What to Pack In Your Carry On-Travel Light Series

Tickets bought. Itinerary written. Luggage almost packed. Camera gear ready. Hello North Carolina!!!!!

My travels have included few international flights to Europe, Mexico, and a couple domestic. So I’ve had the trial and error experience of packing the wrong way a few to many times. And so have many others. I’ve learned that the best way to pack and travel hassle free is with two bags: a carry on suitcase and a large tote. Here’s my two cents and lessons I’ve learned on what to pack in your carry on.  This is part one of my Traveling Light Series. Next post will go in-depth about how to pack a carry on suitcase for a five day trip. I’d love to hear from you and how you pack for a flight and what goodies you take with you in your carry ons. And happy travels to everyone out there this spring and summer!

Start with a large tote bag

This bag will be the one you will put under the seat in front of you. This bag is the one that will be easily accessible. So plan smart and fill it with the things you will need within a hands reach. Makeup, lotions, toothbrush, iPad, light sweater, wallet etc… This bag I bought for 29.99$ at TJ MAXX BCBG Paris Convertible Tote

Makeup. But go for minimal amount

Find multiple uses for your bronzer. Use mini size shadow palettes, and double sided brushes. Eye shadows can be used as eyeliner, or even for filling in your brows. Use concealer as a primer for your lids or lipstick as a cream or matte blush. Find a small bag that you can fit your makeup in and also keep in mind you’ll need to shell this bag out at security checkpoints if it contains liquids. This bag will be within your reach for a quick touch up at the airport bathroom or in the airplane.



Skincare items and ziplock bags 

These are items of necessity and that you will definitely use at least once during your flight. Lotion, face wash, facial spray, tooth brush/paste, deodorant, and sunblock. Each of these items in the photo is 100 mL or less. That is the standard amount of liquid allowed in bottles to have in your carry on. To pass through security quicker, have all these items in a clear plastic ziplock bag ready to be inspected.


The basic things

Phone, wallet, glasses, iPad, sweater, headphones, phone charger, journal or book.  Go easy on the books/magazines. If you prefer, buy a electronic book to read on your flight. It’ll save you space and relieve heavy weight.


Fit all these items into a large tote. Easy access, hassle free, and less straining and digging in the over head bin compartment .

Whether it’s getting ready to fly international or domestic, challenge yourself to simplify your packing needs.

What to pack in your carry on

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  • Awesome tips, I am going away soon and this will helpReplyCancel

  • Really great tips! I’m going to save this for future reference.ReplyCancel

  • I love to see what others pack to their packs, because I’m probably the worst packer ever! I always start with the last minute and leave everything important behind haha 😀

    <3: Jasmin N | Little Things With JassyReplyCancel

  • Actually super handy for me as I’m hopefully doing a little bit of vacation travel alone and want to have everything I need haha!! <3ReplyCancel

  • Great ideas! When I travel, I prefer to carry my Kindle, so I have something to do to pass the time, and it is much lighter than carrying a couple of books.

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.comReplyCancel

    • I agree about the Kindle! SO much easier!! I carry one with me sometimes. Sometimes I still like the feel of a good ole book:)ReplyCancel

  • I like how organized you were and how detailed and clear!ReplyCancel

  • Great advice! I find it useful to have a backpack as my under-the-seat carry on because I like to have my hands more free. I really wish there were super stylish backpacks for that purpose. ;-0ReplyCancel

  • being A geezer i need to bring very few of these items lol, it is important to think out what you’re going to bring thoughReplyCancel

  • I might be going to Tunisia with my boyfriend this summer, so this is super helpful!ReplyCancel

  • I LOVE this post! And that bag is to die for! Whenever I travel, I’m the most unorganized person. But your post motivates me to be a neater traveller!

    Jasmine / http://www.jasminekeclipse.comReplyCancel

  • I usually take a lot of skin &makeup products + hair straightener which take up quite some space. I do love your bag though! I need something that helps keep my stuff organisedReplyCancel

  • I’ve always used my MK selma bag to travel it’s big enough to carry just the essential ! and make sure you don’t forget your headphones and camera charger ! I i did that once and Felt like the trip didn’t worth it anymore lol. And you should check the sephora travel size brushes they’re awesome !ReplyCancel

  • The way you organized your trabel bag is exactly my way. This post reminds me of the my packing moments. Awesome tips!ReplyCancel

Welcome to my blog! I'm Lena-a nurse by day, lover of nature, yoga pants, tea and coffee in between. This is a place where I document life's moments, along with adventures/travel and little bits and pieces of practical simple living. I'm Thank you for stopping by <3


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