My Packing & Carry On Essentials

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Do you have an exciting trip coming up? Months, weeks, even days away. When planning for a big trip, of course, you have a massive to-do list and are running around like a crazy person trying to prepare yourself.

This is normal and happens to all of us to some extent.

Everyone has a different packing style. No two are alike, and I can respect we all have our methods and routines when preparing for a trip.

What is my packing style? Well…..

I start “mentally” preparing for a trip long before the departure date. However, the physical packing usually doesn't begin until the day before I take off.

When I was preparing to move to Spain for a year, the DAY of my departure I was still scrambling around running a million last minute errands and going over all the important details in my mind.

I finally arrived at the airport with a little time to spare to catch my breath and enjoy a well-deserved glass of wine.

Moments later I had one of those “OH SHIT” moments as I realized I had forgotten all my important visa documents and also accidentally checked in my carry on toiletry bag. WHOOPS!

Does this sound familiar?

I have experienced MANY moments like this. Even just forgetting something so little and unimportant at the time, but then having to purchase it at the airport to make up for it and spending a fortune.

I can't even begin to tell you ALL the ridiculous things I have forgotten at home. Or, all the times I have been panicked and rushed at the airport having to open my suitcase in front of everyone to do the last minute repack.

It has happened far too many times to me, so I just decided NO MORE.

I am definitely not a "professional" packer or expert on this topic in any way. However, many years ago I started to write a little list of all the things that really helped me out at some point while travelling.

The items in this little checklist will simplify your packing and travelling and help you out when you need it.. trust me.

The goal of this blog post is to help save you from experiencing that 'OH SHIT I FORGOT SOMETHING" moment.

FYI - You can click each photo displayed below to get further information.

So, without further ado, let's get started!

NUMBER 1 - Travel Wallet

My FAVOURITE travel wallet. For the past 4 years, this little travel wallet has been my lifesaver. Why? It is made out of eco-friendly PU Leather, which makes it super durable and lightweight (and vegan). I always transfer my things into this wallet before travelling and bring my smaller wallet with me to transfer back to once arrived. Everything has it’s own special place (which makes me feel extra organized). Even a pen holder! Has specialized areas for sim cards or memory cards. It also fits my cellphone perfectly. The cherry on top, you are protected with RFID blocking. Clearly, I am just obsessed with this little travel wallet.

NUMBER 2 - Portable Luggage Scale

THE MONEY SAVER! Hear me out…. luggage these days costs a fortune. Especially in Europe. Some of these budget airlines will charge up to 80€ if you don't purchase it beforehand (*cough, cough Ryanair). This little guy has honestly saved me hundreds. It leaves out the guess work of “does this feel heavy to you?”.

My mom and I once travelled to Barcelona together for 3 weeks, and let's just say, we enjoyed the shopping. At the airport, we were rushed and had incredibly overweight suitcases. We had to buy a carry on bag at the airport for 60€, and we broke it because it was too heavy. During this whole ordeal all I could think about was how much easier this would have all been had we had our little portable luggage scale (and not bought so many pairs of shoes.)

MORAL OF THE STORY - this little gadget will not only save you tons of money but also time. It is a must-have.

NUMBER 3 - Packing Cubes

Honestly.. what did I do before I started using packing cubes? My suitcase would always be a mess. I would absolutely hate having to RE-PACK everything when moving to a new destination. These packing cubes are the best. I have 2 sets of them, and they keep everything so clean and organized. Includes a toiletry bag, laundry bag, and shoe bag as well. I purchased these ones because they are much bigger than the standard sizes. They also have a 5-year warranty, so if anything happens to them, they will replace them. Packing cubes are AMAZING for both suitcases and backpacks. Whenever I am backpacking, I use this single set of 7, and it keeps my backpack so incredibly organized and makes re-packing a breeze. You need these in your life.

NUMBER 4 - Travel Sized Toiletry Essentials

If you are currently unaware of Ursa Major - YOU ARE WELCOME! Honestly, their skin care products are some of the best I have ever used. All of their products have no petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, parabens, synthetic fragrance or colour, glycols, silicones or PEGs. Is also cruelty-free and vegan. This little kit is my BEST FRIEND while travelling (especially long-haul flights.) In the little box, you will find every product you could possibly need in the perfect travel size (all less than 100 ml.).

Inside this fantastic box, you will find -

FANTASTIC FACE WASH

Invigorating, sulphate-free cleanser with a natural brightening complex. 

ESSENTIAL FACE TONIC

Refreshing, multi-purpose cleanser, exfoliator, soother and hydrating.

FORTIFYING FACE BALM

Lightweight, serum-like moisturizer with robust calming properties. 

ESSENTIAL FACE WIPES

Individually-wrapped bamboo wipes infused with 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic. 

HOPPIN' FRESH DEODORANT

Crisp, clean and naturally-cooling stick deodorant.

Anytime I am flying overnight or spending quite a bit of time in the airports, I pop over to the washroom and use all 5 of these incredible products, and I feel like a million bucks. The little box keeps it all contained and together PLUS you never have to worry about getting anything taken away at security. HIGHLY recommended!

NUMBER 5 - 4 In 1 Coconut Oil

This little tube is FULL of magic. All that is inside is 100% USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified™, Virgin, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil. Did you know that Coconut Oil has MANY uses? While travelling, I use this bad boy as a hair de-frizzer. ESPECIALLY when you step off the plane in a humid destination.. just rub a little bit of the oil into your hair, and it calms it down completely. It is also an incredible moisturizer. I use it on my face, my hands and my skin. Also acts as one of the best makeup removers. It will take off everything... including waterproof mascara and lipstick (I have put it to the test many times.) Once it gets warmed up on your hands, it becomes super easy to rub on any area. NOW, the dental hygienist in me LOVES this product even more because of it’s AMAZING teeth & dental related benefits. Have you heard of oil pulling? Pop some of this oil into your mouth and swish it around for a minute or so and spit and rinse. It will instantly give your mouth a smooth, fresh feeling and will ALSO leave your teeth a little bit whiter. Like I said, full of magic! I just love how small it is and HOW many different ways I can use it.

NUMBER 6 - Travel Bag - Jewelry Organizer

Before I bought this organizer, I would dread packing jewelry. I would try to come up with creative ways to keep my jewelry organized and untangled but was always unsuccessful. I would arrive at my destination and go to put on a necklace and have to spend 10 minutes trying to untangle it. THEN, I bought this organizer, and it has made my life travelling with jewelry SO much more manageable. It is crazy how much it can hold. There are unique spaces for earrings, rings, and necklaces. It wraps up nice and small and flat, so it is a dream to pack. If you like packing jewelry for a trip, this organizer is a MUST HAVE.

When it comes to jewelry, I am obsessed with Stella & Dot. They always have the most beautiful, yet simple pieces. Be sure to check out all the amazing jewelry they have on sale.


NUMBER 7 - Mobile WIFI Hotspot & Power Bank

COUNTLESS times this little device has saved me. 2 in 1, the Skyroam Solis is by far the best purchase I have made in the last year. Before this, I would typically travel without data or connection and be totally fine going from wifi to wifi. HOWEVER, in 2018 I found myself in two different horrible situations where I was literally stranded in unknown countries by myself without connection and thinking I would be sleeping on the street until I could find an English speaker to help me out. Not good (a story for another time*.) Then, I was introduced to the Skyroam, and it has completely changed the way I travel. What I love the most about this hotspot is that you can buy a day pass only when you need it. For only 8€ a day, you can have unlimited global wifi. I always bring it with me everywhere I go and pick and choose which days I want to use a day pass. OR, if I find myself in an emergency and need wifi, with a simple click, I am connected. Fantastic for business owners and bloggers as well as you can connect your laptop WHEREVER you are and for only 8€ you have an unlimited connection. It is, of course, a little bit on the expensive side (I RARELY ever splurge, and this was a big purchase for me.) But, considering the countless times it has helped me out, I have to say it is the best “travel” purchase I have ever made. It also doubles as a crazy fast power bank. All in all, it is just amazing, and now I always have the security of being able to use my cellphone when I need to in a new country. *ALSO, 5 devices can be connected at once!

NUMBER 8 - Collapsible Water Bottle

Over the past few years, I have definitely been making a conscious effort to reduce my use of plastic. While travelling, I would find myself fixated on the alarming amount of plastic that is being used ALL OVER THE WORLD. Especially while travelling, I can understand that you may be visiting a Country where the tap water is not potable water (in this case you HAVE to buy water which 95% of the time is only available in plastic.) In every single airport, I have ever been to, there is an accessible place where you can fill up a reusable bottle with potable water. This little collapsable water bottle is incredible. It rolls up SO small, is FDA Certificated + BPA free, leak proof, and can carry up to 1L. Such a simple, easy little bottle that will make a HUGE impact on plastic waste around the world.


These 8 items have changed the way I travel FOREVER.

Most of these I didn't even realize I needed them until I REALLY needed them.

My packing style has changed drastically over the last few years, and now I find myself packing less and less and ONLY bringing along the things I know I will honestly use and wear.

I created this list to share with you my favourite 8 travel items that have made my life so much easier and made me feel incredibly organized, comfortable and safe.

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Are there any other incredible travel products you have discovered that have changed the way you travel?

Comment below to tell me ALL about them!

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xo, elaina