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How to Pack a Carry-On
Travel is stressful enough. You're pretty much always running on zero sleep, there was traffic getting to the airport, a long-ass line for security, you're sweating profusely, and of course your gate is the very last one at the farthest terminal. My strategy when packing a carry-on is to organize it to death, because the last thing you need to be doing is rummaging around for your passport when you've got a line fifty deep breathing down your neck behind you.
1. Use pouches to organize your belongings
From all the business travel I've done, I've amassed quite a collection of toiletry bags, and I will often use them to organize my carry-on bag so I don't have individual things floating around my bag. You can use these pouches to store everything from pens to notebooks to toiletries.
2. Categorize Your Belongings in Pouches
I mostly travel for work, and so I organize my pouches into the following categories: notebooks (I have one for content ideas, a personal journal, and a notebook I use to map out the workshop or retreat schedule I'm teaching), writing utensils, snacks (I usually will travel with collagen peptide packets, protein packets, and healthy snacks), camera equipment (memory cards, chargers, batteries, microphone, etc), toiletries (this will be the make up items I'll use for the entire trip), wallet/passport/travel documents, and a relaxation kit for the plane (eye mask, tissues, rolling aromatherapy, breath mints, melatonin, kindle).
3. If you're going on a longer trip, store a purse in your carry-on
I often will travel for weeks at a time. When I do that, I'll bring a smaller crossbody purse, use it as one of the aforementioned pouches, and stick it in my big carry-on bag. This is helpful because the last thing I want to do when I get to my final destination is bring my giant carry-on bag out and about. Instead, I like using a crossbody bag for daily excursions because it keeps my hands free and holds the essentials.
4. Never travel without a scarf
I forgot my scarf this summer on a seven week trip that took me to Thailand, Oman and Greece and I've never been more annoyed. Scarves have so many uses and every time I've forgotten mine I've fumed over it! I've used scarves to wrap around my head/nose on a plane where the person next to me had the absolute worst smelling feet (I'm not lying, the flight attendants went around the plane and sprayed with Febreeze!). I've used a scarf to cover my hair at Muslim mosques and as a long skirt to cover my knees at Buddhist temples. I've used a scarf as a cover up at the beach, and as something to sit on when in a park. I've used it as a towel on a boat, and as a blanket on a flight. The possibilities are really endless. When choosing a scarf to bring, I'd pick something that is oversized so you can use it as a blanket or towel if you need to, neutral so it goes with everything, and an appropriate weight for the climate you'll be in.
I’d love to hear your tips for packing a carry-on! Next up on this little travel series, I’m going to share my tricks for packing a checked-bag. Stay tuned!