Better Carry-on – traveling can be stressful and exhausting especially flying. Airports are usually packed with lines everywhere, with lots of noise. To minimize your discomfort while traveling, I recommend keeping everything simple and light that applies to your luggage and carry-on. The more organized you are, the easier it is to navigate through everything.
If you read through different travel blogs, many travel bloggers tell you to bring an extra set of clothes and a swimsuit in your carry-on in case your luggage is lost. I did this for many years and finally got fed up lugging a big bag around the airport. It's heavy and annoying, and I never needed it. My luggage was never lost, and I've traveled a lot.
I know that one time it could happen, and it could be bad, but I'm good at this point in taking that chance. Now, I travel with the bare minimum in my carry-on, which feels liberating. I travel with my laptop, iPad, AirPods, cords, medication, wallet, passport, a small number of snacks, and a water/tea bottle – that's it. My coat or jacket I use as a pillow or blanket.
When I get on the plane, I just sit down as this easily fits under the seat. No blocking the walkway or fighting with people to move their giant carry-on cases in the overhead locker.
Everything I list below is low profile and weighs nothing. Simplify your carry-on; it will make the world of difference and start your trip on the right footing – being zen and not anxious.
Better Carry-On Items
Carry-On Bag – Option 1
The Mz Wallace City Backpack is my go-to carry-on bag for domestic and international trips. This bag is super light, has good organization, and is still in excellent condition after many trips.
If you want to go minimalist, this is the bag for you. The City backpack is a smaller version of their regular one.
My laptop, iPad, AirPods, cords, medication, wallet, passport, a few snacks, and a water/tea bottle all fit into this smaller backpack that weighs nothing. It's stylish, feels lovely, and is easy to carry.
Once you arrive at your destination, you can use this as a day pack. I always try to take multi-purpose items when I travel, and if you take a larger carry-on, you rarely use it for anything else.
Carry-On Bag – Option 2
If I need a bigger carry-on, I take my Dayne Dover Landon bag (medium size). The Dayne Dover bags are made from Neoprene which feels great!
What a brilliant idea to make bags with this. You can carry a lot in this bag, and it has a luggage sleeve which is so handy.
I usually use this bag as my gym bag, so it gets a lot of use. As with the Mz Wallace backpack, it is super lightweight, has excellent organization, including a shoe bag, and is stylish. After using it daily for a few years, it still looks in great shape.
However, these days I hate everything that is not a backpack if I have to carry it around. With this bag, I go from the car to the gym, but you carry your carry-on through the airport for a more extended period of time, and it just gets heavy.
I don't know about you, but this gets me irritated. I will buy the backpack version of this bag at some point.
See my review of the Dagne Dover Bag here.
Apple iPad Mini
Although I always travel with my MacBook Pro, I also bring my iPad Mini on all my trips. I read a lot of books and love the size of the iPad Mini.
Always remember to download everything you want before you leave. I can't stress this enough, I made that mistake a few times, and it's awful! When this iPad was new,
I took it on a trip to Europe. I thought I would download everything at the airport or on the flight since I didn't have time.
Of course, I couldn't get anything to download at the airport, and on the flight, they said the internet was unavailable. I had nothing to read for 10 hours. I thought I was going to go mad…
MacBook Pro 13-inch Model
I am an ardent Apple fan and love all their products. I recently purchased the latest MacBook Pro with the M1 chip. It's listed right now as one of the best laptops you can buy, with lightning speed, crisp graphics, and long battery life.
A huge frustration for me in the previous Mac I had was the keyboard. I could not understand why they changed the keyboard; the old one felt lovely to touch and was quiet, and the new one they came out with was so loud and had a hard plastic feeling – I hated it.
The sound of me typing drove me mad. The latest laptops have gone back to the old version more or less; it's quiet and feels way better.
Carter Move Travel Mug
I only drink tea and this was designed for coffee drinkers but it's still a great cup for anyone. The interior is ceramic which takes away that stainless steel taste that can sometimes come through in drinks.
It retains heat for 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. It has a leakproof seal, a snap-in splash guard, and great colors. It can get a bit heavy when it's full but I still like it. All in all a great travel mug!
Welly Quick Fix Kit
I love the Welly packaging, the small tins are so cute; you can use them for anything after the kit is gone. It's a great small kit to carry with you on board, and it includes:
18 brightly colored flex fabric bandages in two sizes. Three single-use triple antibiotic ointments, and three single-use hand sanitizers
Durable, stackable tin packaging that you can reuse after your trip.
Welly Travel Medication Kit
Individually wrapped remedies to tackle your common travel symptoms one by one. 56 count
Motion sickness (meclizine HCI 25 mg antiemetic); 8 tablets
Pain Relief (Ibuprofen) 16 tablets
Gas Relief (Simethicone 125 mg) 12 chewable tablets
Anti-diarrheal (Loperamide HCI 2mg) 12 tablets
Sleep Aid (Doxylamine Succinate 25mg) 8 tablets
Instead of carrying two tin boxes with you, I would take the items out of one and add them to the other box.
Cross Tech 3 Pen with Stylus
This is my favorite pen. It contains a black and red pen plus a 0.5 lead pencil. It still feels like a regular pen and is not bulky at all. Super smooth to write with and easy to switch between options.
The stylus works with most touchscreen devices. Always have a pen in your carry-on because you will need it for some sort of form when you get to your destination. And for some reason, everyone forgets to do this.
BeeGreen Foldable Bags
I always throw one of these foldable grocery bags into my carry-on. They take up no room as they fold into a tiny pouch, are waterproof for while you are on your trip, and are washable for when you return. They are inexpensive and come in a pack of five.
Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags
I have used these mesh bags for a few years now for various small items I want to keep together when traveling or in my handbag.
These are great for storing cords in your carry-on; since they are mesh, you can easily see what is in each bag.
They come in an assortment of sizes and colors – small bag 5″ x 7″, Medium 5″ x 8″, Large 5.5″ x 9”, Extra Large 9″ x 9.5″ and each bag has a diagonal zipper.
Travel Pill Case
This pill case is a lifesaver when you travel. Instead of having medicine bottles that take up a lot of room, transfer what you need to this pill case.
It is small and compact, but it does carry enough for trips. You can also use this for jewelry or any small item you want to keep safe.
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