A Peek Inside my Carry On

How to pack the perfect carry on

I have always been incredibly specific about what I bring with me when I travel, particularly on airplanes. I’m a bad sleeper and very sensitive to the altitude and dry air so unfortunately (or fortunately!) I have to be.

When I flew 21 hours to Singapore recently, I became even more obsessed than usual about packing the perfect carry on bag. I wanted to share my list with you guys. No joke, I copied it straight from my packing list to this blog post. I hope this helps your future flights too!

Travel Outfit

The best carry-on bag:
Longchamp Large Le Pliage tote

To eat
– Perfect Bars (the only bars that I actually like)
– Homemade trail mix (raw cashews, sprouted almonds, goji berries, dark chocolate chips)
– I pre-make my favorite sandwich
– Justin’s almond butter packets and an apple
Green Vibrance powder (I add to my water or juice for extra greens)
Emergen-C packets
Fish oil, turmeric, and arnica supplements (all anti-inflammatory for jet lag)
– Gum
– To store and organize all of my food and other items, I use these little pouches. I like them because they’re clear which means you can see what you’re grabbing for better.

To sleep
– The best eye mask of time (I use this at home as well)
Neck pillow
Earplugs
Melatonin
Warm compression socks to avoid swelling (these are not the cutest but are so worth it)

To Stay Warm
– A scarf. I love this oversized travel cashmere scarf that covers my legs or shoulders and keeps me warm. It’s an investment, but I’ve had mine for almost 10 years and still use it for every flight.
– My trusty travel blanket
– A cute sweatshirt, always. I highly recommend investing in one of these fleeces. It’s so comfortable but doesn’t leave you looking sloppy at the airport. For something more affordable and light, I love this.

To do
iPhone (for movies)
Kindle Paperwhite (for reading)
– Bose noise canceling headphones (these will change your life)
-Vanity Fair and US Weekly magazines (a little bit of class, a little bit of sass)
– A travel journal to write about my experiences

To Beautify
– I keep all of my beauty products in this leather pouch (monogrammed, obvi)
– Homemade green tea face spray (Steeped green tea cooled in a travel sized spray bottle. Good for puffy plane eyes according to my facialist)
– L’Occitane travel sized hand lotion
– Rose Water facial spray
– Natural hand sanitizer
– All natural eye make up remover and my all-time favorite natural toner to wipe off the plane yuckiness
– Fabulous oversized sunglasses to cover that inevitable puffy face
-Toothbrush and mini toothpaste
Travel-sized face lotion
– Deodorant. So necessary after hours on a plane!
– Hair ties and hair brush

How to pack a carry on

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  1. Lili said:

    aaahhhh we have the same LV mon monogram – fuschia and orange! but mine’s with the 2 stripes! LOVE it!

    3.5.13 · Reply
  2. You’re super lucky they don’t confiscate your snacks! I have to travel Internationally usually 2 times a month and crossing boarders they always take away any food I didn’t purchase past security :-/

    3.5.13 · Reply
    • We’ll see what happens 🙂

      3.5.13 · Reply
    • MADK said:

      I live in Italy so travel all the time overseas and I have never had them take my food away from me. It is only liquids they care about.

      12.14.13 · Reply
  3. A green tea face spray for puffy eyes? Hmm, never heard of that before. I may have to try it out!

    3.5.13 · Reply
    • I just made it for the first time but my facialist swears by it and she is incredible!

      3.5.13 · Reply
      • lauren said:

        how does that go if you have make up on already

        3.15.13 · Reply
  4. Hilary said:

    This is the perfect list for packing a carry-on. I am heading to Costa Rica next week, and will definitely be using this as my packing resource.

    the lowercase h

    3.5.13 · Reply
  5. Kellyinthecity said:

    Love this post!! And I LOVE your bag! 😉 Just dropping by to tell you that I think your blog is absolutely adorable. Love your pops of color and awesome patterns! 🙂

    Kelly
    Kellyinthecity.com

    3.5.13 · Reply
  6. Bailey H said:

    This is a great list! I love how you broke everything down! I will definitely be coming back to this for the next trip I go on to help me pack!

    3.5.13 · Reply
  7. Erin Fiore (Sullivan and 3rd) said:

    Welcome to the world of day-long travel! A great list. I would also recommend a travel pillow (Muji make great ones, a bathing suit and a sarong (because if everything goes wrong, these 2 pieces will last you the next 2 weeks!) ENJOY!!!

    3.6.13 · Reply
  8. HissAndTell said:

    What an incredible array of carry on recommendations. I certainly will be referring to this list the next time I fly.

    3.8.13 · Reply
  9. RobyneB said:

    Julia – a fun list. Thanks for sharing! Just wondered why you carry an iPad and a Kindle?

    3.14.13 · Reply
    • Good question! I read books on my Kindle because the backlight on the iPad hurts my eyes after a while. I read my magazine subscriptions on the iPad so that I don’t have to carry heavy magazines.

      3.14.13 · Reply
      • Rhonda said:

        Agreed…I carry both as well. So much easier to read on Kindle. Great list.

        8.12.13 · Reply
      • Jasmine said:

        You might try changing the setting on your iPad through the kindle app. I use a black background with white lettering. It has really helped me with the eye fatigue! Might be worth a try, one less thing to carry!!

        1.6.14 · Reply
        • Zoe said:

          Me too, just on my Google Nexus. It really helps. You can also dim it, which helps a lot to. There is also Sepia, which is a yellow background with brown letters.

          2.26.14 · Reply
  10. delona said:

    Give audible books a try! Audible.com has a great selection. No light/no glasses required!

    3.31.13 · Reply
  11. So glad I found this list! I am going on an international flight for the first time, and wasn’t sure how to pack for so many hours

    5.17.13 · Reply
  12. LisaM said:

    Going to Thailand for my honeymoon in October. I am definitely going to use this list (with some minor adjustments). Thank you!

    5.22.13 · Reply
  13. Lalz said:

    Love the list! All the things you need when traveling! I was wondering which Bose headphones do you own? Are they the noise cancelling ones? Do they really work? I’ve been debating between getting bose or beats headphones.

    5.28.13 · Reply
    • cfc said:

      Bose noise canceling headphones are amazing. They are super comfortable and while it may seem like they aren’t blocking out all the noise, as soon as you take them off you’ll realize how much noise they are actually blocked. Bose really stands behind their products. If you purchase any Bose product and lets say it stops working, well outside of the warranty time-frame, you can take it into a Bose store and assuming it just wore out, etc they will replace it for you at half the price.

      6.9.13 · Reply
  14. Tasha Annaliese said:

    I’m not aloud any makeup, food or liquids on my hand luggage 🙁 Booo xox

    6.13.13 · Reply
  15. Amanda said:

    Julia — clearly, I am very late to this post, but would you share the item name or where you found that lilly cosmetic case? I have a few things in the print (my favorite), but never saw that and can’t seem to find it anywhere online! Thanks, A.

    9.29.13 · Reply
    • Hi Amanda! I found this case at the Lily P store on Madison Avenue in 2012. I don’t think they make it any more. Sorry 🙁

      1.2.14 · Reply
  16. DCsBabygirl said:

    love it thanks

    10.2.13 · Reply
  17. Cara said:

    You forgot hairbrush and ties! Makes such a big difference when your hair looks nice after a long sleepy flight

    11.5.13 · Reply
  18. Peyton said:

    Julia- where is that bag from!? I absolutely love it!

    12.25.13 · Reply
  19. Peyton said:

    Julia- where did you get that bag?! I love it!

    12.25.13 · Reply
  20. Ash said:

    Do you bring chargers for your electronics?

    12.30.13 · Reply
    • Some planes have outlets but most don’t so I just charge up ahead of time. When I fly Virgin America, I always bring chargers!

      1.2.14 · Reply
  21. Kim said:

    Great list! I think you could also add one of the portal chargers to your list for super long plane rides. It’s great because they are compact in size and will charge a variety of different devices, including your iPhone kindle and iPad mini. I have one and I love it!

    1.6.14 · Reply
  22. Great list!

    1.13.14 · Reply
  23. TravelJunkie said:

    Hey there! Can you share the link to the scarfs you mentioned (the elephant and leopard print one). The link isn’t working. Great list, thanks so much!

    1.27.14 · Reply
  24. KC said:

    Oh, please don’t pack anything with processed meats…you may think it smells delicious, but everyone around you will hate you…

    3.20.14 · Reply
  25. Vianna said:

    Julia, can you tell me who makes (model) the carry-on bag you use? I’m in the market for one as I will doing some travel soon. Your packing list is very helpful – thank you.

    9.19.14 · Reply
  26. LOVE this!! And your carry-on is the cutest!!

    6.9.15 · Reply
  27. Katie Arruda said:

    Great list! Thanks! Love the face spray idea

    6.9.15 · Reply
  28. I take wipes to, so I can wipe down the tray table-yuck 🙂

    6.9.15 · Reply
  29. Maggie said:

    Hi Julia! I know this is a really old post, but I had it bookmarked. Where did you get your suitcase? I love it!

    9.19.16 · Reply
    • The one in the 1st pic is from Away and the one in the 2nd pic is Bric’s!

      9.19.16 · Reply
  30. Mélanie Coutu said:

    I still can’t get over the fact that you guys can bring an apple or fresh fruit on a plane. I was made by a US custom guard (at the Montreal airport), to throw away a peeled ready to eat clementine, a few years ago. I’m jealous! 🙂

    11.8.16 · Reply
  31. Emily Runey said:

    Love this post, I’m so late to it, but would you mind sharing where your sunglasses are from? I love the shape! Thank you!

    2.22.17 · Reply
  32. Nick Cullen said:

    Very good article

    6.1.18 · Reply
  33. Eyebuy said:

    I love the sunglasses and the scarf!

    2.15.19 · Reply