Flying can be stressful, which is why strategically packing my carry on bag is so important. Making sure that I have all of my necessary essentials within arms reach in flight is like my adult security blanket. Especially for those long haul flights, sheet masks, along with my goodie bag of beauty products, are among the necessities. You can also find in my bag an assortment of healthy snacks, my laptop, and Beats headphones, to name a few. Just as important as the contents inside your carry on bag is the bag itself. Any travel-friendly, carry on should be lightweight, organized, and as a bonus, expandable. Which is why my current carry on bag obsession is Baggallini’s Expandable Carry On Tote.

For starters, if you are someone who tends to acquire things while traveling, as I do, then you’re going to need this travel bag. I am so impressed with how expandable this bag is… it nearly doubling in size! This is perfect for bringing home any shopping goodies, or for cramming in that extra pair of shoes that didn’t make it into your suitcase. This is the most lightweight, yet durable carry on that I’ve ever seen in this size, which is so amazing because it can fit nearly all of my camera gear.

Another feature that I love about this tote is that it actually zips. I’ve used so many totes as carry-ons, many of which did not have a zipper. Never again will I do this, since I have a tendency to spill things, and it’s totally not secure. You’re storing your most precious personal items in your carry on, so why leave your computer, phone, and passport easily susceptible to theft.

how to pack your carry on bag

I am totally hooked to Baggallini’s products, because of their thoughtfulness to detail and amazing quality. Most of their bags, including this Tote, has a slip on the back, allowing you to slide the bag onto your roller suitcase. Is it not the most frustrating thing to have your bag continuously fall off your suitcase while you are rolling it through the airport. Airports are stressful enough, so having to deal with one less annoyance is always a plus.

If you’re more of a backpack type of traveler, which sometimes I am, let me tell you why you totally still need this tote. Since the bag is so lightweight, simply fold it up, and pack it away in your backpack or suitcase. You will love having this in destination as your day trip bag or beach tote. Not to mention, on the way home, if you decided to do some shopping, you have an extra travel bag handy.

For my never-leave-home-without carry on bag essentials, take a peek at what’s at top of my packing list for every trip.

how to pack your carry on bag


  • Reusable & Foldable Water Bottle
  • Sheet & Under Eye Masks
  • Beats Headphones
  • Thayer’s Toner
  • Shea Butter
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Passport & Boarding Pass
  • Cozy Sweater or Blanket Scarf
  • Electronics (Computer, Phone & Chargers)

how to pack your carry on bag


Organize with Makeup Bags & Pouches –

Don’t just aimlessly throw everything into your bag. Organize products, gadgets, and chargers in separate pouches so you can easily find them by category. Trust me, a blue pouch is going to be much easier to grab out of your bag then a tangled cord wrapped in your hairbrush, camera, and collection of hair ties.

Slot Essentials in the Side Pocket –

Most bags have that one inside, zippered pocket for easy access. Make sure your most used travel products, like lip balm, phone chargers, passport, and boarding pass are tucked away here for convenient access.

*For more packing tips and tricks, read 8 Packing Hacks Every Traveler Should Know


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