My Carry On Bag Essentials

Hey, hey, hey, how’s my best girlfriends?! Name that movie. Sorry, I’m literally giddy as I’m carrying out a final edit on this post because Matt and I go on holiday tomorrow! By the time this post goes live we’ll actually be in the beautiful country of Croatia (I may have mentioned it once or twice…?) and I’m pretty sure I’ll be spamming my Instagram feed 24/7. Sorry not sorry. I’m so flipping excited to spend a week relaxing, exploring and soaking up the sun with my love! Just like I did last year, I’m sharing with you what I’m packing in my carry on. I’m not delving into every single thing like I did in that post – which you can see here – but there’s lot of similar things appearing in both posts!

I love love love packing (seriously, just search ‘packing’ in the side bar and a ton of posts will come up) and it’s something I genuinely look forward to doing. I get kinda stressed about all of the things we need to do before a trip, but really I love every minute of it once I get started! Matt and I are checking two big suitcases, and taking two backpacks for our carry on so we’ve got plenty of space for all of our stuff. Well, Matt literally takes a hoodie, magazine, snacks, headphones and a phone charger in his carry on bag – I don’t know how he travels so light! I am the complete opposite, but again, he’s the yin to my yang when it comes to organisation 🙂

I’m taking the same backpack I took last year because I just really love it; it’s still in perfect condition and it’s so dang cute, although unfortunately it’s not available to purchase any more. I got it from the Vans X Lazy Oaf collaboration, but honestly any Vans backpack is super cute and great value for money, they’re incredible quality and I get so much use out of mine when we’re travelling. I love this one as an alternative! I always use a backpack for travelling because I take quite a lot with me, and it’s way better for my back to even out the weight across both of my shoulders. I also like to store my bag under the seat in front of me during the flight, and I know this backpack fits perfectly so doesn’t have to go in the overhead locker. So, let’s get into sharing the ten essential things I ‘need’ to have in my carry on bag:

1. My crossbody bag. This is where all the actual essentials are kept! I use my Kate Spade crossbody on a day-to-day basis and although I wouldn’t usually take this on holiday with us, I decided to this time. I struggled to find a crossbody bag I liked that I would use after our holiday, so I figured why not use what I have! This bag is the perfect size to keep our passports (I’m definitely the passport keeper in our relationship!), my YSL card holder, our money, a lip balm, medication, headphones, battery pack/cable and a pen. Also, I’ll definitely be stashing my favourite Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and a few beauty products in here as they always live in my bag. I keep this inside my backpack until we’re through security as you’re only allowed to take one bag, then I take it out and keep it to the front of my body whilst we’re wandering around. Quite often in airports Matt will sit with all the bags whilst I grab us food/drinks (and go for another ‘quick look’ in Boots) so this also means I don’t need to carry my whole backpack!

2. My re-usable water bottle. It’s no surprise to anybody that knows me in real life that I’m literally obsessed with my Chilly’s bottle! I have been drinking so much more water since I purchased it, and I literally don’t ever need to buy plastic water bottles. Any cafe within the airport will fill it up – for free! – and after doing a lot of research I’ve found out the tap water in Croatia is more than safe to drink. Phew! I hope to take this down to the pool/beach each day, and an added bonus is my water will stay cold all day. Although, let’s be real. How much water am I really going to be drinking when our all-inclusive includes every kind of cocktail you can imagine?!

3. Snacks. If you know Matt and I you’ll know we need snacks to function! I’m not the biggest fan of airplane food (I mean, I don’t think anyone is) so I prefer to take some things with me just incase. We pack protein bars, some of our favourite sweets and trail mix for Matt so we’re covered! We try to eat in the airport before we leave, and we’ll pick up fruit, crisps, drinks and maybe a sandwich in the airport for the flight/coach journey too. I don’t ever really eat chewing gum but I always take it when we’re travelling because 1. my ears pop really bad and 2. I always feel like being on a plane makes my breath gross! Haha, TMI I’m sure!

4. The in-flight beauty bits. Okay, so I take WAY more products than ones I’ll actually need during our flight (or before, or afterwards) as I’m so scared of our luggage getting lost or damaged. I take my whole makeup bag, brushes included, and I don’t mind having a little extra weight to carry because of it. I mean, my makeup is expensive and I love it so I want to keep it safe, and I take a few essential skincare bits too. I do take my liquid products out of my makeup bag though, as it’s really important to keep your liquids separate. I love my Space NK travel bag, it’s incredible and fits so much in such a small space. The only things I will likely reach for during our travel day are my Bath & Body works hand sanitizer (which Matt always uses too), NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder, L’Occitane hand cream, MAC Turquatic rollerball, mini Dove deodorant, my current favourite lip balm and my mini This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less spray if I start to feel a little nervous or anxious. I also like to take sheet masks which we may use during the flight if we get a little bored, or if not we can use them during our holiday! I packed these ones from The Body Shop, I freaking love them and they always make our skin look so good! I always take some ‘liquids’ – like my lip balm, lip gloss, hand cream etc – out of my liquids bag and put them back into my crossbody once we’re through security, too.

5. Reading material. I love love love reading, and I like to read on the plane to take my mind off the fact we’re hurtling through the sky in a little metal can. Dramatic? Maybe. I’ve packed a few books for our trip as I love to lay by the pool or at the beach reading, but I’m only taking one in my carry on. I ordered One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid after how much I loved Forever, Interrupted and I can’t wait to get stuck in! As I mentioned in this post, I’ve got After I Do and How Do You Like Me Now? packed in my suitcase, and I’ll pick up at least one more book at the airport. I really love browsing WH Smith and buying a new book, it’s kind of an airport tradition for me!

6. Wipes, for everything. I really think wipes are an essential when you’re travelling, especially on an airplane! I’m that weirdo that likes to clean down our tray tables and arm rests as soon as we’re sat down (I watched some random video years ago about all of the germs found on a plane and it made me feel so sick! It takes two seconds, so why not?) We also use wipes to wipe our hands before/after eating as getting up and down to go to the toilet isn’t always possible. I love these Cheeky Panda wipes, they’re in a perfectly sized travel pack and also bio-degradable!

7. Battery pack and iPhone cables. Keeping mine and Matt’s phones charged at all times is really important to us when we’re travelling. Whether it’s to take photos, access our flight information or check in with our family, we don’t want to worry about running out of battery! This one is incredible, I picked it up from Amazon and it charges both Matt’s and my phone a few times each. We’ll also use this on our trip whilst we’re out exploring or laying around the pool! As I mentioned in my last post, we always pack travel adaptors in our carry on bags so we don’t have to find them in our luggage when get to the hotel which is a huge help!

8. An outfit (or two), spare underwear and a bikini. LOL, I’m a worrier, what can I say? I have the weirdest fear about our luggage not making it to our destination at the same time we do, and so as well as packing my makeup/skincare must-haves, I also pack a few clothing items. I’m taking the denim shorts Matt bought me for my birthday, two cute tops, a skirt, two pairs of underwear and my favourite bikini. Better safe than sorry, right?

9. Fluffy socks and a comfy sweater. I seriously am cold ALL of the time, and I get especially cold on planes. They are just always so. dang. cold. I wear a jacket almost the whole flight, and I’d much rather take an extra layer for when I need it, because I will need it! When I’m sitting for a long period of time I also want to be comfy, so as soon as we’re seated I’ll slide off my Birks and put my fluffy socks on. I then will snuggle in to Matt for take off like my life depends on it because I really am scared of flying, lol!

10. Sunglasses, glasses and contacts. I am so blind! I couldn’t imagine how rubbish it would be if I couldn’t see on holiday, so these are a necessity! It’s very rare I’d ever wear my glasses whilst we’re away, but I’d rather have them with me just incase. I take a few spare pairs of contact lenses with me, and my favourite eye drops because planes are SO bad for drying out your eyes, then pack the rest in my suitcase. I’m pretty sure my sunglasses will be on top of my head from the moment we leave our hotel in Manchester to getting to our hotel in Croatia!

11. A foldable tote bag. I love to take an extra tote bag in either Matt or I’s backpack because they come in so handy! As I mentioned above, we’ll be buying snacks, probably definitely books and maybe a few duty free treats, and we really don’t want to purchase a plastic bag to put them in. The tote bag can be used throughout the holiday too, when we’re wandering along to the supermarket (0.4 miles from our hotel, thanks Trip Advisor!) or if we need an extra bag to carry our stuff down to the beach.

12. Headphones. Have you ever took a flight without headphones and had to use the crappy ones they provide? It is miserable! A few years ago I flew from AMS > JFK without my own headphones, and I literally could have cried!! I just use the basic Apple ones you get with your phone, because I only ever use my headphones when we’re travelling. I was going to treat myself to a pair of AirPods but I really don’t see the point as I’d not get my money’s worth out of them, but they are super cute!

Of course when we get home I’ll be sharing a photo diary from our trip with you, which is the kind of post I love to create, and to read from other bloggers! I’ve got a few holiday themed posts planned that will also be going up throughout July – my everyday holiday essentials, outfit ideas and something different that I’ve never done before. In the meantime you could always check out our Kos photo diary – I look back at this post all the time because the photos just make me so happy!

Thank you so much for reading! What are your carry on bag essentials? Are you an over packer just like me? If you’re not… TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

-G x

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