The Ultimate Carry-on Luggage Packing List

Truth be told, I rarely check a bag. Between a standard 21” carry on roller and a medium-sized tote bag, I’m usually fine with the two bag limit. On longer trips and smaller planes, sometimes it’s not possible. Besides the requisite emergency protein snacks and assorted power cords, here’s what I keep in my bag to outmaneuver any travel tribulations.

  • Dopp Kit:

You never know when you need to freshen up on the road– or what manner of product will be available when you get where you’re going. Bring your own. Pack your kit with grooming essentials (hair, face, teeth, body) and some favorites that you’ll want in a pinch. I keep a fully stocked kit in my carry on luggage even when when we’re not traveling.  It’s one less thing to think about when it’s time to pack.

  • White Shirt:

The style of trip, destination and time of year will dictate which kind of white shirt gets the nod. In the summer– and on strictly leisurely trips– a fresh, flattering white T-shirt pairs well with just about anything. Likewise, a crisp, white button-down shirt can add a polished edge to any look if unexpected circumstances arise. To keep the shirt clean, I’ll place it in a large sealable, plastic bag before sliding it in a cozy corner or side pocket.

  • Scarf:

A large cotton scarf has been my savior on countless occasions. It’s easily transformed from a makeshift blanket or pillow in intemperate or uncomfortable travel accommodations to a warming layer when the weather takes a chilly turn.  Even Malinda has benefitted from the largesse of a scarf that folds down a fraction of its size. Its applications are legion– my updated version of Ford Prefect’s omnipresent towel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

–TMW

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