Packing a Carry-on for the Holidays

Hey Y’all!

Christmas is in 7 days! Can you believe it? Many people are going to be traveling to see loved ones at this time of year and it is important to know how to pack efficiently. Today that is exactly what we are talking about, packing a carry on so you have everything you need, but also so you don’t need a body builder to lift it and carry it.

IMG_4673As you know I love organization and lists. So why not throw those two things at this task to help me out. First I asked my mom what clothes I had laying around the house so that I did not pack more than was necessary. Next, I made an exact list of what I wanted to take. I mean exact. Cream deer print shirt, pink shooting ear muffs, ect…

IMG_4661I used different colors for each chunk of my list so that nothing blended in and got forgotten. As I gathered the items on my list I put a line through it so that the remaining items would stand out. Some of you may use check marks or dots, but this is a definitive way to see what you have and what you don’t. Next I folded up my clothes neatly to avoid wrinkles and grouped them together.

IMG_4705I have my 1 quart sized Ziploc baggie with my 3.0 oz or less liquid items, my workout clothes, my parents Christmas gifts and card, my swim suit and trunks, my “nice” outfit, and my shooting accessories. Plus a pair of flats and my Nikes with my custom insoles. Now to start packing it all into my duffel bag, which I have used before for carrying on so I know the dimensions are within the limits. (I pack my quart Ziploc into my cosmetics case in case anything leaks.. double protection)


IMG_4698My shoes go into the two outside pouches of my duffel bag so that they do not get dirt on my clothes. There are some gaps within the flats pocket that last minute items and be stuck. Then I stack my clothes into the duffel starting with my nice outfit on one side and my workout clothes and swim wear  on the other. This is why grouping things together first is beneficial, just grab the stacks and put them in. It is also a space saver! If you are packing fragile items this is when you want to put them into the duffel. This places those items directly in the middle of the duffel so they have the most cushion around them to help prevent any shattered or broken items upon arrival.

IMG_4687The last pocket of my duffel is a flat side pocket that I used to the Christmas card and the last few days of my advent calendar.This is also a good pocket for charging cords, although I prefer to keep mine in my purse for safe keeping.

Now, earlier I said my parents gifts but so far we have only packed one. That is because I realized my dads gift would not fit in the opening of my bag. The store it was purchased from gift wrapped for free so of course that sounded nice, but the box that I thought would fit in my bag, did not. So I had to unwrap it, unpack some of my bag, and pack it into the duffel. IMG_4688IMG_4704Now all that’s left is the unmentionables. I pack mine into a mesh laundry bag so that they are all together and I don’t need to go fishing through my bag each day to find them. I recommend bringing or wearing a neutral colored bra. This ensures that it will not show under any of the clothes you packed and you don’t have to pack multiple bras. The only other bra that should be going along is a strapless if one of your garments requires such a specific adaptation.

IMG_4703** I place a clothes pin through the zipper and then through the mesh so that the zipper doesn’t come undone in the hustle and bustle of travel thwarting all my hard work of keeping them together. **

Now we are going to talk about what all goes into my purse for travel. I keep anything valuable in my purse instead of my carry on or check back.

IMG_4671Starting with square #1:

IMG_4664This is my electronics pouch. I usually carry this in my purse because its always handy to have a car charger and wall charger for your phone in case of emergency.

1. iPhone 5 cable (not my main one in case its lost or forgotten)

2. A spare wall plug-in as well as the car plug-in

3. Spare battery for my camera (way easier than bringing a large charger)

4. Flash drive

IMG_4665This has recently become my on the go beauty bag. This also usually lives in my purse.

1. Small hand lotion (planes are so drying)

2. Hand sanitizer (Germs and Jesus are everywhere!)

3. Tea bags (save money on spend-y airport beverages, just as for hot water)

4. Lip essentials (Aquaphor, stained lip balm, and lip gloss)

5. Gum (it will help pop your ears during ascent and descent)

6. Alka-Seltzer tablets for an upset tummy

IMG_4666These are the other, non-pouched items in my purse, some are day to day some are travel specific.

1. Neck Pillow, at 4’11” the seat never are comfortable to me

2. Water bottle, again save money of those spend-y drinks

3. Knit gloves

4. A book to pass time during lay overs

5. Camera

6. Sunglasses

7. Wallet, ID, checkbook, tickets (I use my phone app for them)

8. Pouches (previously mentioned) and a Tylenol bottle

Now for some last minute tips and tricks:

IMG_4653When packing a camera bring your spare battery (charged) instead of bringing the whole charger. It will save space and there will be no risk of losing it or leaving it behind.

*if you are a contact wearer, bring your glasses and a spare pair of contacts just in case you rip them or break your glasses

*plan how you are getting to and from the airport in advance so there are no surprises

*look at all departure boards on a regular basis, gates change and flights are delayed or early these board will keep you up to date with your flight details

*follow all TSA regulations so you don’t get hung up at security

*arrive early to the airport, the holidays are always busy and security lines are long

*plan your travel outfit in advance and always wear your bulkiest items on the plane

IMG_4667I have planned my outfit and have it laid out so I am ready to go and not searching for things the morning of my flight.

1. layering tank top

2. Columbia fleece sweatshirt

3. down vest

4. comfortable jeans

5. Boots and boot socks to stay warm

6. an outter layer (not pictured) such as a jacket or peacoat

Having layers helps if the plane is too warm or too cold. Also if you are going from a warm environment to a cold environment or the other way around it helps with adjusting to the new climate.

~This vest is special, it has its own stuff sack so if I do not need it I can stuff it and it will fit nicely into my purse or carry on without using up much space.

IMG_4670What are your travel necessities this holiday season?

Thanks Y’all for stopping by and checking out my carry on how-to! Merry Christmas!