If you’ve ever visited my channel OrganizedLikeJen (OLJ) on YouTube, then you know that not only do I have a great love for organization, but an even greater respect for the art of packing. I love to pack. It is something I do often, as my husband and I travel quite a bit. It is something I do well. I don’t consider myself much of an expert on anything. That is, anything except for packing. I am a gosh darn good packer, if I do say so myself (loud and proud!). This doesn’t mean that I am a minimilist packer. On the contrary, many would say I tend to overpack. I would have to disagree. Packing is a very individual thing and what one needs during travel is not a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. I tend to bring exactly what I need and a little bit extra as a better-safe-than-sorry type of gal. On any given trip I use between 90-100% of the items I bring with me. To me that signifies a well-thought out packing job. With that being said, please take in mind whenever watching my packing-related videos or reading my packing-related blog posts, that I show what works for me. You might not feel the need to travel with three different kinds of cameras, emergency clothing, or journals in your carry-on bag, but I do. To each their own.
I am always recieving requests to post updated ‘What’s In My Carry-On” videos on OLJ. Since I have now posted SIX carry-on videos (links to all below if you’re interested) since I first started my organization channel, I decided maybe a blog post update would be a better idea. This also makes sense because I am using the same bag from the last two carry-on videos with only minor adjustments. That bag is the 17″ Roll Along Tote in Mocha Rouge by Vera Bradley (pictured above). It was a birthday gift from exactly one year ago and I have been in love with it ever since.
I keep my Lug Life Undercover Bear travel pillow & a small reusable shopping bag (in case I purchase snacks) in the generously spacious front slip pocket.
The more shallow of the two has a special built in “Checkpoint Friendly” laptop case. When I go through security I can just zip open this top compartment & lay it flat (as show in the previous picture), leaving my laptop safely inside while it travels through the X-ray machine. I love not having to remove my laptop from the security of this padded pouch! I do still keep a protective hardshell case on my laptop at all times. I am currently using a Kuzy Rubberized Hard Case Cover in a beautiful Tiffany blue color.
There are several pockets on the other side of this compartment that I use to stash magazines, pens, a Starbucks giftcard, and personal hygiene essentiels (filed under the better-safe-than-sorry category) for quick & easy access.
The flat side has two zippered compartments. The top mesh one is usually where I keep my vlogging camera (a Canon Powershot Elph 300 HS) in its 1154 Lill Studio Kari case as well as mints, gum, & a small snack (Luna bars are my favorite on the go).
I usually stash my personal journal (safe inside its Jonathan Adler case), the lock that came with the bag, and extra ziplock bags in the lower zippered compartment.
I always travel with a Vera Bradley Ditty Bag (shown here in the matching Mocha Rouge pattern), which is a lightweight pouch lined in plastic. I keep a set of leggings or mesh shorts as well as an extra pair of underwear in this in case of emergency during travel or for unexpected delays or cancellations. I always travel with my Bose Quiet Comfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones in a velvet pouch, a trail mix snack, and fuzzy socks in the case of a chilly airplane.
I use several different kinds of pouches to house all of my cameras and cords. I keep my Sony Handycam HDR-150CX, charger & USB cord in a small SORT Electronics Case. I keep my Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR camera in a Crumpler Haven (size medium). I just posted my first impressions on this case (see blog post DSLR Camera Accessories Haul).
I keep all of my computer cords & accessories in an Eagle Creek Pack-It Quarter Cube, including the power cords, mouse, an external hard drive, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter, & a Smart Charger (for emergency iPhone battery replenishment).
I keep my iPhone charger, my two other camera chargers & extra batteries in an Eagle Creek Small PackIt Sac.
I prefer packing my jewelry in my carry-on bag as opposed to in my checked luggage. I’ve been using this Hanging Jewelry Roll for the past 6 months for travel and absolutely love it! Check for a new video soon on OLJ on how I pack my jewelry for travel.
I am a big fan of the “Walking Pharmacy,” as I like to call it, which is a case in which I store all of my daily necessities & small emergency items. I filmed an entire video on what I keep in my travel walking pharmacy if you’d like a more in-depth look.
I have been enjoying using my Louis Vuitton Insolite wallet for travel, because I can fit my phone in the large zippered compartment. I’ve attached an 1154 Lill Studio Jane Wristlet to it so I can easily manage the wallet when I need my ID for checkin & security. It’s also nice when traveling with Don to leave my bag with him at the gate while I make a dash for a water bottle or to use the restroom before the flight.
Lately I have been traveling with what I call my “Creative Necessities Pouch” (CNP). I love to make lists, plans things out on paper, and doodle/daydream with colorful pens & stickers. I keep a small pad of paper, a Moleskine Cahier Journal, sticky notes & tabs in a variety of colors & sizes, a multi-color jumbo pen, whiteout tape, magnetic paper clips, & a variety of stickers in my CNP. I’ve taken to carrying this in my larger size purses when I know I am going to have some downtime during any particular outing. It has become a wonderful addition to my travel carry-on bag as well.
As you can see, I use every nook & cranny of my Roll Along Tote. I love that I can easily fit all of my electronics valuables, and personal odds & ends in it. The fact that the bag can fit under the seat in front of me on the airplane is the icing on the cake! I appreciate having my bag & its contents right at my feet for easy access. It’s on sale right now at VeraBradley.com for a much reduced price, which leads me to believe that they might be discontinuing this model. I hope that means they will replace it with a newer model if nothing else, because it truly is the perfect carry-on in my opinion and I think that many others would agree.
If you’d like to see my carry-on videos from over the past few years, I am listing & linking them below:
❊ Summer Travel: Carry-On Essentiels (July 10, 2012)
❊ What’s In My NEW Carry-On & How To Pack for an Out of Town Race (February 24, 2012)
❊ Yet Another Carry-On Bag Video (September 5, 2011)
❊ Packing Organization: Carry-On (May 17, 2011)
❊ What’s In My Carry-On, Part 2 (November 17, 2010)
❊ What’s In My Carry-On, Part 1 (November 17, 2010)
*I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own.*