11 Must-Haves Carry-On Items For Travel

backpack-2.jpgPacking could be stressful or could be simple if you know what you’d actually need and use. I have been to Melbourne, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Boston, Vegas, San Francisco and Delhi – all trips ranging from a day to a month. Some trips were stressful because I forgot to pack something and some were overwhelming because I packed too much. My 11 Must-Haves Carry-On Items for travel are the items that have been tried and tested. While a check-in bag has leeway as to how many pieces of clothing or stuff you could pack, I have learned to keep my carry-on to a bare minimum – items that I count on my hand and lay it out quickly.

For airport travels, I never carry a large handbag or a shoulder bag. I own a well-used backpack that I always reach out for – even for a one-day trip away to the mountains. It’s none other than LL Bean’s Lilly 18 backpack – now discontinued – but you can get a Stowaway Day Pack (similar) here.

One of the best thing about this backpack (other than of course the color purple) is an even distribution of weight on the shoulder. It also contains sturdier back support so even if I stuff something heavier in it, it never feels like I’m carrying a lot of weight.



Other than must-keep: passport, ticket, and wallet, depending upon the duration and mode of the trip, I make sure to keep the following

Carry-On Items

  1. Phone Charger
  2. Shawl
  3. Pen & Small Notebook
  4. Backup outfit (with socks and undergarments)
  5. Snacks (Granola + Chewing Gum)
  6. E-Reader
  7. Small Toiletry kit (toothbrush + toothpaste + face wash + moisturizer + lip balm + Sleeping Mask)
  8. Wet Wipes
  9. Headphones
  10. Neck pillow
  11. Water Bottle (refill after going through security )

You might have your own specific list of items to carry. What’s your must-have list? Do you prefer carrying a large handbag?

5 Benefits of using a Planner

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa

Here are 5 benefits of using a planner (or to consider if you don’t use already):

{1} Helps to create a visual layout of the week; easy to conclude if the week was productive and fun.

{2} Helps manage time – keep track of daily tasks and appointments

{3} Helps to remember important events

{4} Increases productivity and helps organize various goals.

{5} Clears the mind

How to Choose a Planner

It depends on how much writing and tracking you want to do. I check for 5 key points (seriously what’s with number 5?!) for choosing a planner:

  • Feel: How does it feel to hold it? Soft, Velvety, Scratchy.
  • Mobility: Do you want to use it at home or want to carry it along in your bag? This will help narrow down the size.
  • Space: Are your daily tasks a mile long? Would the space in the planner suffice it?
  • Paper Weight: Is the paper thick enough to handle the pen or the vigorous handwriting?
  • Price: Most fancy planners are over $50 and I mean the ones with stickers and frills. It all depends on your budget but the way I justify anything is its usage.

Imagine using it – you must see yourself using the pages and writing on it. This will determine if you’ll buy a certain planner. I’ll admit there are so many options out there and it’s not easy to choose one – oh the colors, patterns, and gorgeous-ness but ultimately planners are the tool to help us accomplish tasks. I would admit that you can’t really have the feel for the planner when shopping online.

This year, I switched to Passion Planner (my absolute favorite!)–  prior favorites being Bando Planner and Canadian Polestar Planners. I  love the layout and space to write the to-do items in passion planner; I like to doodle and draw around the edges using all time favorite Maped Graph Peps, 0.4mm – sharp and beautiful to write with.

Do you use Planners? If yes, do you prefer paper planners or digital?

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