The Perfect Carryon

Surviving your 15 (or sometimes more) hour flight can be daunting. It’s not fun no matter which way you do it. Unless your in First Class which good for you; you can survive anything. If you are not so lucky to be upgraded, make the best of your center seat.

(For my tips for upgrading to First click here)

My general rule for my carry on is that if my big bag were to get lost for some reason I should be able to survive with my carry on. Keep that in mind. You can replace clothes; it’s a lot harder to replace electronics and documents.

Here is exactly what you will find in my carry on and how to use it.

I grabbed this rolling briefcase on Amazon for about $30. I am usually carrying my laptop and numerous files for my volunteer trips so this bag is great for me. Another option would be a tote bag or back pack.


Starting with the basics. Put your passport in there. Do that first so you don’t forget it.


Yeaaasss kween I have a very pretty passport cover. It was a very nice gift.


Cords, battery packs, and 3 USB port plug. They all fit conveniently  in this Tumi bag Delta gave me on a flight once.


Guide book to read on the way over since airplane wifi internationally is outrageously $$


Hand sanitizer, Emergence-C (I like the Nuun brand) migraine meds and lotion


Compression socks. My ankles are the size of New Jersey by the time I get off that plane.


Ipad and headphones. SWA prob wouldn’t be thrilled if they knew I solely travel with my work ipad, but it’s insured and has all my files on it I need.


This is my favorite bag! It’s my sleepy bag! Eye mask, toothbrush, ear plugs, lavender spray and small bag of lavender and rose buds and in the small black bag is tissues, chap stick, lotion and sani-wipes. The pill case has ambien and other sleep drugs. (more on that in a min)


Dont sleep on planes? You sure as shit will after and ambo or Excedrin PM. Sleep. Its 16 hours. You will be fucked if you stay up that whole flight, not to mention really bored.


All of my travel adaptors and a spare headset are in a small bag. Carry those with you. When you land you will want to be able to charge your phone in the airport if you need to.


Face wipes, butt wipes, and more sani-wipes.


The best purchase I have ever made. Its a travel pillow with a hood. Flawless. Try and wake my ass up when I am nested in this after an ambo.


Sunglasses. I keep mine in my carryon so they don’t break.

OK Thats it. Yes it all fits in there and with my wallet.

So lets break down my flight beginning to end (Like what I did there SWA stews lol)

Boarding and Take Off:

I get settled and wait. During boarding is when if you are going to get upgraded they will come grab you. I dont take ANYTHING out of my bag until we are off the ground incase I need to move quickly and quietly to another (hopefully better) seat.

1 Hour Into Flight:

If it looks like Im not going to be moved I will start to settle in. I lay that briefcase flat and move it under my feet. You will sleep better eventually with your feet elevated.

Roughly 2 Hours Into Flight:

This is usually when meals will be served. I eat, have a glass or 3 of wine. The wine is important. I usually watch a few episodes of a TV show I like for eating.

3 Hours Into Flight:

I get ready for bed! I head to the lav, get my socks on, take off all my makeup, take my contacts out and brush my teeth. Now remember I am about 3 glasses of wine deep now.

4 Hours Into Flight:

Once everything is plugged in and I am ready to call it a night, I put my eye mask on and pop an ambien. (You do you, I do not suggest you take any pills you do not have a RX for especially with booze.) I get my blanket out. Wrap up in my neck pillow and throw on a movie. I will be OUT COLD in about 30 min.

9 Hours Later:

I will usually sleep decently well for about 8-9 hours. Breakfast is served roughly an hour before landing. That also gives me enough time to “sober up” if you will and get some coffee to shake off the ambo.

1 Hour Prior to Landing:

I start packing everything up. If you get packed up before the last minute you wont leave anything. I have lost so many neck pillows over the years that I now have a mental checklist of everything I have taken out during the flight. Don’t be THAT passenger. Make sure you have your passport out and customs and entry cards ready to go.

THAT’S IT! You can do it! It’s not so bad when you do it right. Find the balance that works for you. I have now flown to Asia so many times I applied for a HKG frequent visitor card. So this works for me and it might work for you. My carryon is flawless!


2 thoughts on “The Perfect Carryon

  1. Another awesome post! Thanks for all the tips, would love to know what apps you use on your iPad to get everything done (and I know you do a LOT!) Thanks 😉


  2. Pingback: Fiji Packing List 2018 | Tales from the Flying Circus

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