Given that I am currently en route back to the US, I thought it would be timely to do a little packing post. I’m going to have a full post about how I packed for Asia next week but in the meantime, let’s talk about carry on bag! I rarely, rarely check my bag. I hate wasting time and I hate waiting for my bag especially after a long flight. My luggage got lost in Europe last year so I’m always terrified of that happening again – it took the airline more than two days to get me my things back, which was awful!
For Asia though, carrying-on just wasn’t negotiable (actually it was, I packed all wrong… but more on that next week) – as hard as I tried I couldn’t get 12 days’ worth of stuff into my tiny international carry-on. I do like to think I have gotten things down to a science but I’m always adding to my little carry-on kit. The more streamlined, the better.
Carry On Luggage
If I’m not checking my bag it’s always my little AWAY suitcase. I have the smaller carry-on as it’s international compliant. (The bigger carry-on will need to be checked on smaller domestic flights + flights to Europe). You can read my full AWAY luggage review but I just love love love their bags. I had to take the battery out (a lot of airlines no longer allow it which is a huge bummer!!!) but I still really love mine. For my personal item, I use either my Mansur Gavriel tote or my Cuyana leather zip tote. I’m in the market for a new carry-on/personal item tote. Basically I am looking for something just like the Cuyana zip top tote but 30-40% bigger. The Cuyana one is just a little small for longer trips and I love the MG bag but it’s a pain in the butt as it doesn’t close at the top.
What is Not Allowed in Your Carry On?
This stuff is probably a given for mostly everyone but just a little refresher for you! No liquids over 100ml, and nothing hazardous or sharp. I have had (my nice Tweezerman!) tweezers taken from me so I’ve learned the hard way – either I leave them home or pack them in my checked baggage. I’m that idiot who leaves her water bottle in her carry-on and gets flagged… I’m trying to be better! Another thing that can get flagged depending on where you are traveling is portable batteries for your phone (like a Mophie). I haven’t seen these banned in the US but in Asia they are not allowed.
What’s in My Carry On Bag
Noise cancelling headphones //
These are a must. I always bring mine with me. I find that my Apple Airpods (and you can read my Apple Airpods review here – LOVE them) do the job just fine on shorter flights etc but I also really love my Beats Headhones (I have the pale pink pair!) for longer trips – especially if there are crying babies on my flight! You could bring ear plugs to help you sleep if it’s an overnight flight, but I find them to be really uncomfortable.
Silk Eye Mask //
I LOVE my Slip eye mask. I have tried so many eye masks but Slip’s are my all time favorite – nothing else measures up. And for long flights, especially international flights, there is nothing better. Sometimes they’ll give you one on the plane but they’re never as nice. I sleep with an eye mask every night at home as well so using it on the plane is also sort of comforting, like being at home. Eye masks are the best – the perfect way to add a little luxury to your flight or bedtime routine!
Essential Oils //
A Lightweight Cashmere Scarf //
I am never, ever without a soft cashmere scarf. Ew do I sound totally pretentious? Whatever, it doesn’t have to be cashmere (heck, those $5 pashminas they sell on the street will work too) but of course, cashmere is really really nice. I am always cold so it comes in handy, can double as a blanket, looks chic, etc. I am never without mine. My absolute favorite is this one from Heidi Wynne (her cashmere is just the BEST) but the Cuyana one is a runner up… my sister has one and I have tried to steal it a few times.
My old nutritionist got me into taking probiotics whenever I fly as I used to get so, so bloated from flying. Now I always travel with them and definitely notice a big difference. I take two of these probiotics every night before bed but I also will pop two before I fly. I am not sure why but I’m telling you, this may be one of my biggest travel hacks – it makes such a difference.
Two Days Worth of Clothes //
Oh gosh, I learned my lesson when my luggage got lost in Europe last year!!! At the very least, if you don’t have a ton of room, pack an extra few pairs of clean underwear. You probably won’t need them but if you do, you’ll be really glad you packed them. I also think it’s one of those things where if you pack them, you won’t need them but if you don’t, you will. Superstition I guess.
I always bring books with me. On my trip to Asia I brought one book in my carry-on and put four more books in my checked luggage. I know, I should get a kindle for travel but I just can’t do it. Honestly, I like my books… and I always give them to the hotel staff when I’m done with them which frees up room in my suitcase for the way home.
Clear Pouch //
Different airports have different guidelines but I have learned to just keep all my beauty products / liquids (under 100ml!) in a clear pouch (I love my Truffle Clarity Pouch) because it’s really annoying to have to take out all your liquids and hastily put them into the airport’s clear bag if their security protocol is more strict.
Beauty Products //
I try to travel light but I always bring my beloved Dr. Bader Cream (full review here), a hydrating mask (I love Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Mask – review here), SK-II’s mid-day Treatment Essence (I spritz this on BEFORE applying the mask, and a super hydrating lip balm (I LOVE Farmacy’s Lip Bloom as it’s so hydrating). My lips get so chapped on the plane, anyone else? As a rule I don’t fly with makeup on my face (unless it’s a two or three hour flight) so I’ll bring a few things to help me feel pretty when we land. Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstick in “Pillowtalk” (it’s the perfect pinky nude – universally flattering!), some brow gel, and my favorite mascara. Just the easy, minimal things.
Deodorant + Toothbrush & Toothpaste //
As someone who has had their luggage lost, take it from me: you just don’t want to be caught without either of these things… especially if like me, you insist on only using natural deodorant – it’s hard to find in a foreign country!!! I love my Vapour deodorant (it’s the only natural deodorant I’ve tried that lasts through long workouts + super hot/humid climates) and I’m very very much obsessed with my Quip toothbrush. I always keep both of these things in my carry-on, along with a small tube of toothpaste.
Cashmere Socks //
Really, any soft fluffy socks will do but I have these cashmere socks from The White Company and I love love love them. So soft and luxurious.
Always travel with snacks! There is nothing worse than being stranded somewhere or on a long layover and hangry. Of course most airports have snacks but if you are traveling internationally it can be a huge mixed bag. I am a big fan of Lara bars and always bring at least two or three in my carry-on. The peanut butter cookie one is my favorite but I also love the chocolate chip cookie dough. So good and also good for you!
Hand Sanitizer //
(Duh) I always travel with hand sanitizer and this Byredo one is ultra chic.
(Another Duh!) I’m always working! Even if I’m not connected to the Internet I keep it with me to write down details of the trip, etc. etc. But also, movies.
iPhone Charger //
Neck Pillow //
I have a bad back and this neck pillow really helps. There is nothing worse than ruining your vacation because you fell asleep on the plane and messed up your neck. I don’t take it on shorter flights but for a longer flight it’s the best!
What’s in your carry on bag!? Did I miss anything?