Carry On 101–Flying Back Home For The Holidays

Carry On 101--Flying Back Home For The Holidays

Carry On 101–Flying Back Home For The Holidays

In December like millions of others, I’ll be flying back home for the holidays. Take it from someone who’s had her fair share of flight drama, like a flight delayed overnight, canceled because of bad weather, luggage lost twice (one of the times it took four days to receive!), and lost my license the day before flying…that I’ve learned what and what not to pack in my carry on bag.

  1. A good book.  The Girls, $16.20
  2. Makeup bag / samples. Usually when I buy makeup, they give free samples. I save those and pack them in my carry on. Makeup bag Sephora Collection, $26
  3. Face wipes. Clinique, $10
  4. Lip gloss. Who doesn’t love macaroons? Etsy lip balm, $10
  5. Travel size toothbrush / toothpaste. Target, $.97
  6. Seat pack. Holds all your important stuff (phone, charger, headphones, gum, lip gloss) so you don’t have to keep getting up and going to the overhead bin. Available in 4 colors. Flight001, $28
  7. Laptop / laptop case. Kate Spade, $75
  8. Cardigan. H&M, $34.99
  9. Luggage tag / passport holder set. Since I lost my license right before I was going to fly, now I bring my passport as backup. It’s also a good idea to put a luggage tag on your carry on bag. Flight001, $20
  10. Eye mask. Flight001, $16
  11. Blanket. Bosa, $24
  12. Carry on bag. Comes in black or white. Flight001, $39
  13. Games. Target, $21.49
  14. Chargers. Comes in a variety of colors. Walmart, $6.99
  15. Shemergency® Kit. Includes, earring backs, deodorant towelette, double-sided tape, stain remover, nail file, clear nail polish, breath freshener, clear elastics, lip balm, nail polish remover, floss, hair spray, safety pin, band-aid, mending kit and a tampon. Comes in a variety of colors. Pinch Provisions, $18
  16. Ear buds. They take up less room than headphones. Beats by Dr. Dre, $99,
  17. Sunglasses. Quay Australia ‘It’s My Way’, $55
  18. Neck pillow. Flight001, $16
  19. Carry on Cocktail kit. Available in Gin & Tonic, Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, and Old Fashioned. $24
  20. Document holder. This makes going through security a lot faster when you have your boarding pass, flight info, and ID right there. Flight001, $10

Don’t forget…reading glasses, contacts, prescriptions, wallet, and ATM/credit cards.



Anything that can spill, and if you must, pack it in a vinyl bag.

All your makeup. Pack the basics, (face compact, mascara, lipstick).

Anything flammable (Duh!)

Leave shampoo and conditioner in your checked luggage. If I have to use one from a hotel for a day or two, it won’t kill you.



In case there’s no wifi, make Spotify playlists available offline. For movies / TV, I use Plex media server and sync that to my cloud so I can watch offline. Before I used Plex, I would download movies from iTunes the night before.

Download your boarding pass to your phone, but still print out a copy.

If you’re in any airline loyalty programs, arrive at the airport at least an 2 hours early to get on standby, that way you can try to bump your flight to first class.

Buy Dramamine, magazines, candy, gum and snacks at an airport shop and take the Dramamine 30 minutes prior to boarding.

Make sure your electronics are fully charged. Some planes have outlets but just in case.

If there’s time, get something to eat.



This post was updated with new links on 2.28.21.