Carry On Folks, Carry On

Travel much? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading this. Unless you just traipse on over to see where I’ve traveled to in the recent weeks so that you can turn green with envy.

Whatever the case, I have a question for you. Because whether you’ve taken a stay cation to somewhere nearby your home or you’ve done a day trip (those are all kinds of mini fun!) or traveled the world, I know that you’ve done one thing for certain.

You’ve packed a carry on bag.

If you’re like me (because I’m sure only the likes of me do this), you’ve also checked out the carry on bags of others. That’s fun, isn’t it? I love a good bag. Cute, portable, handy, and not one that weighs you down so much on the shoulder of your dominant hand that you end up walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Because that last description is so not cool. What’s a pretty bag if it has you walking all cock-eyed? Am I right?

These bags are so great. Love them all like my own children. Okay, not really, but they are fun. Don’t you think?

bag1 bag3 bag4

And then there’s this one.


This was one of my really great gift ideas to the hubby last year. I was very excited that not only had I come up with a unique gift idea but even managed to pay for it in a sneaky enough way that he was unsuspecting.

Only to have him make some kind of snarky remark about these very bags after I’d made the hefty purchase (hey, they’re hand sewn, it’s going to cost a pretty penny!) three weeks before the holiday.

Drat that man.

He loves the bag though. He carries it everywhere we take a trip. Yep, I’m a great wife.

Not only do I like to ogle the carry on bags of others, but sometimes I wonder what they’ve packed in them. Not because I’m a creeper or anything but because…well…sometimes I wonder if they have the one thing I’ve forgotten to pack in mine.

Come on, you never forget to pack anything? If you don’t, can I borrow your thing that I forgot to pack in my amazing carry on bag? Pretty please?

Fine. If you’re not going to share. I’ll make a handy list here of all the things we should never forget to pack in our carry on luggage. So that I won’t forget the next time I take a trip. Seattle in June!!

  1. A toothbrush and toothpaste. They’re essentials, right? Just remember to make certain that toothpaste is the travel size kind or they won’t let you take it on the plane. It doesn’t matter how many times you insist you need that toothpaste or that I reminded you to take it by making this list. They won’t let you do it.
  2. Charging cords for all your electronics. This includes your Kindle or Nook, your phone, your iPod, and your laptop. All necessities because talking to your seatmate on the plane or the bus or in the car isn’t always as fun as it sounds.
  3. The all important travel pillow. This is a must. Just so you know, it won’t fit inside your carry on probably, but it’s sufficient to hang it through the straps or handle of your carry on. Until you’re in the seat and then, you put it around your neck. Unless you’re driving. Then, you don’t get a travel pillow. You have to drive.
  4. A blanket or sweater or hoodie of some sort. Now, this won’t be a full size blanket, that’s silly. It needs to be a smaller size. Think “blankie.” The kind you snuggled up with as a kid and took everywhere with you. Only in the case of travel, it’s not a security blanket. It’s the blanket (blankie) that keeps you warm in those over air conditioned places. Like planes, cabs, buses (maybe? I haven’t taken a bus in a while), trains, and the car. Especially the car if you’re traveling with my husband who likes it to always feel like the arctic when we take a road trip.
  5. Another travel must have. Yes, there are typically vending machines wherever you go, but I can’t promise they won’t just steal your money and leave your mouth watering for that two year old treat stuck hanging precariously from the metal swirly thing that holds all the snacks hostage until the correct change is deposited inside the machine. There are also snacks given out on planes and trains (maybe? I can’t remember the last time I took a train.) but not on buses or in cabs. Well, the cabs I take here in town give out candy, but I can’t guarantee your cab driver will give you candy. Besides, you shouldn’t take candy from strangers. So, the moral of that little piece of advice: bring snacks when you travel. Just not jelly or jam to put on your crackers that exceeds the limited three ounces TSA lets you carry on to a plane. Get it? Carry on? Funny.
  6. Hair accessories. If you’re a guy, this probably doesn’t pertain to you. Unless you’re the type of guy reading this who has hair so gorgeous and amazing that girls only date you because they want to steal your hair styling tips. Those guys annoy me. Unless they’re taking the time to read my blog and then I love them. But only platonically because I’m married. But hair accessories are a must have when you travel! Believe me, it doesn’t matter how much product you have pasted and gelled into your do, hours of travel are going to undo whatever you did in front of the mirror this morning. Let it go. And then tie your hair back or pull on a scarf or headband to tame that wild mess.
  7. I know, you’re thinking you can’t possibly fit all your shoes into your carry on. And that’s okay. As a self proclaimed shoe monger, I wouldn’t expect you to be able to do that. The idea that you have so few shoes is ludicrous. However, you should be able to fit one pair of shoes into your carry on at all times wherever you’re traveling to. Because those sexy stilettos you’re wearing are going to hurt after that last jaunt to the gate change you weren’t expecting to have to make. But, if you’ve followed my list thus far and came prepared, you’ve got that cute pair of ballet slipper type flats stowed away in your awesome carry on bag that will totally go with your outfit (as long as you’re not wearing brown) and make your feet appreciate you.
  8. Or ear buds. Or those noise canceling jobs my husband is ever so fond of. These are important to provide you with music, the ability to listen to your audio book without disturbing the peace of others, and well…to ignore those chatty Cathy seatmates you got stuck with. They’re also helpful for drowning out the noise of those traveling toddlers. Poor. Those little ones weren’t expecting to have to race after their well intentioned parents to meet the next plane.
  9. And while you’re at it, anything else that will help you smell like you’ve just spent the last eighteen hours in a flower garden. Because let’s face it, traveling is amazing, but it’ll make you stink. So grab those bottles of deodorant, perfume, body spray, and scented lotion. Make sure their scents complement one another. And yes, that they meet the three ounces each that are only allowed when traveling by air and smell good. That’s an order.
  10. A change of clothes. This is by far the most fun item to pack in your carry on. I can’t explain it. Maybe I’ve read one too many John Grisham novels. Or, I’ve just read The Firm eighteen hundred times. Regardless, the one thing you must take away from having read that book (if you haven’t read it, go do so now and then come back to read this last item) is that you always, always take a change of clothes with you. Now, I realize that the main character in that book, Mitch, didn’t bring his change of clothes with him, he bought them when he was out trying to escape the mafia, but trust me on this one. There is nothing (okay, maybe a few things) more fun than getting to an airport wearing a specific outfit only to go into the bathroom and come out in something completely different. I’m certain it’s how Superman must have felt every time he went into that phone booth to change. Seriously. So. Much. Fun.

So there you have it. All the items you need to pack in your carry on. If you’re gearing up for a trip soon, be sure to follow this handy blog so that you can come back to this post when you do your packing. And don’t forget to post a picture of your carry on bag in the comments. It’ll help me out for the next time I go shopping for travel accessories.


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