I have been living out of a backpack for 17 months now. At this point, packing for a flight has become routine and, although I haven’t yet mastered the art of traveling with only a carry on full time (my washbag is admittedly taking up way too much room in my backpack), I have been doing well with the 15kg weight constraint of some domestic airlines. Today I thought I would share with you my absolute carry on essentials for a comfortable and productive flight. There are admittedly many more items that I take in the cabin with me, but I usually store them in the overhead. Below are the items I keep handy in my “personal item” and make use of without fail.
1.MATT & NAT CROSSBODY VEGAN LEATHER BAG
I’m super excited to announce that I have become a collaborator on the blog of Matt & Nat, a Canadian vegan bag company I’ve always looked up to. In my monthly posts, I discuss anything and everything pertaining to traveling as a vegan and leading a healthy lifestyle on the road. The company was so gracious to send me this little bag which quickly became a travel essential. I can put all my small items in there along with my passport, boarding pass, money and phone and wear it safely across my body. I find it super stylish too.
2. TOMS CLASSICS
This is the second pair of Toms I have gone through since I have been backpacking in Asia. Not only are they lightweight, cute and easy to dress up or down with everything and anything, they are also super comfortable and keep my toes warm in the freezing cabin! That’s all without mentioning the ethical aspect of them.
3. KINDLE PAPERWHITE
Call me a grandma, but I often still stare at my Kindle in amazement. A few years ago, my backpack was severely weighed down by just a few books and now I have this wafer-thin gadget that weighs next to nothing and can contain thousands of books. I mean, it’s cool, no? Yes, ok, you can call me a grandma.
4. VEGAN SNACKS
People are always impressed at the food I manage to smuggle on planes, but the reality is that there aren’t generally many rules on what food you are and aren’t allowed on board, unless it’s some weird, exotic, stinky fruit or something liquid – I once passed a Tupperware of oatmeal through security and was told that if it jiggled I wasn’t allowed it – but it didn’t! Yay for congealed overnight oats! Fruits are always good for short flights, and unless I can specifically request a vegan meal, I always pack sandwiches, salads, nuts, granola bars, etc.
5. NOTEBOOK & PEN
I’m trying real hard to get into the habit of writing stuff by hand more, but I’m a self-professed technology addict. I use this beautiful Jaipur hand printed cotton notebook and Burmese rosewood pen as a plan B for when my phone had died and I am really inspired – which is often when I’m commuting.
6. SMART PHONE
Believe it or not, this is what most of my blog posts are written on. Yes, this is all coming to you from very tiny keys. I can write on the go from anywhere and everywhere and will write mostly during commutes and at the beach. I am not sure if I am exaggerating when I say that my iPhone is pretty much my life: phone, internet, camera, notepad, dictionary, currency converter, social media, newspaper, banking tool, language apps, maps, fitness and meditation companion. It’s just a necessity.
7. FJALLRAVEN KANKEN CLASSIC BACKPACK
This bag is practical and stylish. And Scandinavian, but that’s a given.
8. MUJI NECK PILLOW & CUDDLE SAUSAGE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Over the year, I have gotten into the weird habit of sleeping with a bolster – especially practical when the weather is too hot to hug a man, or if there is no man at all – which in my case, there isn’t. It’s been dubbed my cuddle sausage. Fasten the clip and it’s a neck pillow, unfasten and it’s a cuddle sausage. Such a versatile sausage.
What are your travel essentials?