Packing the Perfect Carry-On

Packing the perfect carry-on bag for a long vacation, or even a weekend getaway, can sometimes prove a daunting task. For the purposes of this post, I am assuming you have already checked a bag or else can cram everything you need into a backpack. If at all possible, that’s the largest piece of luggage I like to take onto an airplane with me.

The Essentials

After much research, I found the perfect backpack to fit my needs. This L.L.Bean “Tear Drop” backpack only costs $44.99 and was big enough to fit my essentials, and also had enough “blank space” where I could sew on my travel patches. As you can see, I still have space for future travels! The backpack has sturdy, reinforced straps, and also a padded pocked on the inside for a laptop. There are also several pouches on the interior. The bottom portion is great for storing dirty clothes or liquids (as long as they are in a quart sized clear pouch!)

This is not a complete list, just a random assortment of items I’ve found helpful for traveling. So onto my must-brings!


First and foremost, don’t forget your phone! I have a super fun case that was sent to me by Very Troubled Child, make sure you follow the link and shop around!

The fun gold shape is a portable charger by BaubleBar for Target, and even though they don’t sell those anymore, Target still sells alot of cute chargers. I only show one, but I usually charge up and take around 3, especially if I will be on a long flight. Along with that is an outlet converter. I think mine came from TJ Maxx several years ago, but you can purchase these almost anywhere. If you are traveling abroad, these are a must have if you want to charge your electronics!

Those beautiful wireless headphones are by Bohm and also double as noise canceling headphones. They come with a cord, though, that you can use to plug into anything that won’t connect wirelessly, AKA airplane screens. We will be traveling on a couple of long flights soon and I can’t wait to use them!


I used to laugh at people who brought sleep masks on flights, but after using one the last few times I’ve traveled I am a true believer! Mine is just a basic mask, but I recommend buying the type that “bubble” over your eyes so your lids don’t get smashed down!

Don’t forget to bring your best and most comfortable shoes! For me, it’s my Nike sneakers. It may be more fashionable to wear cute sandals, but when you’re running to catch your next flight or having luggage wheeled over your toes in a crowded taxi line, you will be thankful for the closed toed shoes! Even if you want to change into flip flops for the flight, pack the sneakers just in case.

Common Sense

This will only apply to international travel, but don’t forget your passport case! I purchased my beautiful leather holder from Colonel Littleton. They also carry a “passport wallet”, but for my needs, I thought this would do just fine. Passport cases will hold boarding passes as well, because even though most places accept electronic passes, not everyone does, and you never know when you might just need those paper tickets!

If you are a contact lens wearer like myself, you may decide to just wear your glasses for the duration of your travel. However, I usually pack mine to change into later into the day, since I don’t really like wearing mine all the time. Your eyes will thank your five hours into your flight when you’re ready to sleep and that recycled air is blasting your glasses lenses and not your eyeballs.

The last “essential” for me might not be an essential for everyone, but I’m a nerd, so I don’t leave home without my travel journal. The first time I used one was when I was 12 and my family took a 2 week vacation “out west”. I still enjoy going back to read those journal entries.

Again, these aren’t essentials for everyone, but they’ve helped me out. Obviously a change of clothes, travel sized toiletries, and travel documents are must brings that aren’t photographed here. What do you always pack in your carry-on? Let me know in the comments below!

One thought on “Packing the Perfect Carry-On

  1. I just read the full entry and I teared up a little when I read the part about your travel journal from our trip out west. That was such a fun-filled, memory-packed trip, and for just a moment I caught a glimpse in my mind’s eye of your 12-year old self. Sweet memories, that’s for sure 😊.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s