Last week I wrote about the idea of flying carry on only. I have done carry on only for short visits to see family but never for an actual vacation. No matter where or why I am flying I do always have a carry on and I have certain things I never fly without. Some of these never get unpacked from my carry on so that no matter what I know they are already packed and I know exactly where to find them. Depending on my trip I will always have my personal carry on bag which is always some type of Vera Bradley bag since I just love all the pockets they have to help keep me organized. If I am also taking a bag to put in the overhead I opt for a rolling bag so that I am not having to carry it. Here are the things that I just have to have with me when I fly:
#1 - At least one complete change of clothes. My luggage has been lost in the past and I was so thankful that I had that change of clothes in my carry on. Now I never travel without a complete change of clothes that I know will be with me when I get off the plane.
#2 - Lotion. Planes are always dry so it is very important to me to keep my skin moisturized. My current favorite choice is Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender. I was shopping for a few things for a trip and grabbed it because it was TSA approved size. I loved the smell so much that I bought bigger bottles and now I just refill the little one so that I always have it when I travel. The lavender scent is perfect to help relax on a flight so I take a deep breath as I rub it on my face. On long flights I will reapply a few times.
#3 - Lip balm. This one should be tied with #2 as they pretty much go together and are equally important to me as I cannot stand when my lips get dry. I like the EOS balls because their shape makes them so much easier to find in my bag.
#4 - Candy. I have a crazy sweet tooth and never travel without some candy. You never know if you will even get a snack on some shorter flights and many times I don't care for the snack they do give so I always have something sweet in my bag. I also like cookies but I find they do not travel as well as candy.
#5 - Something to read. I used to say a book as I am a big fan of real paper books but I recently gave in and agreed that for longer trips where packing space is more limited I don't really need to be lugging around a heavy book so I opted for a kindle. I would still prefer a real book but I have realized that they do take up a good chunk of carry on real estate and also weigh my bag down more than I would like so I limit real books to shorter flights where I am not packing as much in my carry on.
#6 - Fuzzy socks. I always like to take my shoes off once the plane takes off. Even though I only travel wearing shoes with socks with I always put on another pair to keep my feet warmer. Plus I figure it is just nicer for the person next to me that I cover up my sweaty socks that just came out of my shoes. Nothing is worse than being stuck next to someone that flies barefoot - trust me I was stuck next to a large fellow that took off his shoes and was barefoot for the whole 8 hour flight.
#7 - Earbuds/Headphones. I almost always watch movies on long flights so headphones are important. On shorter flights I don't always use them but I always have them just in case. I recently upgraded to the larger over the ear ones that offer noise cancellation and they have come in handy for sure (one of things living in Orlando means your fligths almost always have lots of kids).
#8 - Laptop. I admit that no matter where I am traveling or why I am always going to have my laptop with me. I rarely use it on the plane but it just one of those things I do not leave home without and would never put it in a checked bag.
#9 - Back up battery power/charger. You never know how long your flight might really end up being so I always have back up power in my carry on in case of delays or long connections.
#10 - Blanket. I am always cold and even though I dress in layers for my flights I cannot get really comfy without a blanket. On our recent flight to Europe I took along a "big one" blanket I picked up at Kohls and it turned out to be the best one I have taken with me yet! It wasn't heavy but it was super soft and the perfect size for getting all wrapped up to take a nap. Normally I would have ranked this higher up but I realize that if it is short flight and packing space it limited I might not bring it (but I will wish that I had).
Do you have anything that you always take with you on a plane?
For those that know me you would agree that I am pretty low maintenance. I don't use much make up, or other devices for my hair, so that saves a lot of space. I am not a shoe person so rarely travel with more than one pair. I also tend to put on my rose colored glasses when it comes to the weather forecast for where I am traveling and I just want to believe that it will be perfect weather and I won't need any rain gear or stuff like that. So why is it that I do not travel carry on only?
Are you up for the challenge of traveling carry on only? There are certainly some advantages but of course also some disadvantages as well.
First up the PROS:
#1 - Less waiting. You do not have to get in line to check your bag or have to wait for your bag to show up on the carousel.
#2 - No lost luggage. You know where your bag is so you are the only one that can lose it.
#3 - Save money on bag fees (although that might not be true on all airlines)
#4 - Easy access. Everything you are traveling with will be just above you so you can get it at anytime during your flight.
#5 - Less weight to lug around from one place to the next.
Now the CONS:
#1 - Limited space. You will have to narrow down what you take along with you.
#2 - Prohibited items. Some things cannot be carried on so you will have to really think about those liquids and other items that cannot be carried onto a plane.
#3 - Extra work. You might have to do laundry while on vacation since you cannot pack as many clothes.
#4 - No Overhead Left - Sometimes it seems like everyone is doing carry on only and that overhead bin space fills up for your get on and then you end up having to check in anyway.
#5 - Lifting - you have to be able to lift that bag up into the overhead and get it out.
Before taking the leap to carry only traveling it is smart to do some pre-planning. You will want to be sure you choose the right bag. Since you are going to squeeze everything you need into this bag be sure it is something that makes it a little easier. While some people might prefer a backpack for their carry on I definitely prefer the rolling bag. I have heard some amazing things about Away I think it will be my next purchase to try out. (if you use that link to buy one we both save $20).
Next up, you will want to double check your airlines rules. Maybe should do that before buying your bag just in case, but if you already have the bag just make sure it does qualify as a carry on for the airline you are flying. Also make sure to compare the fees, in case you are flying one of those airlines that charges for a carry on.
Get organized - some packing cubes like these will help squeeze in as much as possible, plus help keep you organized. Make sure you leave out the things that cannot be carried on. If you have some liquids you just have to bring that are either small enough or can be put into smaller containers like these then take them along. Just be sure to pack them somewhere easy to remove when you go through security. It might be easier to just buy certain liquids when you arrive.
Don't forget you also get a personal item that has to fit under your seat. Be sure to maximize this option as well when squeezing in everything you will need. I tend to choose a soft sided tote, like my Vera Bradley, which has plenty of little pockets inside. This is also where I keep my laptop so that it is easy to take out when going through security. One note of caution though is when picking your seat on the plane certain ones will not have under seat storage so think about that before choosing.
When might it be hard to try and go carry on only? If you are going somewhere that is cold it could be hard to pack all the cold weather stuff into just a carry on. If you are traveling through different climates during one trip you will need a variety of things that might be too much get get it all into a carry on. We once did a cruise that started in Florida and ended after a visit to Alaska so I think it might have been really hard to pack for that in a carry on. If you are traveling for a special event where you might need to bring along some more formal clothes and shoes that could make it hard to go carry on only.
If you have a trip that is pretty much going to have just one type of weather, especially something like a beach trip, packing in a carry on should work out pretty well. Who knows after you do it once you may never check a bag again!
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Dad's love gadgets and with Father's Day this Sunday I thought this would be a good time to list some of my favorite travel tech. I am a huge Amazon fan and thanks to prime shipping if you forgot to get dad something or you see something on this list you know dad would love there might still be enough time to get it before Father's Day. These gadgets are not just for dad though so you might find something that you just have to have for your next vacation too!
My don't leave home without it travel technology is my Skyroam. It does only work internationally but I also take on cruises and as long as we are close enough to land we will usually get wi-fi.
For the traveler that wants to be well prepared but not carry a bulky tool this gadget it pretty cool! Victorinox Swisscard Lite Pocket Tool - but it is important to remember that even though it is very compact it cannot be carried onto the plane with you. My husband has already either paid to ship his Swiss army knife home from the airport or at least once he just donated it to TSA. I can see that this one is even easier to forget that you have it in your wallet or carry on so be sure to double check before going through security.
What good is a gadget on the go if you run out of power? Having a back-up power source is always a good idea. There are lots of great options for portable power banks - Here is Amazon's Top 50 but who has more gadets than Tony Stark? Dads are super hero why not get him the power supply with super style!
Noise cancelling headphones are a must have on any flight! Besides helping deal with all the noise on a plane, they come in handy for watching an in flight movie or just listening to some music or audio book. I used to just use my ear buds until I learned how much more comfortable the bigger over the ear styles are.
There never seems to be enough outlets when you travel, especially on cruises, so bringing a charging station helps make sure all our gadgets are ready to go all vacation long. My husband always makes sure our charging station is packed in the carry on because he likes to be prepared for anything.
If you are traveling with all these gadgets you need a way to keep all these cords and small things organized. I like this travel organizer since it rolls up nice and compact. I also like the mesh pockets so you can see what is in there easily.
Getting a good night's sleep on vacation is important but sometimes can be hard with all the strange noises that come along with sleeping somewhere other than your own bedroom. My husband picked up this little sound machine a couple years ago and we take it everywhere we go. It also doubles as a nice Bluetooth speaker so we can listen to our favorite tunes while in our hotel room or out on our cruise ship balcony.
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