I'm Elizabeth and God designed me to be an encourager, a dreamer, a story teller and most importantly, a Kingdom builder.
I love to travel and I hate to travel. I love getting to my destination, but I sort of despise the process. Security lines, lugging bags and airport food rank pretty low on my “things I enjoy” list. Of course it’s all worth it for the payout of seeing family, friends, a new city, vacation, etc.. What I’ve found over the years is that there are definitely ways to make traveling better. I finally took the time to get my TSA Pre-Check Known Traveler Number and boy was it worth it. The application process and appointment were quick and easy and it is such a time saver… especially in big airports like Phoenix, Atlanta and LAX. I also try to dress “put-together” but comfy. I found some great black pants from Athleta that feel like sweats but look a little more styled, especially when paired with a structured sweater or jacket on top.
Besides getting through security quickly and easily (and being comfortable) I’ve found the following 5 Carryon Items make my flights so much better.
1. Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds
These have been my favorite earbuds/headphones I’ve ever had and the noise cancelling feature is legit.
2. Swell water bottle
I seriously struggle to drink enough water. Always have. Probably always will. I have to make a conscious effort daily to drink enough to stay healthy and hydrated. For a long time I used to buy a bottle of water in the airport, but half the time I never even drank it…. and those bottles of water are expensive! I love that many airports now offer water fountains specifically for filling up water bottles so now I take my own water bottle with me. My favorite is my soft gold Swell bottle. It’s small enough to fit easily in my carry on bag and big enough that it’s plenty of water for me for most flights.
3. Wide panel scarf that can double as a blanket.
I get cold on planes and while I will pack an actual blanket for long cross country trips in the winter I always take a wide panel scarf with me on every flight. I can wrap it around my neck, my shoulders or use it as an actual blanket.
They take up a lot of space, but they keep your head from rolling all over and falling on the person seated next to you. I love mine, it has a removable cover that is easy to take off and wash and it’s pretty squishy so I can easily pack it into my suitcase once I reach my destination and don’t want it taking up space in my shoulder bag.
5. A clear plastic TSA approved toiletry bag
I got this bag from Amazon before I had TSA clearance. But even now that I don’t have to take out my liquids when going through the TSA Pre-Check line I still use this bag for traveling. It’s big enough that it’s easy to pull out of my bag while in flight and it’s easy to find things inside of. It’s such a step-up from a plastic Ziplock bag and now instead of having multiple Ziplock bags from various trips hanging out in my bathroom drawer I have one that I use for every trip.
Don’t forget to pack a couple of easy to eat snacks in your bag. Airport retail outlets charge a premium for snacks and you can’t always find something you’ll enjoy. Right now my favorite go-to travel snack is a Belvita Breakfast Snack (blueberry flavor). And don’t forget to pack breath mints. I’m not personally a big fan of gum but I love Altoid minis and Breath Beads from Doterra.
And just in case you’re like me and are a lover of handbags my favorite bag to take as a carry on is the Everyday Tote from Madewell. I got this bag for my birthday in March and I’ve taken it on 5 trips since then and it’s been great. It’s large enough to fit my laptop if needed (although it makes it pretty heavy). But it’s perfect for plane travel. It easily fits my wallet, iPhone, TSA toiletry bag, Swell bottle, headphones, iPad, scarf, and neck pillow. By the time I take the neck pillow, headphones, iPad and scarf off once I get settled in my seat on the plane the bag with everything else fits easily under the seat in front of me.
Do you have an item (or two) that you take every time you travel? Share it in the comments below and share why it’s a travel essential for you.
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