What you pack on your carry on bag can be extremely important, especially when your checked bags are left in another country when you arrive to your final destination!

This happened to us flying from Washington DC to London with a layover in Dublin one time. We kept waiting and watching the belt for our bags to appear and they never did. The attendant looked up our flight tickets and reported that our bags were still in Dublin by mistake. She then went on to say they would have to fly over our luggage on a later flight and they would be delivered at the address we were staying. This was 13 hours later, after already spending 20 hours to get there. Luckily we had travel insurance that reimbursed us for our costs.

This is why what you keep with you in your carry on is so important! Listed below are what we pack. All links provided are current things we use and/or find useful.

  1. Electronics with chargers: This can include your laptop, camera with lens, kindle reader, cell phone, selfie-stick and all chargers. Don’t forget to include earphones for the plane to watch movies (some airlines charge if you don’t have your own such as IcelandAir). It’s handy to have a zippable cord organizer to store everything in one place.
  2. All important documents: Passports (take a copy of this to bring with you too), flight itineraries, confirmations of any bookings that you have made such as accommodations, car rentals, tours, and any prescriptions that you have. Have a passport holder and/or some type of folder. Marvin likes a passport holder that can be worn around your neck and hidden inside your clothes. I store many things in this nifty passport holder.
  3. Money: Money of the current country and the currency of your destination. For us this was dollars and pounds. Occasionally places won’t take credit or debit cards. We order our money ahead of time through Wells Fargo if they don’t already have it at the main branch. For credit cards were use ones without foreign transaction fees. Chase is one of the ones we use because of this and also because using it gives you points you can use towards more travel.
  4. Change of clothes: A spare set of clothes including underwear. (after 33 hours, this is beyond important)
  5. Toothbrush and carry on toothpaste: I love these steripod toothbrush clips to keep my toothbrush clean.
  6. Deodorant
  7. Chapstick: This EOS lip balm is the bomb!
  8. For the females: Any makeup you may want to freshen up with and pantyliners.
  9. Wet wipes
  10. Pillbox:  For any meds you could need. I don’t go places without ibuprofen, tylenol, benadryl and tums. You never know when a headache or heartburn could strike up. This pill container doesn’t hold much but it’s cute, small and convenient.
  11. Snacks: Mints, and something to snack on the go when your stomach is growling and you are running through the airport to not miss your flight.
  12. A light jacket or cardigan: The flight or airports can be cold places at times.
  13. Sunglasses
  14. Small umbrella: If you are going to London, then you know why this is important!
  15. A pen: Something to write with (you may need to fill out customs forms on the way back to your country)
  16. Bags: Clear plastic bag with zipper for liquids and 2 zipper pouches for easy access to some items.
  17. Keys: Keep these on you. This is something you don’t want lost.

This is what we carry on our carry ons. For future travels, I will definitely pack travel size hand sanitizer because the bathroom on the plane ran out of hand soap once!! I would also consider bringing a travel size shampoo and conditioner even though I packed big bottles in my checked bag. I was ready to wash my hair before my bags finally arrived. Luckily the place we were staying, an Airbnb, offered this for me.

I usually will buy a bottle of water in the airport after going through security since you can’t have a big bottle of liquids, and then reuse that bottle for a few days.

What else do you pack on your carry on?

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