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Packing Tips: What's In My Carry-On Tote?

A carry-on bag is arguably one of the most important components of staying organized while you travel. It’s an opportunity to pack a few extra items that won’t fit into your suitcase, and it helps you stay tidy at the airport. You may be tempted to throw all your last-minute items into your carry-on with no rhyme or reason, but speaking from experience, that’s not going to work out well for you.

Instead, it’s helpful to have a bit of a strategy for your carry-on tote. View it as an asset to your travels and a weapon against any potential packing nightmare. I’ve been through this routine time and time again, so I’ll give you a sneak peek at my carry-on tote.

1. Headphones

Waiting seems to be a common theme of airport travel, so it’s always a good idea to have a pair (or two) of headphones. You’ll want to use these to play movies on the plane, and they could also function as noise cancellers if you’re trying to catch some zzz’s. Just be sure to keep them wrapped up when they’re not in use because they get tangled easily.

2. Extra Battery

Back-up batteries are a must-have when you’re traveling. You never know when you’ll need one, so keep it in your carry-on tote just in case. Plus, an extra battery doesn’t take up too much room!

3. Book

For those long flights, it’s the perfect time to start a new book. It’s also helpful to use a book as a divider in your carry-on—if you’re separating snacks from makeup, for example.

4. Sunglasses

No matter where you’re going, you’ll probably need sunglasses at one point or another. Keep them in your carry-on so they’re easily accessible and so that you don’t forget about them!

5. Extra Outfit

When you’re packing your carry-on, it’s important that you try to fit as much into it as you can without overcrowding it. Packing an extra outfit or a few pieces of clothing that didn’t fit into your suitcase is a perfect way to do this. Pro tip: Always bring an extra sweater or jacket in case you get cold on the plane.

6. Snacks

Airplane pretzels and cookies are fine, but you can easily pack your favorite snacks into your carry-on. Just make sure you don’t bring anything that could crumble easily!

7. Phone and/or Laptop Charger

Chances are you’ll be on your electronics a lot during your travels and you know what that means—low batteries. I always pack my phone and laptop chargers in my carry-on so that I’m never stuck with a dead phone or computer.

When it comes to packing your carry-on, everyone is a little different here. You may have some ideas that I never considered, please share them with me! What’s in your carry-on tote?

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