Carry-On Essentials

Good Morning, everyone! At the time of this post being published, I’ll be up in the sky on my return flight back to Boston from San Diego. I’ve been there since Saturday morning, and the trip has definitely been… Something… That’s for sure.

Unfortunately, my time in Southern California wasn’t particularly good for multiple reasons- but I’ll get into that when I wrap up this month in my “In A Nutshell” post that’s scheduled for next week. Timing was off. Illnesses sprung up. The days leading up to and following my birthday were, at times- disappointing if not downright chaotic.

I get a second chance when I head to Las Vegas next weekend- but for now- I’m just looking forward to going home and spending time with my friends and family and trying to regain some peace and perspective.

I digress. I thought now would be as good a time as any to share what I take with me in my carry-on bag whenever I fly. Skipping over the usuals: wallet, phone, keys, and earbuds (for that in-flight movie or to drown out the screaming toddler seated behind you.) I always have a few products on hand to help my skin, my complexion, and my sanity when the cabin pressure changes or I’ve been sitting/sleeping in my seat for just a little too long.

Here’s what’s always in my bag when I fly:

Whenever I’m on a cross-country flight, my skin- particularly on my hands- goes from being comfortable to bone dry and sore before we’ve even hit the halfway mark to the destination. It’s brutal- and it’s the reason I always keep a TSA-approved sized tube of hand lotion/cream in my bag to slather on before take-off, during the flight, and when we’re descending to keep my skin soft and hydrated. I’ve been loving this one from Crabtree & Evelyn lately. It smells divine and is loaded with ingredients that are actually good for my skin and don’t leave my palms feeling greasy or slick.

I don’t wear makeup when I fly anymore- at least not foundation, concealer, mascara, etc.- because it looks awful by the time I land. Instead, I keep a lightweight moisturizer or mist in my bag and a moisture-packed lipstick or lipgloss to swipe on occasionally to keep myself from looking like something out of ‘The Walking Dead’ mid-flight. For this trip, I packed this buttery, color-changing coral shade from Lipstick Queen with me since the hue makes me feel like I’m in the middle of Summer when I wear it (perfect for SoCal!)

I always need to have my planner with me. It’s a lifesaver and at any point during my travels, my itinerary can change with little to no warning at all (this most recent trip saw some confusion with the gate number during a layover.) Having something I can jot down important details at any given time and that keeps those details organized and easy-to-read is crucial for me. I rarely go anywhere without this (adorable!) aqua-colored weekly organizer for 2018 attached to my hip in some way, shape or form.

I used to try to sleep on flights with oversized sunglasses pulled across my face- but I’ve noticed a pattern in the people who are usually sitting around me when I travel. Regardless of how early the flight is- there are always those one or two people who have to keep opening and shutting the window cover throughout the duration of the trip- and let me tell you- getting repeatedly blasted by unexpected sunlight in your face when you’re trying to take a nap is the worst.

Instead, I just tug this zebra-print eye mask from Pier 1 over my face to block out any brightness and keep my eyes from looking puffy and tired when I awake from my in-flight mini-coma.

And, naturally- I can’t very well get up and just brush my teeth when I wake up from a power nap- so I have to make do with some seriously strong gum or breath mints to keep my mouth minty fresh until I reach my destination (and my hotel bathroom!) to freshen up. I personally like these mega-strong, long-lasting, sugar-free mints from Breath Savers. They taste really good and work incredibly well.

And finally, this miracle in a spray bottle comes courtesy of Caudalie and has pretty much saved my complexion whenever I travel on the weekends or take (rarer) longer vacations like this most recent trip to San Diego. A couple of spritzes of this directly to my skin (I typically dab it on with a cotton ball, though- just to make sure it’s being evenly applied to  the more problematic areas where I might need it the most)– and I’m immediately refreshed. My skin feels clean, hydrated and looks mattified and clear. It’s a game changer- and a travel sized bottle only costs $18.

And that is what I keep in my carry-on! Just a handful of necessities to get me from coast to coast with the least amount of stress possible. These items/products will be re-joining my bag next weekend when I head out to spend a few days with one of my girlfriends in Nevada- since that’s another pretty lengthy flight, too!

If you have any carry-on essentials you want to share- feel free! I’d love to hear about them!

As for me? I’ll be seeing you all again back on the East Coast!


– Ashley –

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