On a recent trip, four people in our group arrived in Italy without their luggage.
Been there. Done that.
It isn’t fun.
I was surprised when each of the four people said they didn’t have anything packed in their carry-on bags in case something happened.
My mom still calls her carry-on bag her just-in-case bag, and I think that name fits. It should contain what you need just in case your checked bag doesn’t arrive with you and might not arrive at all.
Think about the things you couldn’t be without on a trip or couldn’t replace easily in a quick shopping trip.
Here is a list of what I always have in my carry-on:
- Vitamins: I take several vitamins and supplements I do not think my body would be happy without them. Several are for digestive situations which always seem to arise on trips.
- Contact lenses and solution: I take an entire box of contact lenses with me when I travel so I have extras in case I rip one or something else happens. I also keep a small bottle of my disinfecting solution in my carry-on since I am allergic to some of the mainstream brands.
- Bra: I’m not the easiest to fit in this department so just having the one bra I’m wearing would not be fun.
- Shoes: Pesky feet don’t make it easy for me to find comfortable shoes, so not having any shoes other than the ones I’m wearing would be a problem.
- Deodorant: This always goes with me in my carry-on when I’m traveling outside of the USA. Not all countries have the same kinds of antiperspirant and deodorant so for the benefit of everyone I’m traveling with, I keep mine close.
- Extra pair of pants and a shirt: If I don’t have my main suitcase, I would want at least one change of clothes. I’m also not a standard size, so having to find clothes in another country could be difficult, especially in a place where people are typically tiny. (think Japan!)
- Feminine products: Not all countries embrace the use of certain feminine hygiene products, and if even if they do, they might not be the brand or type you like.
- OTC medications: I like certain OTC products for random symptoms, so I make sure I have some with me if I am leaving the USA. It isn’t always easy to find some things I need.
Here are things I don’t take in my carry-on, unless I have extra room:
- Something to sleep in: I can always find something to sleep in, especially when tired.
- Socks: Even though I like special socks, I can always find socks in a store no matter where I am.
- Toiletries: Most toiletries are easy to find, no matter where you are. It might not be the brand you’re used to, but most people use shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
- Underwear: Again, easy to find some kind of undergarments in most stores.
I hope this list helps you next time you pack. It’s sad to say, but it’s only a matter of time before you arrive somewhere without your luggage, but at least you’ll be prepared.
What are the things you always make sure you have in your carry-on?