With the temperatures edging up, we’re starting to get antsy around here at the Braziel household, ready and just itching to get our next trip on the books.
It’s travel season!
Mark and I have an Orlando trip coming up in a few weeks, but that’s just for us - no kids on that one.
We’re meeting up with my cousin and her husband, who are flying in from England and I’m so excited to get to spend the weekend with them and to share our adventures with you!
We have a group of friends that we’ve vacationed with for years, because our kids have all grown up together and are like cousins. Our families have been cooking up a fun family trip for this summer, but we haven’t nailed down anything just yet.
Maybe a beach house down on the coast, or possibly Mexico.
To help us get vacation-ready, I’ve come up with a list of carry-on must-haves for 2019 and I’m sharing it with you!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using my links. I never share products or brands I haven’t personally used and loved myself!
1.Collapsible Water Bottle
It never fails that I’m thirsty and needing a drink at the most inopportune times, like in the airport security line. Instead of having to toss out a practically-full $5 bottle of Dasani, just pour the water out of this beauty, squish it down to almost nothingness and tuck it in your carry-on until you get through the other end of security.
2. Phone Camera Lens Kit
I love my Olympus, but it’s a hassle carrying it around, especially since I’m already carrying around a phone that takes gorgeous pictures.
These lenses come in a lightweight hard-shell, zippered case that’s only about 3.5” by 3”, making it easy to pop in your bag and get the perfect shot, whether it’s wide angle or close-up.
For working out crossword puzzles or filling out immigration forms, make sure you have your own pens with you. These gel pens by Frixion are my favorite because they’re erasable.
4. Compact Travel Blanket
This one is a must, and I know you’re second-guessing me right now, “because airlines hand out blankets!” you’re saying, but let me tell you what has happened to me - not once, not twice, but three separate times: our flight has been re-routed, then - to keep from running out of fuel, diverted to a different airport, after which our flight has been cancelled.
Each time was in the middle of the night and the airline staff had gone home for the night, so there was nobody around to hand out blankets to those of us who would be spending the night in the airport.
5. Toilet Seat Covers
Why am I so ridiculous? Public bathrooms gross me completely out, and multiply that times a bajillion when it comes to airplane bathrooms.
Make sure the seat is dry (I’m gagging right now, thinking about it not being dry), then lay one of these over the seat to keep you safe, which sounds dramatic, but this is exactly what my brain is thinking when I’m covering a public toilet seat, so welcome to my world.
6. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
You know how I go into the panic sweats when my lips start drying out, right? Airplane air is the driest and there’s nothing that will keep the moisture in your lips any better than Burt’s Bees.
7. Travel Size Advil
I have chronic headaches, so I’m never without Advil, but headaches aren’t uncommon for any traveller. Make sure you have some of these dropped in your carry-on bag.
8. Sealed, Packaged Snack
Do not - I repeat: DO NOT carry any type of produce - I don’t care how unassuming it may seem - into another country.
A banana seems harmless, right?
Well, it isn’t.
And dropping a banana in your carry-on bag in one country and then re-emerging in customs in another country with said banana - unless you’ve claimed it on the customs paperwork - will have you flagged on the TSA list for your future travels.
There’s a story here, as you’ve probably guessed. I’ll share it with you soon.
Pack a granola bar or - my favorite: a Built Bar - instead. Save 10% with the code “MARTINI2019” at checkout.
And last, but certainly not least, the piece de resistance, is the ultimate carry-on bag itself:
9. Lily Jade Handbag
My new best travel buddy, the Meggan by Lily Jade is a dreamboat as a carry-on bag.
Roomy enough to hold a laptop, chargers, toiletries, a notebook, and a few packs of playing cards, there’s still plenty of room to spare, in case you find something at the airport you just have to have.
The best part of this bag is how versatile it is.
It quickly converts to backpack carry, so you can pull your big luggage with one hand and have your coffee or collapsible water bottle 😏 in the other, while your laptop and all other essentials are on your back.
It’s got pockets everywhere (I counted 12!), it’s fully lined with a contrasting turquoise liner, and has a removable, machine-washable organizer, which is where I stow all my toiletries for travel.
Then I pull this section out when I get to my destination, making the bag a perfect tote for shopping and stocking souvenirs.
Be warned that people are going to be rubbing all on it, though.
The leather is so delicious, and once someone touches it to ask about it, they have to squeeze it, and just be ready for them to bend at the knees and get a gooey look on their face when they look at you and say, “Ohmygod, where did you get this bag?”
This is my favorite travel must-have this year because it’s easy to see how well-made it is, from its detailed stitching all the way down to its fabric lining, which is thicker and silkier than any other bag I’ve ever had.
It even has tiny little feet to keep it sturdy when I set it down on the ground!
This is my second Lily Jade bag (my other one is the Rosie in black and gold, and - just like all the Lily Jade bags - it has the gorgeous lining, a thousand pockets, and a removable organizer.)
What about you? Got any carry-on must-haves you can share? Let me know in the comments!
A very special thank you to Lily Jade for sponsoring this blog post. I only recommend brands I’ve personally used and loved, and I am happy to recommend Lily Jade products.