Let me be clear. I wouldn’t want you to think for a hot sec that this post is about how to pack the essentials for your 31-day cruise in a carry-on suitcase or something. I mean, maybe people like that actually exist, but they don’t live at my house. Nope. This post is about what you need to need to pack in your carry-on tote, assuming that you checked your luggage like a normal person. 🙂 I started thinking about writing this post when Bob and I took a 10½ hour flight from Dallas to Rome this summer for our big 30th-anniversary trip. We were fine when packing for our Riviera cruise, but when it came to packing our airplane carry-on bag for a long-haul trip, we struggled! We did our best but forgot a few things we wished we’d had with us on the plane. So we made this checklist for next time, and today I’m sharing it with you. (Click the links or images below for details.)
I love my Tory Burch Ella carry-on tote. It’s made from a durable nylon with touches of patent to add a bit of sophistication. At 17″W x 13″H x 5″D, it can hold my laptop, as well as everything else on the list below. It’s open at the top. (Translation – you can really stuff it full!) Mine is from two years ago, but honestly, I like the versatile, updated version even better because it has snaps on the side that give it a ladylike handbag shape when fastened.
Travel experts say that all wallets and passport cases you use for travel need to be RFID protected. (RFID theft is a type of electronic pickpocketing whereby thieves use radio waves to read and capture embedded information on credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses. For our recent trip to Europe, I bought a RFID protected wristlet (four color options) to use instead of a typical RFID wallet so I could fit my cell phone in it. The detachable strap allowed me to carry it alone or slide it into my handbag. I also invested in a RFID protected passport cover (3 color options). Both are 20% off right now.
Traveling messes with my normal eating schedule, and I find myself hungry at weird times. Bob and I hit the jackpot when we found this healthy snack variety pack on Amazon! It’s also important to me to have a water bottle that (1) is sturdy; (2) insulated so I can use it for cold or hot drinks; (3) has a cover over the mouthpiece to keep it clean; (4) has a loop handle so I can attach it to my bag with a carabiner.
My travel pillow is not inflatable, but I soooo wish it was. This one would make a perfect (and inexpensive) gift for yours truly. (Just sayin’, family members!) The travel blanket I own is soft and lightweight. I always freeze on airplanes! At 55″x55″ when open, it’s big enough to share. It has a loop on the pouch so that it can attach to the handle of my carry-on with a carabiner. The large eye mask I use for travel blocks all light, and it’s made of breathable silk. The spa socks I use for travel are the same ones I use at home when I sleep to prevent hot flashes. (See this post for details.)
I love my Kindle, because, unlike a tablet, there’s no screen glare, even in bright sunlight, yet its built-in light means you can read just as comfortably in a dark room. And the battery last forever! True confessions, though—I might love my cute case even more! I have an iPad Mini, which I use at home to watch Netflix (loving this series right now) while I fold laundry or make dinner, and to watch downloaded movies when we travel. Noise-cancelling headphones are a must when you travel, and I always take wired ones, so they’re compatible with the plane’s audio system.
√ Hair Holders
√ Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (I buy ’em in bulk!)
√ Prescription Meds
√ Lip Balm
√ Eye Drops
√ Hand Sanitizer
√ Travel toothbrush & paste
√ Breath Strips
This well-priced little makeup kit may just be all you need for your entire trip. I’m a convert! For hair, I love this unique Fitness Tracker Hair + Wristband. It’s a ponytail holder with a little pocket that can hold your fitness tracker, hotel room key, or even a little cash. Genius, right?
What are your carry-on essentials? Let me know in the comments if I missed anything, okay? Also, I’d love to know where you’re headed on your empty nester getaway this fall. (We’re going to Walt Disney World!)
SHOP MY TRAVEL LOOK
(Some links are to similar items.)
Photo by Megan Weaver.