When I pack my carry-on I have to make sure to be prepared for anything. Perhaps the pups and I will be stuck overnight (or all day... it's happened... the dogs ended up eating Qdoba because I wasn't prepared that day, it wasn't pretty) or maybe I'll end up highly symptomatic. I like to always be prepared for as much as possible.
I'll go bag by bag in this post to show you what goes into my carry on. I do not have the water bottles (empty until I am through TSA) for myself and the pups as I had already put them in the bag at the time of this photo... but they are the H2O4K9 bottle and my Camelbak Eddy.
Front right you see a couple dog toys and a small bag of dog food. I am trying to rearrange the dog's bag to fit the toys other than Izzy's ball as I think they will fit and make for less lose items in my bag so less chance of losing something when I open my bag. This is simply for if we end up over night or with a really long delay so that I can take them to a pet relief area and let them eat and relax a bit since flying can be stressful for all of us. The ball needs to come with me because if the airline were to lose my luggage and the ball was in there Isabel would freak out as that ball is basically her binky... she sleeps with it and pretty much has it with her 24/7.
Next back is my clear quart sized bag of liquids and gels. This has the following:
The pink polka dot bag is the pup's bag which has:
Isabel's orange ball doesn't fit in the bag so it goes in alone.
We'll skip over the rectangular bag for now as that is my Medical Kit and we'll get into that in detail later.
At the back of the left side you can see my Kindle, laptop, a notebook and a hand fan in case I get overheated (my temperature doesn't always regulate well and overheating can make me more symptomatic).
On to the right side of the photo!
First you will see my checkbook and passport. I forgot to place my wallet, keys and phone in the photo but all of these will go in the front pouch for quick retrieval. I always have to check in at the desk to pay for the pet fees and arrange/make sure they have a wheelchair for me if I am feeling poorly as I won't be able to stand for long periods which if a sure bet at larger airports. This is easily arranged when you book your ticket or you can just give the airline a call and let them know. You could also do so at the airport but you may have to wait longer.
Behind that is my hygiene bag:
This bag is fairly thin. It contains a toothbrush, tissues, microfiber cloth, wipes and feminine hygiene products (not pictured). Everything else that would be in this bag needs to be placed in the quart bag for TSA.
The bag behind the hygiene bag I have since combined into my medical bag so I will not be using it. It contained hydration items like Ceralyte, Thermotabs, and a collapsible cup to mix the Ceralyte in should I get symptomatic and need a quick boost. It isn't as good as an IV of course but it does help and is a great stopgap when traveling.
Next is 'Eye Care and Makeup'. Pretty simply it contains extra contact, my glasses, a contact case and my makeup. I keep my makeup pretty simple most of the time so this is most likely the only makeup I will bring with me (lip stick pencil, eye pencil, compact, eye color, and mascara) for the trip. This is the smallest bag of all the pouches I organize with.
I purchased the puppy paws bag for the dog items but potty pads don't fit well in it (sad day) so it is now my "School" pouch. Since I am in grad school I will pretty much always have homework to complete while I am on my trip. It's a given, so I prepare for that fact as best as I can. This pouch contains the calculator my professor specified we have for the course, highlighters, and pens. Since it was so empty I ended up adding my cooling off items to this bag as well to better utilize space: the fan you see in the top photo, a neck cooler bandana (dehydrated to get through TSA), and a headband. The neck cooler in the photo is not dehydrated... I needed to use it yesterday so it is still airing out. I have since purchased another one just in case. Many times you will see me working on homework on my laptop while waiting on a layover or upcoming flight time. When I was teaching I would use that time to work on future lesson plans or grading. I like to have as little wasted time in an airport as possible since using that dead time wisely will mean more fun time once I arrive. Always a plus, am I right? If I won't have access to homework or don't have any then I will bring some cross-stitch work or a book of puzzles with me to keep busy.
Finally we get to the "Cords and Electronics" pouch. It has extra re-chargeable batteries for all of my medical gadgets as well as a USB charger for them, a wireless mouse, portable hard drive, flash drive and cords for all of my devices. It does not have the cord for my laptop as that one is too large for the pouch so my laptop cord just goes in the bag alone.
I used my workout clothes to represent a pair of lightweight clothes since my luggage has been lost before (coming from Korea... 26 hours on several planes not including the travel time to the airport or the hours early they want you to arrive for international flight and I didn't have luggage on the other end. It was sooo not OK). I typically will lay out a pair of lose pants, top, and undergarments then tightly roll them and place them in the bottom of my bag. I will need to iron (if they are ironing necessary clothes... this time they are not) but at least I will have clean clothing if we get stuck somewhere without luggage.
I dress in layers when traveling so that I can adjust to whatever temperature it is and however my body is acting at any particular moment. Honestly I dress in layers most of the time in general for the same reason. When I am traveling you will find me most typically in lose pants and top with a thick sweater or sweatshirt depending on the trip. And flats or athletic shoes... I never wear heels in an airport as it is sure to be a mistake for me. I bring/wear compression stockings... especially if I have had a hard week or am feeling tired or symptomatic. These can be a lifesaver. I also have a neck pillow attached to the outside of my backpack and, if I can fit it in, a small blanket in case I get cold on the plane (temperature regulation issues remember... I pack for being cold and hot). I was able to fit everything, including a travel blanket, into my Isopack if you were wondering.
OK, that Medical bag... this one is a big one and an important one. In it I have:
This bag is one that stays in my backpack full time but I have to remove the liquid medications when traveling so it gets a little reorganized. If I'm not flying then you will find the liquid medications in here that are currently in my liquids and gels quart sized bag just like you would normally find most of the other items in the quart bag in either the eye care or hygiene bags when I am not traveling.
It seems like a lot... and it is, but I prefer bringing more than necessary but being prepared rather than the alternative. Something as simple as overheating which would be a nuisance to most can ruin my vacation as it will cause me to become more symptomatic. This would leave me exhausted and sick by the time I arrive which could take days to recover from. Your carry-on should fit who you are and what your needs for the trip are in my opinion. This bag will hopefully never be fully utilized but it allows me to have the best possible trip so it fit my needs.
This will be the first trip I am bringing food other than snack sized bars and bags of nuts. According to the TSA regualations there shouldn't be an issue since my cool packs are not gel and I am bringing no liquid foods. I have planned to pack chopped chicken, chopped veggies (fresh and cooked), a salad (the dressing is in my liquids bag), fruit (the website specifies whole fruit so I'll be bringing grapes, a banana and possibly try my luck with a quartered apple) and some nuts and seeds. I have a Spork and Salt and Pepper Plus Spice Dispenser in the front pocket of my bag along with the nuts and seeds assortment. The last few times I have had to travel I ate what was available at the airport and my stomach was very unhappy with that choice. This was most likely due to the gluten and vegetable oil that is in just about everything that I was able to find in the wing of the airport my gate was in. So this time I'm going to bring my own food... I checked with the airline and they are ok with it so long as it follows TSA regulations.
That's my, quite over packed, carry on. It is obviously less packed when I am not bringing the pups and you would likely not need all that I bring since most of it is to manage or get in front of symptoms. Most people also would be fine eating at the airport I imagine as well so that's quite a lot that would be able to disappear from your bag. It works for me right now though so I'll keep bringing it along... until it doesn't anymore, then I'll adjust what goes in my bag. What is in your carry on bag? What is the one thing you cannot forget?