The carry on essentials I am going to be listing will be for flights where the only baggage you will be taking will be your carry on luggage. So these essentials items will be good for international flights, backpacking trips, domestic flights or flights where you have to pay for check in so your carry on luggage is your best solution.
First of all don’t forget to check the TSA website (http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-liquids-rule) for any updates of things that are allowed and aren’t.
Second, a quart size bag or a TSA approved clear storage is needed for the liquid items listed below.
1. I prefer using the humangear GoToob (http://www.humangear.com/gotoob/) for all of my liquid essentials. They are perfect in size and last for up to 2 weeks depending on how much shampoo or conditioner you use. What makes these things amazing, is the wide open mouth bottles for refilling and that you can squeeze every bit of liquid out of them. Don’t you hate when you purchase those hard plastic bottles and you are struggling to get your last bit of shampoo or conditioner out? Some of them also have suction cups which allows you to push them on a shower wall and have them off the ground as needed. I use these bottles for my shampoo, conditioner, body wash and face wash. BTW these never leak! You don’t have to worry about any waste or liquids exploding in your luggage. These are also TSA approved.
2. Since we discussed the GoToob, my second go to is the GoTubb (http://www.humangear.com/gotubb/) I use these for facial lotions, vitamins, or anything small that can fit into these. I have really dry facial skin, so I don’t want to take my larger or oddly shaped bottle of my favorite facial lotion. This is a great way to transport these items.
3. Now if you love your expensive perfume but don’t want the bulky bottle, travalo (http://www.travalo.com/) will be perfect for you (this also just perfect just to have in your purse when you aren’t feeling the freshest). These refillable bottles are compact and hold a decent amount of that should last you your trip. They are easy to refill and TSA approved.
4. I always make sure I bring a comb, it is more compact that bringing a hairbrush and great for styling.
5. Samples! This is the perfect time for you to bring any of those little samples you want for your trip. I have a subscription to ipsy, which provides a lot of deluxe samples for makeup and skin products. I also received a lot of great samples when buying skin products in Korea (they provide samples with almost every skin purchase!).
6. Toothpaste and toothbrush. I just buy the toothpaste from target in the travel size. However, I have heard pretty good reviews on the Toothpaste 2 Go (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/travel/cosmeticsToiletries?productId=10037165) which holds 1oz. and is refillable with your favorite toothpaste. I may want to try this on my next trip, however, I like the larger travel toothpaste at 2.7oz. When it comes to my toothbrush, I only use a regular toothbrush with a Steripod clip (http://www.amazon.com/Steripod-Clip-Toothbrush-Sanitizer-Green/dp/B002NQWMZK).
7. Nivea Cream! Man, this stuff does wonders! I get really dry hands and skin, especially when traveling. This stuff is great for any dry areas, hands, feet, elbows and knees. This is also my night regiment for my hands to wake up with soft hands in the morning. Buy the pan size instead of the bottle, because this will take up less room for your quart size bag.
8. Some form of sleeping aid. Now this might depend on the trip you are taking. If it is international, I definitely recommend this. It is hard to sleep on airplanes with the loud noises and turbulence. Also, this helps to make you feel hopefully refreshed after the flight. I use dream water (http://drinkdreamwater.com/). This stuff doesn’t make me feel groggy after I use it. I only use about half, so that I have another half later. If you are going on a backpacking trip, pills might be more convenient for you. This is a liquid item and isn’t the most compact.
9. To go with your Dream Water, I suggest some foam earplugs. This will help block out some of the noise in the aircraft or hostel you may be staying at. Headphones are not going to be a good option for this, only because ear-buds and headphones on international flights can be painful after a couple of hours.
10. Sleeping Masks. This will help block out any light in the aircraft and also help at any hotel when you are feeling a bit jet-lagged.
11. Glasses, Contacts, Contact Solution and Eye Drops. This obviously depends on the person. I always wear my glasses on board and pack my contacts, solution and eye drops for the plane. My contacts get dry when flying, so my glasses are best for these kinds of flights. I just change into my contacts when we are ready to land or when we arrive at the hotel before I shower. Don’t forget to pack extra contacts in case you lose yours! You don’t want to be stuck with photos of your trip in your glasses only!
12. Since I am a bit of a germaphobe, I always make sure I have a compact hand sanitizer with me. I am currently using up some of my collection of Bath and Body Works 1oz hand sanitizers.
13. Empty water bottle. Often times the flight attendants don’t serve enough water when traveling on airplanes. If you are like me, you may want to bring your own water bottle and refill it so that you can drink sufficient amount of water. Make sure it is empty prior to entering security or they will make you empty it. This will be good to have on the plane, however if you are in the window seat, it may be hard to get up easily to use the bathroom, especially when a meal is served.
14. Blanket or Sheets and Travel Pillow (optional). This may depend on your trip. If you are backpacking the sheets/blankets are a necessity but the travel pillow may be too bulky for your trip. The sheets/blankets are great to cover the beds with because you may not trust the sanitation at the hotels or hostels and are also good for the flight to keep you warm.