McLaughlin Care

900 North Shore Drive, #170 

Lake Bluff, IL 60044


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  • Dr. Julie McLauglin

Carry on traveling with the ultimate carry-on packing list

What does ‘carry-on’ mean when it comes to traveling? It means that small suitcase or backpack that you can carry with you onboard, but which you pack in the overhead compartment. Apart from your carry-on bag, you can also have a little purse, or briefcase, something small with all your personal items in that you need with you all the time; that can go under the seat in front of you. If you fly on a smaller plane with smaller overhead compartments, you might not be able to bring as much. The best advice regarding carry-on luggage is don’t even try and bring something onto the plane that is clearly over the limits, it won’t be permitted.

Traveling only carry-on means you avoid paying checked bag fees, meaning you won’t have to carry so much or waste time at the baggage carousel after your flight, nor can the airline lose your bags! So much easier!

Want to know what to carry in your carry-on luggage? Here we give you the ultimate guide:

Importantly, you need the right bag. That means checking in with your airline’s website for the correct sizes and restrictions, and then choose a bag that complies. Look at this one; ideal for organizing. The spinner wheels are great too, for maneuvering around at the airport.

  • Versatile clothing

You need to cut down on weight and space, so that means packing clothes that serve more than one purpose. For example, this beautiful Pashmina shawl can be used as a sarong or a light blanket. Another tip is to keep your clothing in similar colors, like jeans and shirts, and then you can accessorize with colored scarves, etc.

  • Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are ideal for traveling, because you don’t have to pile everything out to look for something when and if in transit. Space is everything when you are packing for carry-on only.

  • Fill your boots

Whatever shoes you pack, use the inner space. Fill every nook and carry of your boots; what about your hat? Both the hat and shoes will keep their shape better too.

  • Roll up your clothes

Rather than folding your clothes, try and roll them up to optimize on space, and it helps to keep them wrinkle free too; and find them easier.

  • Be ready for laundering

If you will be away for a few days, plan on doing some laundry. Check if the place where you stay has washers or else just map the nearest laundromat.

  • No what-ifs allowed

What if it’s freezing, what if it rains, what if I forgot this or that? These type of concerns can be solved if you are prepared to carry a large checked bag. When it comes to a carry-on bag, you need to focus on what you will actually need.

  • Buy stuff at your destination

If you know it will be possible to purchase things like toothpaste or deodorant or a travel umbrella in case of rain, then you can. When you arrive you can get the shampoos and conditioners, body wash and so forth. Read about size of bottles and also what you can’t take in your carry-on bag.

  • Things you can’t leave out in your carry-on bag!

Planes can be breeding places for illness-causing bacteria. These anti-bacterial wipes are highly recommended! You won’t be sorry!

This is an over-the-counter traveler’s diarrhea preventative which has been formulated to be high in antibodies to help maintain your digestive health while traveling. It’s not an antibiotic but a 10 day supply will protect you from bacteria – to stay in top form while traveling.

  • Hydrating lotion & lip balm

Planes lack a lot of humidity, leaving your skin and lips dehydrated more than usual. Keep moisturizing lip and body lotion on hand in small quantities such as organic coconut oil which is like a 2 in 1.

  • Warmth

No matter where you are going, something warm will be needed. Thermal cardigans are lightweight and good space savers.

  • Snacks

Light, healthy snacks are so helpful in time of need, and if you can squeeze in a few protein bars, almonds, and dried fruit, these can help out in times of need. Stash in also an empty collapsible water bottle that you can fill after you pass security; not only does it save money, but it takes up little space in your bag.

  • Noise-canceling headphones

The instances where these come in handy while traveling are endless – they are known also to reduce stress. Exhaustion or headaches that can occur after a flight can be reduced or even completely prevented with a great pair of these.

Packing these essential items on your next trip will make those long travel days so much easier! Bon voyage!