No surprises here, travelling is my number one hobby and if I had unlimited time and money, I’d be spending my days ticking off every city and country imaginable. Unfortunately, I don’t have unlimited time and money, but I do try pack in as much sight-seeing, food tasting and walking tours as humanly possible, whether I’m traveling for leisure or for work.
This afternoon I’m flying out to Europe for 18 days for work (and a little fun on the weekends!) and I’m determined to improve my packing skills. I’ve always been a ‘let’s pack for any and every occasion’ kinda gal, but then return from every trip only having used half of the clothes and accessories I packed – *face palm*. Since I’m lucky to travel quite a bit for work and fun, I thought it was finally time to get my own matching luggage set and I settled on the Away suitcases – 1 carry-on suitcase and 1 medium suitcase.
When I unwrapped the suitcase for the first time my heart sank a little. I was sure this was going to be far too small for my needs and that I’d need to return it. Thankfully, I had a trial run over Memorial Weekend with my new carry-on and I managed to fit in 6 outfits, 3 pairs of shoes and all my carry-on essentials (see below!) – even leaving room for shopping! Hooray!
After a successful first run, I’m looking forward to taking my new Away suitcases with me across the Atlantic and wanted to share all the bits and bobs I take on board with me to not only survive a flight, but so I’m ready to go the moment I step foot off the plane.
1. 128GB Rose Gold Apple iPhone 7 Plus, $869, apple.com
This is a given, but my iPhone goes everywhere with me. When I’m disconnected on the plane, I make sure I’ve got plenty of Spotify playlists downloaded for offline use (here’s my latest playlist!) and usually spend an hour or so doing some photo admin which mostly involves deleting a bunch of random snaps and clearing space!
2. S’well ‘Wakiki’ Water Bottle, $35, swellbottle.com
I love drinking water, but definitely prefer it when it’s cold. The S’well bottle is amazing for keeping water fresh and cold between airport stop-overs and prevents me from buying too many plastic bottles!
3. Collective Hub Magazine, $9.95, collectivehub.com
The Collective Magazine is my favourite magazine of all time. I’ve never quite found anything like this Australian mag from one of my personal heroes, Lisa Messenger. It’s the perfect mix of business, fashion, life hacks and stories from inspirational women. You can’t go wrong with a magazine that shows advertisements for Master’s degrees instead of diet yoghurt! It’s a little hard to buy in the States so I usually download the latest digital copy to my iPad through the Zinio app before flying.
4. Tory Burch Pineapple Key Ring, $60, toryburch.com
I have a similar pineapple key ring for all my keys, but thought this one was super cute! I love having a sturdy key ring so it’s easy to find my keys in my carry-on, and also love a key ring big enough to add car or Airbnb keys whenever necessary.
5. Insta360 Nano (Gold), $199, amazon.com
I definitely can’t go on a trip now without a 360 camera! The Insta360 Nano is one of my favourite 360 cameras on the market – it’s super affordable, clips straight into your iPhone lightning port and takes 360 photos, videos and Live 360 videos – perfect for remembering a new city!
6. Snap Inc. Spectacles, $129, Snapbot, Los Angeles
I stumbled on a Snapbot in LA over the weekend and managed to pick up some Spectacles. I’m not a Snapchat girl at all, but since my every day work involves understanding how people capture their lives in more immersive ways, I wanted to experiment with Spectacles. I’ll report back after my trip (or follow me on Snapchat at caitlinramrakha to see them in action!)
7. Kate Spade Wallet Hazy Floral Lacey, $106, katespade.com
I think I got my first Kate Spade wallet 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. They’re durable, beautiful and fit a heck of a lot in them. I always buy last season’s style at the factory outlets, so can usually get one for under $100.
8. Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks (3 pack), $15, riflepaperco.com
Rifle Paper Co. products have to be some of my favourite – I’ve got RPC art on my walls in my apartment and seem to collect their notebooks like they’re going out of fashion. I love carrying a few with me on board for when inspiration strikes, or for planning out weekend adventures!
9. Bliss Body Butter (Lemon & Sage), $29, blissworld.com
I wish I could send you this scent through my blog because it’s to die for. I stumbled across this magical body butter when a friend was applying some on herself one day. I asked her what the mesmerizing scent was and it was Bliss Lemon and Sage. 2 days later I found myself in a hotel with this exact body butter – meant to be? I’d say so! This is a great moisturiser for the plane and smells so damn good.
10. Marc Jacobs ‘Daisy’ Roll-on Perfume, $25, sephora.com
I’m trying to expand my perfume collection at the moment, but for roll-on perfume I always come back to this Marc Jacobs classic. Great for topping up before, during and after a plane ride!
11. Rose Gold Business Card Holder, $5, papersource.com
Since I’m travelling for work, I always carry business cards on me, and this cute holder is the perfect way to keep them all together. You never know who you might meet on a plane!
12. 64GB Rose Gold Apple iPad Air 2, $399, apple.com
I carry a lot of tech with my onto a flight, but each serves their own purpose, I promise! I load up my iPad with offline Netlflix shows and books on Kobo. Currently I’m watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B.
13. Rose Gold Beats Wireless Solo3, $230, amazon.com
No one likes getting tangled up in headphones on a plane! I got these wireless headphones from Navin last Christmas and don’t know how I was getting by before hand! Particularly love these when I’m changing between phone, iPad or Mac since I can easily connect my headphones to each device through Bluetooth.
14. Canon 700D DSLR, $499, amazon.com
I’ve had my DSLR for just over a year now, and love taking it with me to new places. I definitely don’t take any photos on the plane, but always make sure my camera is close by and not in my check-in luggage as I’d be devastated to lose it! I also like using long plane rides to go through all the photos on my SD card and do a bit of house-keeping!
15. Australian Passport, $277, passports.gov.au
I’ve still got another 5 years left of my passport, but I’m definitely putting it through the ringer this year! I use a Kate Spade Passport Holder to protect it when I’m not going through customs.
16. Euros, travelex.com
Since I’ll be heading straight to Vienna once I’m off the plane, I’ll be carrying some Euros. It’s always great to have some small local change on you for emergencies, you never know when you might need to pay for a phone call (or get an emergency pastry! ;))
17. Quay Australia Gold Mirrored Sunglasses, $60, asos.com
Nothing says summer to me like oversized sunglasses. I love this pair from Australian brand, Quay, and though they’re more useful for before/after the plane – they can come in handy if you’re flying during sunset/sunrise!
18. Stainless Steel Pen, $12, kikkik.com
I always carry a pen on me to fill in customs cards, take notes, or just lend to the person next to me. Everyone’s always grateful for that person that has a pen just before they land!
19. Rose Gold 42mm Apple Watch Series 2, $399, apple.com
I’m onto month 2 of my Apple Watch so far, and I’ve been loving it! It’s great for knowing when and where my next meeting is when I’m on the go, navigating time zones and weather and checking messages. While I’m overseas I’m really excited to use it for currency conversion and to try out the iTranslate app when I’m trying to decide which schnitzel to get in Austria!
20. Bonds Underwear, $15, bonds.com.au
Once you’ve been that person whose bag doesn’t show up on the baggage carousel after a flight (yep, you can read all about that here) you’ll know just how important a spare pair of underwear is!!! I always throw a pair or two in my carry-on now, though statistically speaking, since I’ve had luggage go missing, it can’t possibly happen to me again… right?!
21. Apple Macbook Air 13”, $999, apple.com
For work trips I always carry my Macbook Air on me. I love getting a bit of work done or doing some email house-keeping if I can get Wifi for domestic flights, but then focus on presentation decks, strategy docs and blogs that I can write when I’m offline for international flights.
22. Away Carry-on Suitcase (Burnt Red), $225, awaytravel.com
Last but not least, I need somewhere to store all these bits and bobs! I’ve had one successful trip with the Away Carry-On and I’m looking forward to many more! Not only does it come with a laundry bag (genius!) but it has an internal battery with TWO USB ports so I can stay charged on the go – yes, yes, yes!
So there you have it, my carry-on essentials (with a slight rose gold theme!) for my trip to Europe. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!