A perfectly packed carry-on is essential when traveling. Everyone has their own must-haves, whether it be healthy snacks (I'd rather buy airport Hot Cheetos), a Kindle (I'm old fashioned and love a paperback) or wireless headphones (I still have my corded iPhone ones) every carry-on is as unique as the individual. So, while I won't share every single thing in my suitcase, these are the five things I cannot leave my apartment without.
A Backpack - A backpack IS cool. When traveling for work I need access to all customs documents, carnets, my laptop, etc. at a moments notice. So, I always travel with my rolling carry-on and a backpack that fits under my seat for easy access on flights. I obsessively organize it with a toiletries kit, a document envelope/binder, cables and chargers, my laptop and anything else that I could possibly need throughout the flight. I do not want to go into the overhead bin because let's be honest...aside from those who clap when a plane lands, someone getting up 20 times to open the bin above you on a red-eye is the worst... hence, the backpack solution. I swap out my backpack after every shoot season because it gets destroyed. So for the 2021 shoot year I am eyeing this one by Lululemon because compartments are key.
Passport Holder - I love my passport holder from Madewell. It is so chic and you can have personalized with your initials...I got these as a Christmas present for some of my friends last year. It is an easy way to keep your travel cards/documents organized when jetting off on your next vacation or work trip. Mine contains my vaccination card (some countries require), my Global Entry ID, my passport and any entry or exit forms given for a destination. There is nothing worse than getting to an airport and realizing you left an exit form in the safe at the hotel... three hours away from the airport (this happened to me on our Tulum shoot back in 2017). So, do yourself a favor and purchase a passport holder or travel wallet and keep all those forms together and ready-to-go.
Compression Socks - These will be your best friend on a 15 hour flight. They boost circulation and help prevent blood clots and swelling. They are the first thing I throw into my backpack because I would not survive without them. Once I have completed my moisturizing plane routine (below,) I put these on, sit back and order myself a mimosa. Compression socks keep your feet from falling asleep and able to fit back into your shoes once you have landed. I'd say that's a win.
Moisturizing Lotions - The second I sit down on any flight I moisturize. Airplanes can dry out your skin in .5 seconds (okay, not scientifically proven) and one can never have too many lotions. The second I turned 30, I invested in moisturizing, anti-aging creams for every part of my body. Need a neck cream or a bum cream (no really it's a thing)... I have a recommendation for you. On flights I really only bother with two - a face cream and a hand cream because they are what is exposed to that harsh airplane air. For face cream I swear by this FRESH Lotus Anti- Aging Daily Moisturizer and for a red-eye I add my Sunday Riley Night Oil. Once my face is nice and hydrated I apply BELIF - The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb to my hands. This is supposed to be used as a face cream, but it is the only thing that keeps my hands from drying out on flights.
A Portable Charger - How many times have you gotten onto a flight and realized the outlets under your seat do not work? Unless I am extremely unlucky, this has most likely happened to you as well. Everyone on our crew travels with these chargers from Mophie. They charge any type of electronic and are useful when you're one hour into a 48 hour travel day and realize your phone decided not to charge the night before. So, buy one or two, have them fully charged and always ready to access when flying. I promise you will not regret the investment.