Things I Always Pack In My "Personal Item."

I hate checking luggage. If you have read this blog for a while, you know my passion for the contempt for the idea of checked luggage. I am strategic about what I pack. I am contentious. And thorough.

And that very much extends to the "personal item" I am allotted in my travels.

Personal Item defined: Purse, briefcase, laptop bag OR a similar item such as a tote that does not exceed 36 inches (length+width+height) and must fit under the seat in front of you.

So as I attempt to fit all my needs for the weeks of travel I have ahead of me into a carry-on piece of luggage, in my "personal item" you will find the essentials that are absolutely critical to me.

Meaning... "If for some unfortunate reason the airline forces me to check my carry-on, in my allotted
'personal item' you will find the things that are too freaking essential to my life to go without."

What does that look like?

These are the things you will find in my cross-body shoulder bag that I wear onto the plane. Not pictured is my Macbook Pro. So what is everything in this picture? (Listed from top-left and going clockwise across)

  • Neutrogena Hand Cream
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
  • iPod Nano with Earbuds
  • Leather Travel Journal and Pen
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • iPhone 4S
  • Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer Spray
  • NARS "Tonga" Lip Liner
  • FRESH Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
  • Tom Ford "Nubile" Lipstick
  • Tom Ford "Wild Ginger" Lipstick
  • Stevia Packets
  • Sony Multi-Card Reader (for my camera's memory stick)
  • iPhone USB Connector
  • Kindle Paperwhite Connector
  • Passport
  • Passport Holder/Money Belt Necklace

All of this, plus my eyeglasses case and laptop, fit nicely in my bag. As well as my wallet, of course.

I've found that with all of this travel, the things I use most often are my lipstick (which gives me a pop of color quickly if I need to look presentable - I was blessed with long naturally dark eyelashes) and my hand lotion.

The hand sanitizer became something I added because I wanted to quickly spray down my seat before settling in for the long haul flights.

The Stevia packets became critical to add because I don't like adding artificial sweetener to my coffee on flights.

The rest, I think, is pretty self-explanatory as to why I pack it. (Why would you put your electronics or passport in something that is not always in your presence?)

I've found the iPod comes in handy when I want to "zone out" for 20 minutes or so listening to Shamanic drums or meditation sequences I have in my playlist. (Meditating on planes is one of the best uses of time, I've found. It calms you and helps lull you to rest.)

What do you pack in your "personal item" when traveling?