Leaving on a Jet Plane . . . What’s in my Carry-On Bag?



I love to travel be it across an ocean or within the U.S.A. There is something exciting about discovering something new or seeing the familiar in a new light.

Where I’m going and how I’m getting there is  always my first consideration when it comes to packing.  Plane, train, or automobile, is key. When I travel by plane, I use my rollerboard luggage to make it easy to move through the airport. Then, to check or not to check, is the question. What size plane am I flying? If it is a small regional plane where you have to check anything larger than a lunchbox, then I pack to check. Domestic or international is my next question. Carry-on restrictions for some international carriers are smaller than on domestic carriers. I also have to be able to lift my bag over my head into the overhead bin. When you are vertically challenged, like I am, this is key.

My current trip is oversees. That means I will have a carry-on bag full of things I want to make certain arrive with me, things I will need while traveling, and items  that would be difficult to replace, especially in a foreign country.  This list is usually longer and more comprehensive than when I travel domestically. So, what’s in my international carry-on?



This trip, I’m using my T. Anthony duffel. If I need to, I can check this bag for the trip home.  It is durable and I don’t need to be worried about it traveling under the plane. Added bonus for the fact that it is roomy, has multiple compartments, is light, durable, and has a shoulder strap for carrying.

First into my bag is an LV cosmetic case with medicine. Since I’m traveling internationally, I carry a few extras here. The usual of contacts, contact solution, eye drops, Advil, vitamins, and my inhaler go in accompanied by a ridiculously large selection of bandaids, and Emergen-C.  I also add a few extra disposable tooth cleaners.  They are indispensable on a overnight flight.

Next in is a clear zip case with power cords, earbuds, and extra battery packs. I’m flying for close to twenty hours this time and I want something to entertain me. I also make certain I’ve got iPad, iPod, and Kindle – all fully charged. This case also has my converter and adapter.  The clear case let’s me see everything at a glance so I can quickly grab what I’m looking for.  A large ziplock bag serves the same purpose.

My camera bag with camera, extra SD cards, extra batteries -all fully charged, and charger is next.  On my first trip oversees I learned my lesson as my camera battery died on the funicular on Anacapri. The first thing I did upon returning home was purchase extra battery packs.

Snacks go in next. On the menu this time are Godiva Milk Chocolate Pearls, breakfast bars, and Pringles.  These go in a ziplock bag so they don’t roll around the bottom of my bag.  The ziplock saves you if the packaging fails.  You don’t want melted chocolate pearls everywhere.

Makeup kit that meets TSA requirements goes on top so it is easy to get out and put back after I clear security.

Travel guide, itinerary in a circa binder with all the details of my trip printed out, passport, and foreign money go in on the top.

A cashmere poncho, bed socks, and boudoir pillow are stuffed in the side pocket where I can get to them if  needed.  There is nothing worse than being cold on a long flight. Anything that helps make things comfortable is a plus, thus the pillow and the socks.



The Beach Reading List


Did I mention how much I love to read? As a child I was seldom without a book. My Mom introduced me to the Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children. When I was sick with chickenpox, My Aunt read Secret of the Old Clock to me creating a Nancy Drew fan in the process.

I am an eclectic reader. If I have to choose, I would say mysteries are my favorite. There is something appealing about trying to guess whodinnit before the reveal. I also love to read stories set in local and far away places. The ability to escape into someplace familiar or, in the alternative, foreign and be carried away by the story is a characteristic I look for in a good book. Historical fiction, cookbooks, biographies and design books round out my reading list.

Needless to say, I read and read a lot. For vacation, I look for a good story. So what is on my summer book list?  Since it’s still the first of summer, here are highlights from the list. It’s a long list . . . .

Jackie’s Girl by Kathy McKeon

Written by a former personal assistant to Jackie Kennedy, this is a compelling story of life post Camelot at Jackie’s residence in New York known as 1040. The true story of the writer’s immigration to the United States from Ireland and her life as a peripheral member of the Kennedy Clan pays homage to the former first lady and a particular time and place in history.

Mondigliani Scandal by Ken Follett

My introduction to Follett was through the Cathedral series with Pillars of the Earth. He weaves wonderful intricate plots with compelling characters. The Mondigliani Scandal is a bit of a departure from his norm but still has the intrigue of Eye the Needle. A fun read with a surprising albeit predictable ending; it is well worth the read.

On the Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett

Another oldie but goodie by Follett. This is the story of Ross Perot and the Iranian Revolution. A true story that reads like a work of fiction. I found it fascinating and educational.

Dead Ringer by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter

I love vintage Mary Higgins Clark. If I did not know otherwise, I would swear this book was written by Ms. Clark. A great mystery which leaves you guessing to the end. Extra points for weaving Klimt and Nazi stolen art artfully into this present day mystery in a manner that brings awareness to the issue.

The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby

The latest in Crosby’s Virginia winery mystery series, this one delivers again. Light and fun, part mystery and part romance, this is simply a fun read. I recommend the entire series .

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

This is the story of two families intertwined by history and regular vacations at Isle of Palms. Ms. Frank writes stories set on the islands off the South Carolina coast. They are light and fun and she makes it so easy to get lost in the trials and tribulations of her characters. She is one of my go to authors and her latest does not disappoint.