Carry-On Bag Essentials

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

 

Before our trip to Colorado last week, I took photos of my Carry-On Bag Essentials so I have a visual to refer to next time I’m packing—which should be soon. We have a few trips coming up before 2019 ends!

 

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

 

 

 

First, let’s talk about my travel backpack. I spent a long time researching carry-on bags online. I used to have a LUG bag many years ago for my camera bag and was happened to see that they’re still around. I’ve used this for a 1-week-long trip and it has worked out well so far!

It also has a removable strap if you want to wear it crossbody, but I used it mostly as a backpack. 

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

What I love about my carry-on travel backpack is that it opens up like a doctor’s bag. That’s honestly what sold me cuz I like to SEE EVERYTHING IN MY BAG AT ONCE. The hardware does add a little extra weight to the bag but I feel like it’s easily worth it. 

Look at how much it fits (including my purse AND a sweatshirt!).

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I am totally Felix the Cat with my bag of tricks.

You already know this by looking inside my purse

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

See also: What’s In My Bag?

Before I started packing, I created a handwritten list of my Carry-On Bag Essentials.

 Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I then laminated my list with my laminator so I would have something to refer to next time I pack. 

The best part about laminating a list is that you can use a dry erase pen to mark it up.

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

The other side of my laminated list has a photo of what’s in my backpack so I can easily SEE what I need.

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

When I travel, I have to take my work with me. That’s how I’m able to continue to continue to post my weekly I LOVE LISTSMY EVERYDAY LIFE  and my INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK  when I’m out of town.  I always make sure to carve out time to edit my photos while I’m away. That accountability is how I keep my creativity alive. 

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

TECHNOLOGY ESSENTIALS INCLUDE:

iPad Pro (with iPencil and case)

camera- Fuji XT-3

 laptop

kindle paperwhite

iPhone

headphones

I make sure I have all of the corresponding chargers/plugs, etc.

You can see how I normally organize my cords when I’m not traveling here.

When I travel, I like to pack my cords/chargers up in  these bags .

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I really like how they expand to fit whatever you put inside.  I use binder clips to hold my cords together. 

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

Baggu zip bags are my favorite. I also use one for my art bag. Baggu comes out with seasonal patterns so check out for new ones often.

Having patterns on my bags helps make my life more fun.  Plus, I know what pattern goes to which category of items so it builds good muscle memory when I’m looking for what I need. 

Here’s my ART BAG! It’s bright and cheerful. It reminds me to play.

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I wanted to work in my Currently Workbook while I was on our trip, so I brought some of my favorite art supplies with me. 

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I make sure I have my favorite pens in my bag when I am traveling.  I keep them in my favorite pen case and make all the good ones are in there.  If I bring my travel watercolor kit, I’ll make sure to bring a squirt bottle, so I can activate my paints on the go.

Look!  This is me painting on the airplane last week!! 

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I also have a roll-up pen case that I keep my paintbrushes, brush pens and crayons in. It helps keep them safe from bending and it’s so nice to be able to roll out my tools when I need them. Very good for children too. 

I like to be prepared when I’m working in my sketchbook.

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

And we move onto my paper goods…

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

Paper Goods:

Currently Workbook

Moleskine 18 Month Calendar

Food Journal

Moleskine blank sketchbook

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I like to keep my makeup bag and my purse essentials in my carry on bag. You never know what will happen to your bags so it’s nice to have some essentials. I usually pack a small toothbrush and toothpaste to be safe, as well as an extra pair of underwear, socks and a black pashmina scarf. It helps keep me warm, works as a good blanket and I can put a little bit of essential oil on it and huff it when I’m sensitive to smells while traveling.

Also essential: EOS Hand Sanitizer Spray I like the smell and it doesn’t make my skin really dry and gross.

I wrote a post a long time ago about some of my on-the-go travel essentials and most of them are still in my rotation.

Sunscreen usually gets stored in my toiletry bag unless I didn’t put it on and we are traveling to some place sunny.

Carry on Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

I almost always have a water bottle with me (this one is easy to clean and has one of my MAGIC HAPPENS stickers on it) as well as tea bags (for the plane!) and snack bars. Sometimes I pack my own trail-mix in a baggie so I have something to snack on. It can get SO EXPENSIVE when you’re buying it at the airport.  I am really enjoying how a few of the airports I’ve been in lately have water bottle filling stations.  And they’re filtered too!  If I am feeling like the water might have a weird taste, I use an Emergen-C packet to flavor it. 

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.Y

You know what’s the best part about my travel backpack.????

There’s a part on the back that hooks onto the handle of my suitcase!

I don’t even have to carry anything while I’m walking through the airport.

Everything gets rolled (smoothly!) until I check on my luggage.

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

 Thanks for reading my Carry-On Bag Essentials.

Is there anything you’d add that I didn’t???!!!

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  • Eleanor

    Tracy you are such an inspiration to me! To travel with all those notebooks and art supplies–to commit yourself to creativity so thoroughly even when it literally weighs you down. I love it! Thanks for sharing (packing lists or what’s in your bag are a favorite of mine on any blog or site 🙂 )

  • Trica

    What an awesome post! I am leaving for southeast Asia tonight so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I definitely got a bunch of useful tips from you, as usual.

    One of my essentials is sanitizing wipes to clean the heck out of the tray table, arm rests, light button, etc, Following ‘PassengerShaming” on Insta has upped my awareness to how gross planes can get.

  • Tammy

    This is an awesome and most helpful post. Love the organization and inspiration. The things I always make sure I have in my carry-on besides many already in yours are medications.

  • Colleen

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ‘what’s in my bag’ posts, right up there with ‘what’s in my fridge.’ Thank you for this, it’s fun to see what other people find essential to be on the plane with them and to get ideas. I am going to pore over this tonight when I have time to dive deep and savor.

  • Kathy Stahl

    Thanks for the very timely post! Just wondering, how much does that all weighs?

    I am trying to get my head around traveling internationally with the following baggage limitations – checked 23 kg (about 50 lbs)and carry on 8kg ( 17.5 lbs.) There are, of course, dimensions to match the weight.
    Just wondering are you taking your camera without a protective bag??

  • Ajvi

    a small umbrella!

  • Susan

    Love that iPad cover. What are you using to hold your Apple Pencil to it?

  • Amanda

    Great post! Just curious…do you end up bring a ziplock baggie to put all the liquids from your carry-on?

  • lee

    That backpack carry-on looks amazing!! I just started using a vintage Samsonite tote for a carry-on and am enjoying its potential; but I will have to keep this brand in mind for future needs.

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