5 Travel Must-Haves for Your Carry-On

This summer was unexpectedly full of fun weekend trips. With my wrist still in sore shape and my tendency to hoard and overpack items, my packing style was in need of a lifestyle change after my first getaway.

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Being the optimistic packer that I am, I tend to bring everything with me in the hopes that I can get it done while I'm away. The reality is that nothing gets done, like absolutely nothing, besides disconnecting from the digital life and reconnecting with friends. Oh, and a few too many Mimosas but that's to be expected. 

After a few getaways, I realized I don't need to pack up my entire vanity and six different pairs of shoes for each trip. And it won't kill me if I forget one thing either. With those realizations, the space in my bag gradually increased as did the ease on my shoulders. However, there are a few things that have become my go-to essentials for every trip.

1. My Go-To Bag
After a few rounds of researching backpacks and reading every single review on Amazon, I bit the bullet and bought myself a Tumi convertible backpack (seen above). It's been such a game changer and has made traveling a breeze. There's a place for my laptop and a few well-placed pockets to keep my things organized and my mind sane. The versatility of this bag has made it my go-to for all things work and event related as well. If you're looking for something a little more budget-friendly, another great contender is the Lipault Plume Business Backpack (seen below).

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2. Be Safe & Not Sorry: Antibacterial + Beauty Salve
Airports... Can we all agree they're basically a breeding ground for bacteria? There are so many people passing through the terminals each day it's best to play it safe by washing our hands and using antibacterial. Another must-have, beauty salve. A few things in life can make me uncomfortable, one of them being dry, chapped skin. This is kind of unavoidable being high up in the air so it's best to pack a multipurpose beauty salve like this one.

3. Stay Hydrated with a Refillable Water Bottle
I honestly hate paying for water at airports - the prices are ridiculously high and there's nothing we can do besides pay for it. Well, it's time we disrupt the system and bring in our own reusable bottle since staying hydrated is crucial when flying. Dehydration hangovers are not fun when you only have a short amount of time away. I'm a huge fan of bobble's Insulate bottles. Their steel bottles keep water (or other liquids) hot or cold for up to 24 hours and won't sweat or leak. 

  image via bobble.com

image via bobble.com

4. Tune It Out Headphones
Also called my daily lifesavers. Traveling is stressful and not being able to tune it ALL out can really make or break a trip. The question is which pair should you go with? For your next trip, I highly recommend Bose's SoundSport Headphones. You can go wireless or wired, but both are amazing when it comes to noise canceling and high-quality sound. They're also easy to pack compared to the over-the-ear kind. I've used these at work, on runs, noisy airplanes and can't ever imagine using something else.

  image via bose.com

image via bose.com

5. A Cozy Sweater
Similar to the Katy Perry song, planes can leave you feeling hot and then cold. There's absolutely no winning when it comes to climate control when in-flight but you can be prepared. I tend to grab an oversized before each trip to act as my in-flight blanket or makeshift pillow. And if you're simply too hot, you can always take it off. I linked to a few of my favorite ones priced under $50.

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Now, I'm turning the tables on you. What are you must-haves when it comes to your carry-on?