15 Essential Items to Bring in Your Carry On

I don’t know about you but I am so ready to hop a plane and go explore the world; obviously, once it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, I’ve been working on gathering must-have items to pack in a carry-on. It can be a hassle to carry around a large suitcase everywhere you go, so opt for a carry-on and pack smart to limit the extra weight you’ll have on your back. That gives you more room to collect special trinkets during your travels. 

1. Adventure Dress

the-adventure-dress-travel-carry-onThe Adventure Dress is great to bring along on any trip. With its lightweight, breezy fabric you can wear it on the plane for the perfect comfy outfit to travel to your final destination. The performance fabric also allows for a variety of activities from hiking to boating and anything else you can imagine. Plus it's easy to pack so you don't have to just pick one, you can pack all your favorites!

2. Passport/Other Travel Documents


If you’re planning on leaving the country on your next adventure, don’t forget your passport. Make sure to also do research prior to your trip to check to see what Visas or other travel documents you might need. Also double-check about any necessary travel insurance. 

3. Notebook

As a writer, I bring a notebook with me everywhere I go. This is a great way to document your travels and write down your experiences as they unfold. It can serve as a wonderful momentum of your time spent immersing yourself in another culture.

4. Chargers

A lot of places abroad have different outlets than we do in the states. Make sure to bring a variety of options so you’re best prepared. They don’t take up a lot of space and you’ll have the right one once you arrive. 

5. Outerwear

It’s always a good idea to bring a variety of outerwear options to ensure you’re fully prepared for varying weather. Check the weather for the time of year you’re traveling and bring outerwear options accordingly. 

6. Water bottle

Staying hydrated during your travels is a must. Be eco-friendly and save money by bringing along your own bottle. 

7. Shoes

Comfy shoes are non-negotiable when you’re packing for your next adventure. Plan ahead on activities and pack what is needed for each activity. Try to only bring three pairs or so. 

8. Toiletries


Grab a small makeup bag, those travel-sized goodies, and pack up your toiletries. Don’t forget to bring any medication, a toothbrush, and toothpaste, moisturizer, sunscreen, dry shampoo, etc. 

9. Tops/Bottoms

When packing a carry-on, try to bring clothes that you can mix and match. You don’t need a lot of bottoms - just rewear with different tops. Bring maybe two or three bottoms and between eight and ten tops, depending on how long you’re going to be gone. You want to have some options. 

10. Book

For me, books are a necessity when I’m traveling. I always love a good travel book to inspire me on my journey. Eat, Pray, Love anybody? 

11. Glasses

Both eyeglasses and sunglasses are must-haves in your carry on so that you can see the sites on your trip. Don’t forget your contacts and solution if you wear them. 

12. Blanket Scarf


This is always a great item to have in case it’s chilly on the plane and won’t take up too much space in your bag. Plus it makes for a perfect accessory to throw on with any outfit, or to cover up when visiting more modest countries. 

13. Snacks/Mints/Gum

It’s always nice to have some snacks with you for the inevitable hunger that you will feel at the airport. Gum helps pop your ears during takeoff, and mints are just a nice bonus. 

14. Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer

Airports are full of germs so it’s a good idea to have some hand sanitizer and wipes to use after touching all the different surfaces. 

15. Small Backpack

A backpack is great to have with you once you arrive at your destination. It’s easy to roll up and stash in your carry on. Then once you get to where you’re going, you can put your everyday necessities inside and you’re ready to go on an adventure. 

Packing can be a daunting task so here are a few tips to help streamline the process. 

Packing Tips: 

  • Create a checklist of everything you need to pack. Lay everything out on your bed and check it off as you put it in the bag. 
  • When packing shoes for a trip, wear your chunkiest pair and use the other pairs to stuff socks, bras, and underwear in to save space.
  • Use packing cubes for everything! This will also help to save space. 
  • If you don’t have packing cubes, try rolling your clothes instead of folding them. You’ll be able to fit a lot more stuff that way. 
  • Keep travel documents, your wallet, and book in your personal item bag, or on the outside of your carry on if it has a pocket, so you have everything in one place when going through security and customs. 
  • Make sure you don’t fill the bag completely. Leave some room to collect souvenirs on your trip. 
  • Measure your carry on to ensure it meets airline guidelines. 

Hopefully this gives you a great place to start when packing your carry-on for your next adventure. And don't forget to pack your Adventure Dress!

Post written by Alli Steinke

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