Monday Musings Vol. 10 // Carry-On Packing Tips

If you’re following on the good ol’ insta, you know I’m a traveler. My job has pretty much always required travel, but recently I’ve had to do more quick trips, in and out type of trips. These trips, to me, are the worst because you still have to pack, you still have to sit on a plane, and you still have to not sleep in your own bed… I’ve learned during these trips that it’s essential to stay organized, and basically just have everything ready to go. I’ve spent the money, bought some doubles of stuff, and basically just keep these items packed at all times.

In the past I’ve shared a few of my travel essentials and my go-to packing checklist. This week, I’m going to dive deeper into my small carry on. I’m sharing what I pack and how I pack my “under the seat” bag. Depending on the length of the trip/what doesn’t fit in my roller bag, the size of this bag varies. I have two favorite bags and one backpack that I like to use regularly. The biggest of these is my Jon Hart daytripper, the most-used is my Tory Burch tote (not mine exactly, but similar), and my favorite backpack is the REI Trail 40 bag. Other than that, the following things are things that are in my bag, no matter the length of the trip or the vessel I carry them in…


The trick here is bags within bags. I have 3 to 4 little bags that go within my big bag. Marie Kondo, you’re always with me….


Basic Must-Haves

This is the catch-all bucket, it’s basically all the random stuff I like to keep with me when I’m sitting in that cramped seat. Some of these are used each trip and some are there just in case I need them in an emergency.

  1. bobby pins, hair ties

  2. dental floss

  3. sewing kit - no joke, I had a zipper break once, and this little kit was a lifesaver.

  4. shout wipes - I spill everything… it’s true.

  5. extra sunnies

  6. notepad and pen

  7. small mirror

  8. glasses wipe

  9. nail file

  10. comb - I little tease of the roots can do wonders.


I love keeping this bag packed and ready to go. These are a few items I always have in this little bag, Neosporin (just call me a girl scout, I’m always prepared), lotion, chap stick, face mask, white strips, dry shampoo, face moisturizer, and makeup wipes. You’ll notice, a lot of this is all about re-hydrating the skin after all that recycled air.



I love a good book, but also love a good download. I tend to always have both… just in case. I make sure I always have my ipad’s netflix downloads maxed out, and my favorite podcasts are on auto download so I always have them as a fall back.


Snacky snack

Okay… make fun of me if you want, but I ALWAYS pack a snack or two or three, and a water bottle that I fill up once I get through security. I do this for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that if you’ve ever gotten stuck on the runway for hours without any food, you’ll never be in that position again. The other, once I’m somewhere, it’s not always easy to get to good food, so I like to have stuff that I know will fulfill me/easy to eat. Some of my go to snacks are Epic venison bars, almond butter, a few tea bags, and a little something sweet. I just have to give a shoutout to Thrive Market - they have the best options for travel snacks of all kinds!


Digital Age

Cords, cords, chargers, headphones, OH MY! Lessons learned, I always have extra cables with me. My cell/ipad are my lifeline when traveling, so I’m always prepared to keep those at 100% battery levels. Speaking of that, you’ve got to have a spare battery pack. These things are lifesavers on a long travel day. Also, I always have more than one pair of earphones juuuuust in case. I’m not about to get stuck having to talk to some rando next to me. I keep all of these in a handy little pouch that’s easy to grab and all self contained.



Keep Warm

I always, always, always travel with a wrap/scarf. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting on plane, even in the middle of summer, wrapped in my travel scarf. I have this one from fabletics that I love, but they no longer have it… so I’ve been on the hunt for something similar and this one from Lulu is basically the same, and while I was searching I remembered I used to have one of these Vinyasa scarfs and loved it, but of course lost it somewhere, so I might order another one…

Money, Money, Money

One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that a good wallet/clutch is KEY when you’re traveling. You’ve gotta have something that you can pull out and use once you get where you’re going. I love my crossbody wallet from Tory Burch, it checks all the boxes for what you need. It’s compact, it has a removable long strap, it’s cute, and it can be used with almost any outfit. I love that it has a little outside pocket for easy access to my ID and credit card without having to pull out/open my entire wallet.