Carry On Essentials (So you don't hate your life if you lose your luggage)

Me in Mexico living my best life

Me in Mexico living my best life

I recently went on a trip to Mexico and this was the first time I actually sat down and carefully packed a carry on bag.

Typically my “carry on” is just a purse. Rookie. Move.

Here’s the thing. Since you can bring both a purse and a personal piece of luggage on a plane, why the hell not?!

Before I went on my trip, a good girlfriend of mine went to Costa Rica and they lost her luggage for four days.


She had a couple of items in a carry on, but really struggled to find items in Costa Rica that could tide her over until she got her full luggage back. This inspired me to make sure that the next time I travelled I would be prepared with a solid carry on just in case of emergency.

*she was going to send me a picture of the really ugly bathing suit she had to buy while waiting for hers but she didn’t document it because it was too ugly. Thanks for ruining my content, Britt.

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First things first, my recommendation is to invest in a solid carry on bag. Something easy to carry, that’s large enough and has any components that are important to you (for example, extra pockets, a long strap, wheels, etc.)

I purchased this Mat + Nat bag a couple of years ago, and it’s been my go to weekender bag for sleepovers, weekends at the lake, etc. It’s a great size, light to carry, and comes with a shoulder strap.

For another amazing weekender option that I have my eye on, click here. For the Mat + Nat bag - click here.

The essentials

These are things you seriously cannot go a day without. For me - these items include:

  • Dry shampoo

  • Lipchap

  • Make up remover of some variety

  • Moisturizer

  • If I have my period, tampons.

  • Phone charger

  • Head phones

  • Some kind of snack (on a plane it’s usually Welches Fruit Snacks because I’m a 5 Y/O)

  • Ipad

  • Water Bottle (empty reusable one, it’s 2019 people let’s save the planet)

These are just my basic, cannot live without items. Typically, I’ll go to Dollarama and buy the little travel sized round containers and separate a small amount of my hand cream, face cream, etc. into them to bring onto the plane. This is also where I will buy my fruit snacks.

You’re in this for a few days…

Next come the items that if, god forbid, your luggage gets lost, you’re glad you have. This will A. Depend on your destination and B. Depend on how extra you are. For me, these items include:

  • Underwear (if you go commando obviously ignore this…)

  • Facial routine products (separated into small containers and labeled)

  • If you’re going to a hot destination, body sunscreen, sandals, and a couple small sundresses that you can fold up Marie Kondo style

  • If you’re going somewhere cool, extra socks, a pair of sweats, a couple smaller sweaters, all folded up Marie Kondo style

  • Tooth brush, deodorant, etc (whatever toiletries are most important to you basically)

  • Make up/hair ties

Again, this stuff honestly depends on what is the most important to you every day. Things that if you didn’t have your luggage for three or four days your trip may be in shambles or your wallet may be crying.

If you’re extra

These are some additional items that I make sure I have on the plane because I am a tiny bit of a psycho!

  • Face masks (sheet masks typically, this also includes a lip mask)

  • A small travel sized blanket (this depends how far I’m going, but I’m always cold on planes so I’d say it comes with me about 99% of the time)

  • Sanitization wipes (NO ONE WANTS TO GET SICK!)

  • A bag full of medications

    • Typically these medications include advil, gravol, BC, anything random for random illnesses that may occur



So, cheers to your next vacation, enjoying your time, and (hopefully) never being without your daily essentials!