THE carry-on pack list.

[A three minute read]

I try to avoid checking in luggage at all costs. I spent weeks preparing for my month in Colombia [in 2016] so I could pack efficiently enough to only take carry on and I loved travelling light.

But there are times when it’s tricky to not check in bags – like spending a few weeks in a winter destination, especially when you offer to mule all the family Christmas presents in your luggage too.

Anyway, with years of travel my packing has become more refined and I now have a great packing list I use every time.

The less stuff and weight the better, but bring enough to stay comfortable. Some of this I leave behind for shorter trips, the below is based on an international long haul flight.

Here’s what and how I pack.

The carry on outfit. 

> 1 x pair of great pants.
Ones that don’t let the dry air in, comfy and stylish enough to say “I am willing and able to accept an upgrade”

> 1 x coat or pashmina in case the air con is set to Arctic mode.

> 1 x pair of warm socks for above reasons.

> 1 x pair comfy enclosed shoes, that will still fit your swollen feet once you land.

> 1 x pair hotel slippers to wear on the flight.
NEVER wear socks or go barefoot to the bathroom, you may catch an STD or something.

> 1 x pair of sunnies, in case it’s bright when you land.

> I always lay out my flight outfit the night prior so I can get out the door quickly, particularly for early morning flights.




Sure the flight has entertainment, but what’s your backup if it breaks or you’ve already seen the movies?

I download a few backup movies onto my laptop [or use Netflix downloads on my phone].

I download Spotify playlists and podcasts in advance, and always take a book and / or magazine. Bring some good headphones, with the 2 prong flight adapter.

I bring a USB phone charger too, as most flights now have a USB ports.

Also remember to backup your devices before you leave.


Remember to keep everything under 100ml for international, and pack all the liquids in a clip lock bag before you leave home.

> 1 x little tub of coconut oil, secured in it’s own clip lock bag in case of melting. This is the best in flight moisturizer.

> 1 x mini bottle of face mist. It’s refreshing and hydrating. I like The Little Alchemist brand best.

> 1 x hand cream.

> 1 x eye drops. [I have contacts and get zombie eyes on flights]

> 1 x lip balm.

> A few baby wipes in a clip lock bag. Never know when someone could spill something on you, or you want to clean your face before an in-flight nap.

> 1 x foundation. I always pack mine in carry on just in case my checked luggage goes missing. My foundation is a natural and Australian brand – Ere Perez – so impossible to replace overseas and I hate the thought of buying some toxic filled replacement. So bring on board anything you can’t easily replace on your trip.

> A few Nurofens and throat lozenges just in case.

> A few bandaids.

> A mini dental floss and / or toothbrush and mini paste.


Airports are notorious for serving inedible things called ‘food’, as are airlines. Here are a few of my favourite *real* food snacks to pack.

Sometimes I’ll make a green smoothie the night before, decant into a leakproof glass jar and drink on the way to the airport. Then you can add the glass to recycling at the airport.

> Drink bottle, with a wide mouth so you can fill it at the airport water fountains. I usually fit it about 1/3 of the way the night prior, so you can hydrate before you go through security.

> Some herbal teabags. Lemon and ginger is my current go-to.

> Almond milk in a leak proof little bottle, then in a clip lock bag to be sure. I add this to coffee at the airport [for airports where they only have sugary soy milk] or in-flight.

> Keep Cup to avoid guilt when grabbing coffee in transit.

> Pre-cut chunks of cheese.

> Carrot or capsicum sticks.

> These amazing parmesan chia crackers I make in advance [image below].

> Protein Bread Co cookies – they aren’t crumbly and the high protein keeps you full and not bloated. I like to make them as macadamia + apricot, and the choc + walnut combo is ace too.

> Dry roasted nuts.


Parmesan Chia Crackers



> 1 x pair earplugs, in case of screaming babies.

> 1 x eye mask for nap time.

> 1 x of these spiky balls, for preventing my neck and shoulders turning to concrete.

I don’t bother with a neck pillow. Too bulky and most airlines have great adjustable head rests now.

The important / random stuff.

> Passport, with a photocopy hidden in your checked bag, and / or a photo saved in your phone.

> Locks for your checked baggage.

> A few credit cards. Check the overseas transaction fees first and hide an emergency one separately to your other cards.

> Your frequent flyer baggage tags if you have them.

> House keys for the trip home. You don’t want to be rifling through your checked luggage on your doorstep in the rain after a 20 hour flight.

If you’re going to be at the airport or in transit a while, check the facilities in advance. I just left Dubai Airport kicking myself I hadn’t bought gym gear to use the health club there!

Who else has some great travel tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Over and out,

Hot Air Balloon

Home sweet home.

Running on fire.

Chicken bus

Life changing Guatemala.

Chia Crackers

Crack crackers.

C2 Montreal Skylab interior

C2 2017: The dossier.

Operation: MINIBREAK


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