10 Carry-on Packing Tips

Over the past year alone, I have traveled to nine countries and numerous cities across the United States.  After catching four to eight flights per month, I've learned a few things that could help an infrequent traveler. 

There are so many things that I carry with me, but here are 10 things that I never travel without. My carry-on bag is a bit of an everything bag. I have everything you need to survive an emergency situation.


Pack light but pack everything you need.

1. The Portable Charger

First, I never leave home without my portable charger. When purchasing a portable charger, don't go for the least expensive unit that only charges your battery one time. Once you've used it one charging cycle, you'll be back in the same boat. When traveling, I can use a full life cycle of my cell phone battery before before 2 pm. With checking my social media, snapping pictures, catching up on my recorded shows while waiting in the airport, my battery life is done!  One complete charge, and by night time, I'll need to recharge again. Spend the extra $30 - $40 and get yourself a three cycle charging unit.  It's worth it.

2. Handy wipes. (Baby wipes or and Anti-bacterial wipes)

I thought I was finished with wet ones years ago. My youngest son is 16 already. But, handy wipes are my friend. You never know when you'll get yourself into a sticky situation, and those wipes will come in handy. Not to mention, on a trip to Mexico, I splashed red spaghetti sauce all over a white linen outfit. I was prepared to toss this outfits to the trash bags. But after getting advice from a travel companion, I asked every parent around for baby wipes. I thought that there was no way this would do the job. But, she insisted that it would work, and it did. Now, I travel with a travel size pack of wet ones and a travel size of antibacterial wipes to wipe down the seat back trays on the airplane. That's rule number one for trying not get sick when traveling. 

3. Pain medication. 

You never know when a headache will start to loom. And, there is nothing like being stuck on a five hour flight in pain. Daily medications go without saying, as you will already have them on your list to pack.  But if you have frequent heart burn, bring those too.

4. Travel Size Air Freshener

While I'm sure it's not anyone's intention to "need" air freshener on a plane or in a public restroom, sometimes, there are emergencies that call for a sudden trip to the porcelain throne.  Be courteous and be prepared. There are several brands you can bring along. Lysol makes a travel size which is also good for spraying hotel remotes, door handles and telephones. There's the travel size Febreze Air Effects brand that's light and non-evasive. Or, there's the best invention, Poopori.  You simply spray it in the toilet before you go.

5. A  Good Note Pad or Journal and a Pen. 

All successful people that I know start with an idea and building on it with notes and plans. Being away from a ringing telephone or distraction of your desktop can give you an opportunity to think about your future and goals.  Take this moment to jot down your ideas. 

6. Cash

What?  Who travels without cash?  You'd be surprised. And, if you are anything like me (and most of the world today), you don't carry much cash on a day-to-day basis. You rely on those little plastic cards that we carry in our wallets. When I travel, I always make sure that I make a trip to ATM. You never know when you'll need real cash. And, it's nice to have cash on hand for tips for the porters at the airport or bellman at the hotel, a broken card reader at your check out counter, vending machine purchase (although they are able to take cards now, too) or that little boutique store that only accepts cash.

7. Copies of your documents

I always carry a copy of my passport and major credit cards (along with keeping a copy stored safely at home).  A lost or stolen purse can be the end of a very long trip.  And although it’s easy and maybe even a little fun to have your boarding documents saved in your cellphone’s wallet, I always have a printed copy, just in case!  

8. Headphones and/or Ear Plugs

Don’t forget your headphones.  If you are on an airline with music streaming, seat back screens or mobile/tablet streaming, you’ll need your headphones. And, if you are tired of hearing the people behind you or the baby crying in the back (bless his little heart), then ear plugs will become your best friend.

9.  A good book to read

Take some time to lose yourself in a story. Step away from social media, checking email or watching television.  After you've jotted down your plans in your journal or listened to your entire playlist, pull out your book or magazine. I've purchased my last three best selling books at the book stands at the airport, actually.  I used to download them on my iPad, but last year, I had a change of heart and decided to go old-school. Since I only have a few hours to read in one trip, they are one of the first things to get packed for my next trip.

10.  One complete set of changing clothes

No one ever expect their bags to get lost, but it happens.  That’s why it is always helpful to pack at least one set of changing clothes to get your through the night. Most airlines will deliver your bags to your hotel or destination within 24 hours if they are delayed or make the wrong flight.  However, having an extra set of clothing will keep you a tiny bit at ease until your luggage arrives.

That's it!  There you have my 10 Carry On Packing Tips. Comment below and tell us what are some of your must have carry-on items? Take a picture of your item and upload it to your favorite social media page using #heynikkiandjess #heynikkiandjesscarryon