Melanie Jeanne

The Essential List for a Perfect Carry On Bag

Y’all it feels like we’ve been adventuring more than we’ve been home lately (and I’m not complaining). My wanderlusty heart loves a good adventure. Truly I do. Over the past few years we’ve had our fair share of adventure. As a result I’ve learned the essentials needed for the perfect carry on bag. These essentials are perfect for short or long adventures and I am sharing them with you!

I used to be the serial over packer who had too many items in my carry on and more outfits than I ever needed. But, packing took too long, selecting while we were traveling became a challenge and coming home and unpacking was a dread. Where I am blessed to travel often, I’ve learned a few things that make travel easier and far more enjoyable in the long run.

It all begins with the bag!

I love a structured carry on bag, but I’ve recently come to love my “4 Things” tote from The Shop Forward. First, the message on the side of the bag continually inspires. Second, it is not structured, which lends to a little overpacking or souvenir purchasing. It can easily convert to a beach carry-all or a day trip bag. Also, because of its flexibility, I can stuff my purse into it last minute to ensure I have only two carry-ons for the flight (I prefer not to check baggage if I can help it).

Technology & all of the cords associated. I take my laptop everywhere, even if I never pull it out. One just never knows when one may want to write a blog or do some computer work. Even more importantly, I take technology everywhere. From my laptop, apple watch, iPhone to my beats headphones, there is always something to charge. I have cute small sized make-up bag where all of my tech cords and little tech gadgets live. Easily accessible and organized.

Just as I have a small make-up case for tech, I also have one for liquids and medications. Only the essential liquids travel with me (face wash, toner, moisturizer, Summer Fridays face mask, shampoo, conditioner & lotion). And as a gal who lives on thyroid meds, it is essential those travel in my carry on with me. (Note: all meds should always be in your carry on in the case of lost luggage.) I need a cute quart sized bag to carry all of the essentials.

Books. I always bring two to three books with me. Even for just a short weekend away. Books are my escape and my joy. I don’t watch movies on planes (unless we are traveling internationally) I only read, put my beats in, queue up great music and read. I love to get lost in a great book. As a wife, mom & fur mom life happens and my favorite time to settle into a great book with no interruptions is in flight. Two to three books always because there could be bed time reading, beach reading, delay reading and I always want back-ups for when I finish a book or struggle to settle into a book.

Journals. I keep a health journal and a gratitude journal on an ongoing basis. I also have a few additional journals that include goal setting, resolution and a new journal I’ve started reflecting on hugely memorable life moments for my girls to someday read (what better memorabilia for my girls than stories of my life in my hand writing and from my own accounts). I take these with me wherever I go (not all of them), but a select few so that I can wake, drink coffee and write. I personally love a beautiful Moleskine journal. Oh, and a great blue BIC pen.

Only the essentials travel with me. My essentials and your essentials may be different, but determining what you cannot live without while traveling will guide your packing experience. And only ever pack the essentials. Anything can be bought that is forgotten and as I’ve learned, much of what I used to pack was never used.

Happy packing! Happy travels!

Leave a Reply