pouch for headphones.  While there’s certainly some repetition here, I still wanted to share my favorite things to fly with.

The bag itself: I LOVE my black Longchamp tote.  Jason gave it to me for my birthday last year and I use it almost everyday.  It’s sturdy and fits my work or gym essentials perfectly.  You can find these bags at most department stores, and this size runs about $150.  That’s only a dollar a day if you use this bag a few times a week for a year.  But you will probably use it more than that (I do) and it will definitely hold up for longer. Ergo, it’s a really good investment.

Staying moisturized can be a challenge after a few hours in recycled air.  Eos lip balm comes in tons of fruity flavors and goes on in a nice, even coat.  I used to use regular old Chapstick but it would go on too thick and I’d have to spit out the extra in little chunks- gross!  The hand cream is a miracle-worker.  I regularly see a 50-75% improvement in my cuticles overnight when I put it on before bed.  And B.B. Cream- well, I think Amanda fully covered its merits in her post but suffice to say, I’m a believer.

My camera is by far the bulkiest thing in my bag, but it’s also one of the most important to me.  You don’t need a fancy camera to take great pictures, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t help.  It just gives you more control over things than a point-and-shoot.  And if I’m going somewhere gorgeous, then I want to leave with the best photos possible.

I know I could replace my book and notebook with my iPad, and I do download books to it occasionally, but I still love an old-fashioned paperback.  And although I (obviously) blog, I don’t think I’ll ever abandon my journal.  I’ve kept one for as long as I can remember and I have about a dozen of them full of my thoughts and memories by now.  I’ve started relying on Moleskines because they are high-quality and have a great little pouch in the back for ticket stubs and other little keepsakes.

It’s pretty obvious that my iPhone goes with me everywhere (as does my wallet, omitted from collage).  I won this fabulous case from Gelskins a while back and I’m still obsessed with it.

A couple of other things not pictured: gum, fresh panties (in case of lost luggage), and a bottle of water.

What do you pack in your carry on?


About how bout some cake

I'm a 20-something woman with an insatiable thirst for adventure. I love red wine, chocolate cake, and comments from my lovely readers.
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11 Responses to My Carry On Essentials

  1. Donna Pugliese says:

    Protein bars and an empty water bottle. Nothing else matters when I’m too hungry. I like to have a few nuts packed, as well.

  2. Your carry on items look very similar to mine! I always keep lotion, my phone, my DSLR and a good book on hand when I’m traveling. I don’t have an iPad but if I did I’d be just like you (minimal book downloading) because I love having something tangible when reading. Great post Rachel!


  3. Love this post! My carry on contains many of the same items! My SLR and iPhone are the first into the bag, I’m such a photo junkie that I’m always taking shots out of the window throughout the flight (it keeps me entertained too lol). Lip balm is a must as well as hand sanitizer (I may be a slight germaphobe but I hate getting sick after coming home from vacation so I try to take preventative measures). And of course a gluten free snack and a drink from Starbucks!

    xo jen

  4. arayofsun says:

    Great ideas! I always pack an eye mask. It can make all the difference on a long flight. Also, what DSLR camera do you use? I’m thinking of asking for one for Christmas and am trying to do some research on which one would be best for me.

    • An eye mask is a great idea! I need to get one of those, pronto!

      My camera is a Nikon D3100 (which is the model pictured). It’s my first SLR and I’m really happy with it. Based on my research, it’s the best value for the money 🙂

  5. I pretty much pack the same thing in my carry on. I have to add hand sanitizer or wipes though, as well as some Emergen-C. I have gotten sick many times when travelling so I have to travel prepared.

  6. I’m all about bringing my iPad as well. I also like to bring Evian or toner spritz to feel more refreshed afterwards.

  7. albucco10 says:

    My carry-on list is so similar! I bring my iPad with me always, but I end up buying out every magazine stand in the airport, so it kind of negates that. Headphones and chapstick are a must, as is a snack for me! I know that I have to eat every few hours, and sometimes airplane food just doesn’t cut it!

    The Glossy Life

  8. kalieta says:

    Like you I LOVE my longchamps tote. My mom got it for me six years ago and it still holds on strong – proof that $150 is a good investment! 🙂

    Now, I always carry with me:
    – my electronics (iPhone, Kindle+lamp, DSLR)
    – a small makeup bag holding a lip balm, lip stick, mascara, travel size hand and face lotion, travel size perfume, travel size face wash + a small washcloth, and of course travel size toothbursh + toothpaste
    – a notebook and pens to jot things down
    – a water bottle

    I don’t use much my iPad, so I don’t feel the need to always bring it with me.

  9. stacey says:

    love the bag and all the goodies inside. Stacey @TheSundaySparkle

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