Work + Travel

Carry on must-haves for a stress-free trip


Carryon must haves for a stress free trip Carley Knobloch

Summer travel has been a mash-up of personal and business this year— fun work opportunities and lots of family time at the cottage. No matter who I’m talking to, stress-free travel is on everyone’s mind, and people are constantly asking me about carry-on must-haves to help ease the stress of air travel.

I do have packing my carry-on down to a science at this point, and have gotten to know just what I need to get from airport to airport, stress-free. Real estate in my carry-on bag is a hot commodity (choosing the right bag is a challenge in and of itself), and every ounce counts as I trudge through security and beyond without being weighed down, so it’s critical to pack intentionally. Here’s some of what’s in my carry-on bag these days— hope your travels are safe, stress-free, and fun.

1. RGB X HIPP Nail foundation in F1, $18 | If I’m going anywhere for longer than two business days, I skip a mani and do a couple coats of this before I go. RGB’s polishes are “5-free” (no formaldehyde or other ick) and this color is designed to match your skin tone. So you have a clean look, and it’s easy to touch-up without looking touched up.

2. AM Wipes, $9.95 | You know that not just any cleaner can be safely used on your gadgets, right? These wipes are made for the job. They’re simple to throw into your bag, non-toxic, and they cleanse and de-germ both screens and keyboards without damaging. Perfect for the airport where you touch all kinds of gross stuff, and then hold your phone to your ear… ew.

3. Territory Zig Zag scarf in Indigo, $55 | Not having a scarf in my carry-on is the worst— I get chilly on any flight, no matter how I’m dressed, so a scarf that doubles as a blanket is a must. This one is lightweight enough for summer, but still gives me an extra layer if I need it.

4. Ban.Do Back Me Up Mobile Charger, $30 | There are lots of chargers out there, but this one is both compact and insanely cute. It clips to your iPhone (5 or 5S only) like a fashionable extension, in of-the-moment gold and blush. For non-iPhoners, I love NativeUnion’s Jump Cable.

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (starts at $849) | These days, laptops are out and tablets are in. The Surface Pro 3 is lighter than a laptop, hooks up to a keyboard and runs the whole Office suite when you want to work… and can still screen your favorite flick when you’d rather relax. Plus it features the new Surface Pen, a stylus that feels more like a real ballpoint. Your shoulders will thank you as you trek through the airport with a much lighter bag.

6. Jack Spade Dipped Carpenter bag, $295 | Okay, this is a bit of a splurge. But if you travel as much as I do, you need a bag that can keep up with you, and I have found when it comes to luggage, you get what you pay for. This has all the heft of a man’s bag, with its heavy-duty canvas construction, but that pop of bright blue won’t have you resembling leagues of businessmen. Its roomy, it has a zipper, handles and a shoulder strap. Check, check, check.

7. Indie Lee Hydrating Body Balm, $32 | No matter how much bottled water I guzzle, in-flight air is disastrously dry and wreaks havoc on my skin. I slather this body balm on dry hands and cracked lips, and it’s soothing on a red nose during cold season.  Meticulously crafted from great-smelling plant oils and beeswax, it’s perfectly-sized for travel.

8. Nrml Custom Headphones, $199 | This might be the most brilliant idea I’ve heard in a while: Because one size rarely fits all (especially when it comes to ears), Nrml will 3D print you a custom pair of earbuds that fit your unique ears perfectly. How does Nrml know what fits? Download the app, and in minutes, it’s got perfect measurements. Those little buds they hand out on airlines? Fuhgettaboutit.

9. Gogo Inflight App | Whether I’m catching up on emails or playing TwoDots, I simply can no longer live without WiFi on a plane. On most flights, your chariot to cyberspace will be Gogo, and you can speed things up by having the app on your phone (Apple, Android and Blackberry); it’ll detect GoGo wherever you are. Tip: If you buy a plan before you fly, it’s up to 40% cheaper.

What’d I miss? What’s in your carry-on? Tell me in the comments!

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