There is definitely a fine line between packing too much and not enough. I have the tendency to pack on the lighter side because I don’t like lugging around a ton of stuff. After some trial and error, I think I finally found the perfect balance for my carry on packing essentials. Read on for hacks I have discovered myself and tips and tricks from other experienced travel bloggers!
1. Find the perfect carry on suitcase and backpack
For carry on, you are usually allowed one carry on sized suitcase (max = 22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm) and one ‘personal item.’ Your personal item can be a purse, backpack, or smaller bag. I tend to go for a small backpack that I can fit a tiny over the shoulder purse inside.
The suitcase: Absolutely go for The Carry On by Away. I have it in black and I absolutely love it. It is extremely light-weight but surprisingly durable. This is exactly what you want in a suitcase. The hard-shell case is scratch proof and is built to handle almost anything. Inside, there is two zipper compartments so you can organize your clothes and essentials.
Away’s Carry On also has a unique feature that I have found to be pretty useful. It has a built-in rechargeable charger! A lot of airports have chargers now-a-days, but this is useful when they are all filled up (which is often) or on a bus or taxi ride to your destination after the airport. It also has a TSA-approved built in lock, so you can feel more secure traveling.
As far as a back-pack goes, I love one that has a zipper pouch on the front that I can stick my passport, boarding pass, and money in for easy access. If I am bringing my laptop along, I also want one that has a laptop sleeve. I also want to make sure my backpack is big enough to fit a small over-the-shoulder purse inside. I really love the Bartaile Bag! Check out my full review here.
Inside my backpack, I fit my laptop, a book (or 2), phone charger, computer charger, makeup-essentials (powder, mascara, lip-gloss), face wipes, and a toothbrush. Having face wipes and a toothbrush is really nice for red-eye flights. Other then that, that is about it! I tend to pack pretty light.
2. The ‘roll your clothes’ trick.
If you don’t already roll your clothes to pack, you have to start now. Not only can you fit a lot more, but you clothes stay (relatively) wrinkle-free! Unfancy has a great video up showing how she fits a TON of stuff into a little tiny carry on. Check it out here!
3. Essential Carry On Checklist
I found this awesome checklist from The Stylish Atelier that I thought I would share. It is so easy to forget little things (like a toothbrush…), so it is nice to have a check list to make sure you have everything.
4. What to Travel With
Taste the Style came up with an awesome list of brands and essentials that you may not have thought of. Away luggage was at the top of the list, they really are amazing. Taste the Style also talked about making sure that your makeup is is TSA-compliant. They highly recommended Glossier because they have travel sized products. They also have a lot of products that are geared towards keeping your skin fresh during those long red eye flights.
Chopstick Panorama also has a great review of Glossier products if you want to learn more about them.
5. Plan Your Outfits
Southern Curls and Pearls has some great tips on how to layout your outfits before packing. This can help you pack just the right amount. She mixes and matches different styles to pack light but still have variety. Check out her Mexico packing tips here!
Rachel Eileen talks about what you actually need on the flight to make your trip more comfortable. She goes through what she packs in her suitcase and what she actually uses on the flight. Check out her post here!
7. Stay Healthy While Traveling
I had to throw some medicine and science into this post ;)
First and foremost: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Changing altitudes, time zones, and running around from place to place can really dehydrate you. As much as you don’t want to get up to use the bathroom on a plane, you really should for multiple reasons. First of all, it means you are hydrated. Second, staying seated the entire flight might actually be bad for you.
Staying in one position for an extended period of time can do a couple of things to your body. First, it slows down your metabolism (which, if done enough, can cause weight gain). Secondly, this puts you at risk for a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A DVT is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms typically in the deep veins of your calf. If this clot breaks free, it can actually travel up to your lungs to cause a PE (pulmonary embolism) or your brain to cause a stroke. This is typically very rare for a young healthy person, but it can happen. Being on oral contraceptives (birth control pills) also puts you at an increased risk for getting a DVT.
By getting up occasionally during the flight, or even flexing your leg muscles and doing little seated exercises, you can prevent blood clots from forming. Research is being done to conclude whether taking Aspirin (a blood thinner) prophylactically before a flight might also help to prevent this.
I am writing a more comprehensive post about staying health during travels! Look out for a post soon!