My Carry-On Essentials

I travel quite frequently. So much so that I've been referred to as Carmen Sandiego by my sister. One of my friends had me clarify if I was in Georgia the state or the country one time, knowing both were possible options. Brushing my teeth in the airport restroom doesn't phase me... neither does curling my hair (there's always so much counter space... why not?) And lastly, I might be on a first name basis with a Chicago TSA representative, though my home base is in Charlotte. I wouldn't have it any other way, I absolutely love traveling.

I'll be flying to San Antonio this week and I thought it would be fun to share some of my travel essentials in my carry-on.  

  1. A Good Read - My phone is the last thing I care about when I travel, especially when I'm on a plane. I love reading, whether it be my Instyle magazine or Emily Giffin's latest greatset. There's something nostalgic about having an actual book or magazine with pages in your hands. I instantly disconnect from the world, and couldn't be happier to indulge myself in a good read while in flight.
  2. bkr Water Bottle - Someone once told me if you are thirsty, it actually means you are on the verge of becoming dehydrated. Not sure how true this is, but it scared me enough to always want to hydrate... especially when I travel. So, I pack an EMPTY water bottle with me to fill up at the airport. Yes, I'm aware the airport sells water, but the retail markup can be as high as 75%. And for the amount of water I drink, I'll likely be spending $20 a day at the airport. I recently found these amazing water bottles by bkr at Neimans. So much engineering went into crafting the tiny details in this bottle, I had to buy 5 of them! Read about bkr's fun story HERE
  3. My Camera - Never leave home without it, nor do I want it out of my site. I would never, let me say that again, I would NEVER pack something this important to me in my checked luggage. Even if it was in the overhead bin, people cram stuff in there all the time, and my precious camera will not be subjected to such torture. Keep your prized possessions near your... at all times. And besides, what if I get the opportunity to photograph something amazing? Better to have my camera within arms reach :) 
  4. My Mac - I always have my computer on me. When we reach 38k ft, and I've finished indulging in my magazines, it's time to do a little work. I travel mainly with US Airways, who has WIFI on a majority go their flights. Accessible for a small fee of course ;) Though I may not use it the entire flight, or at all, I like the option to be able to connect if I need to. I also edit many of my photos when en route. After a photo session, it's like Christmas morning being able to upload all my new photos to my computer. Having it available provides a sense of comfort.
  5. Keep Warm -  If I forget to bring a scarf on a plane, I might as well reschedule the flight. I am usually freezing on most flights, and those little "blankets" as the airlines so loosely call them, don't do me justice. A majority of the time they aren't even offered to passengers unless you're sitting in first class. Bring something, anything, to keep warm and avoid an uncomfortable flight.
  6.  Hair Ties - I swear I have a hair tie thief stalking me. I have no idea where these things disappear to. But when I find one, it's like I finding gold! I'll be sure to pack ten of these in my carry-on. By the time the trip is over and I'm stepping off the plane, I'll only have one left to my name. Maybe I should start putting up "lost" posters. (Funny story: I saw one on the elevator today. Instinct told me to pick it up, but luckily my rational judgement set in before it was too late.)
  7. My Ray Bans - This is probably the most overlooked necessity when packing. Why? Because the majority of us are procrastinators, the majority of us pack the night before, and the a majority of us are not wearing our sunglasses at night (well, unless it's 80's for the Ladies... then it's ok). I can't tell you how many pairs of sunglasses I'v purchased in cities all over the world. Make it an essential for your carry-on. Gas station bought bright green fake ray bans never looked good on anyone, so plan ahead :)
  8. Smith's Rosebud Salve - AKA my miracle in a can! Whether you have chapped lips, dry hands or even a small cut... this little tub of versatility provides an all purpose solution for most of my moisture needed travel woes. And it smells amazing! 
  9. The Carry-On - I just recently acquired the Tory Burch York Tote back in October and it's one of me favorite travel bags yet. When traveling it's important to have a carry-on bag that is large, but manageable. You don't want something too big that it's impossible to carry. You'll end up packing it to the brim and be miserable carrying it from gate to gate. I recommend an "open concept" tote for easy accessibility, loaded with zippers for some extra privacy. Lastly, it needs structure. I watch these women travel with these lopsided duffle-type bags, and soon as they set them down on the floor the sides of the bag flop down to either side, exposing all their contents. And nothing stays organized in an unstructured bag! This Tory Burch York Tote is a must-have travel companion. 

Lastly, keep it simple. This is a carry-on, so you should be able to carry it! Think necessities, and put everything else in your suitcase. Hope this helps alleviate some travel distress next time you're packing your carry-on. 

Safe Travels! And I can't wait to post some pics from our trip to San Antonio :)

xo, Cathy

My Carry-on Essentials | CATHY DURIGP PHOTOGRAPHY
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