Carry-on Essentials for Women

Essential Packing List Carryons

Most of the time you will have a carry-on bag if you are taking a flight, going on a cruise, or riding a train.  I also have one when I go on road trips (just so I won’t have to dig through my suitcase at rest stops).  For this list I am going to focus on people taking their carry-on onto a plane.  The list is going to work for any trip you take – so keep on reading!

I know that there are ladies out there that only take their normal purse when they travel, they like to be light and on the move.  I salute you ladies – but I can never be one of you I just have way too much baggage (horrible pun intended). 

This list for the new travelers out there.  Ladies who are ready to go on their big adventure but are not sure what to pack and what to leave at home.  Of course if you have already done a bit of traveling but always seem to be forgetting something you can use this list too. 

I can fit all of these things into a small drawstring backpack.  Mine is a light weight canvas with a lot of pockets both on the outside and the inside.  I like to keep everything organized so I can just reach and grab without having to dig through and stack stuff on counters to find what I am looking for.  I am terrified of leaving something important (like my passport) on a counter somewhere because I was digging for a pen.


  • Lotion:  You are going to want a small travel tube with you.  I don’t know about you but I get cranky if my skin is dry and itchy. 
  • Brush:  You are going to nap at some point.  No one looks good with real bedhead, so stick a brush or comb in your carry on if there is not one already in your purse.
  • Hair Ties:  You know if you only have one it will either get lost or break. 
  • Travel Toothbrush & Toothpaste:  You don’t need the full size products here, just something to help you not feel like you have moss on your teeth.


  • Prescription Medications:  Any meds you have a prescription for need to be in your carry-on.  If you put them in your luggage, and heaven forbid it gets lost or delayed, you really don’t want the added issues of trying to talk a strange pharmacist into giving you replacement meds -especially if you travel out of the country.
  •  Pain Relievers:  You will get a headache, backache, sore shoulder – something is going to hurt during the course of your travels. 
  • Tums:  I like to pack these just in case I get crazy and try something new that doesn’t agree with me.
  • Dramamine:  This is really just for people who get motion sick.  It is not just for boats – it is great for planes too.  You should always pack some just in case.  No one wants you to lose your lunch, and if the person next to you starts looking green you can always offer them one.
  • Band-Aids:  I know everyone has that one lost and abandoned bandage with a twisted wrapper floating in the bottom of their purse.  But is that what you want to put on a blister or a scraped knee?  No.  Go get fresh Band-Aids and stick a few in your carry-on.  


  • Tablet/Laptop:  You are going to want to watch a movie, read a book, or surf the web while you are waiting for things to happen.  There are potentially hours of sitting at gates, the flights themselves, and then the down time in your hotel room.
  • 2 pairs of head phones:  I know it sounds like that is overkill.  But they are small and take up very little room.  They are also easily forgotten or misplaced because they are small and take up very little room. 
  • Book/Magazine:  I like to read my books on my phone.  I love that I can choose any of the 1392 I have in my library or buy a new one without any trouble.  But there are still some airlines that make you turn off all electronics during takeoff and landing.  If your flying on one of those you will want a book or magazine to look at instead of just the back of the seat in front of you.
  • Chargers:  make sure you have a charger for all the electronics in your bag.  Nothing sucks worse than your phone dying in the middle of a movie.


  • Socks:  This is mainly for people who are flying in sandals.  Your feet will get cold on the flight and having a pair handy to slip on will make all the difference.
  • Underwear:  This is a worst case scenario thing.  If your luggage is lost/ delayed being able to put on a clean pair of knickers is going to improve your mood.
  • Sweater:  The airlines keep the planes pretty cold in flight, you will want a something to cover up with if you are prone to getting chilled.



  • Baby Wipes:  You can get a pack of 20 in the travel section at Target for $1.  I know you are thinking “I don’t have a kid, why would I need those?”  There are so many reasons – your hands get sticky after a candy bar, to wash your face and freshen up, or heaven forbid you forgot the Dramamine. 
  • Shout Wipes:  I don’t know about you but Murphy’s Law says I will dribble something on my shirt. 
  • Your Business Card:  I know people stick these in the luggage tag and think that is good.  A few years ago in a major airport they had a problem with thieves cutting the tags off of peoples bags and claiming them as their own.  It was hard for the owners to prove the bags were theirs because they didn’t have a tag.  Well guess what if your business card is stuck in a specific card there is no way they can dispute that with the security guard is there?
  • A couple of Ziploc bags.  I know it sounds crazy but you will need at least one for all your liquid stuff to get through TSA.  The extra are for unknowns – dirty clothes, a pen that leaked and needs to stay away from everything else, that bag of chips you bought and can’t finish.   

Experience Northern Lights

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