What’s in My Carry-on?

First, I think it’s important to point out that WE ARE ONE WEEK FROM CHRISTMAS!

Anyway, seeing that it is peak travel time as said holiday is coming up, I thought I would share some of the things I usually pack in my carry-on. I have done a lot of traveling this year, especially on short weekend trips, so I feel that I have mastered the necessities of the carry-on.
My most recent trip was last month to L.A. for a weekend and as a personal challenge, I managed to achieve minimal packing. It was one of the most difficult things I have tried because I do not pack light. If you’re interested in a post about minimal packing, I can certainly do that, but for now, I will stick to how I pack my carry-on when I have a checked bag. Let’s get into it!

1. Shoes

If you know me well, you know that shoes are my priority. I use my shoes as my base so my clothes don’t get bent out of shape. Aside from the pair of shoes that I wear to the airport, I always pack a pair of heels and a pair of transitional shoes, or shoes that can be worn casually and formally in the event you don’t get time to change before going somewhere. To kill two birds with one stone, one of those pairs usually doubles as my heaviest pair of shoes so I can save weight in my checked bag.

2. Bottoms

So from my minimal packing challenge, I learned that more often than not, you don’t need more than two pairs of pants for a trip that is less than a week. Regardless of what climate I’m traveling to, I always pack a pair of black jeans without rips for the same reason I carry transitional shoes. Besides not wanting to be the person who prevents the group from getting into a nice place because I’m dressed too casually, black jeans also just go with everything.

3. Tops/Jackets

This one is a bit of a curve ball. If you’re like me, you usually wear the same shirts and jackets over and over, but convince yourself that while you’re on vacation you will need options for each day “just in case.” Even though I have yet to break out of this strange mindset, I always make sure that at least the top I pack in my carry-on is one I know I will wear. This allows me to have at least one complete outfit that I know I will be comfortable in. And if I happen to bring multiple jackets, like my shoes I pack the heaviest one in my carry-on, or I likely just wear it in the airport since I’m always cold anyway.

4. Personal care products

I don’t need to get into general toiletries considering that should be second-nature to most people. When it comes to things like makeup, nail polish, etc., however, I always pack these in my carry-on. Why? Well, otherwise you’re at risk of having your stuff broken because checked luggage literally gets tossed around. I of course do a process of elimination from my collection because I don’t want to have to go through all of my liquids at security. In the last year and a half, I have yet to have my bag inspected. I also recently started carrying those single-pack face masks to rejuvenate my skin after a flight–re-circulated air is not cute!

5. Tech

Okay, I usually carry my laptop and chargers in my tote-sized purse or backpack so technically it’s not my carry-on, but I thought I would throw this one in here. I like to keep my  various cords and my laptop in separate pockets if possible. If I do have to put things in the same pocket as my laptop, I make sure it’s something flat and skinny like a notebook so it won’t affect how my laptop fits in my bag. Even though there’s obviously no time limit on how quickly you need to repack your belongings post-security, the atmosphere and other potential factors make me feel rushed and I just like to be able to slide my laptop back where it was without having to readjust everything else in my bag.

This concludes what’s in my carry on! I left out certain things (e.g. underwear, toiletries, small personal items) because they’re just those things that are generally understood and handled. I hope that y’all gained a tip or two about packing efficiently even if it’s not light packing. And for anyone who is traveling this holiday season, I hope that you have a safe journey!! ❤

xx, AE


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