carry on - pack light

My New Favorite Carry On Accessories

I’m always looking for ways to pack smarter, lighten my carry on, be more comfortable in flight, or maximize what I bring along. I’d mentioned a few things I was searching for over the last few months, and Matt made my Christmas presents mostly travel themed! These three items will really make my carry on & in flight experience a better one. While I haven’t actually been able to test them out yet (we’re on a travel hiatus until the end of March!) these are quite the upgrade to my current carry on situation!

Travelrest Travel Pillow


I am SO EXCITED about this pillow! It looks super goofy, but it is so incredibly comfortable. First of all, I refuse to carry a stuffed or filled neck pillow. I prefer an inflatable pillow because they take up less room when you’re not flying… and I couldn’t bear dragging around a big pillow the other 95% of your trip, but I really can’t get any sleep on a plane without it. The pillow I have is the traditional “C” shape, but I always found myself needing another inch of pillow on the sides to actually rest my head. This cross body pillow is PERFECT! And it folds up to the size of my straightener when deflated. I should also note it has this amazing valve that keeps the air in, and doesn’t leak in between each breath (like a traditional inflatable). You can see the valve in this video.

Contour Eye Mask


I have only started using an eye mask to sleep on planes in the last year. Previously, I thought they were just annoying, but I’ve realized that I’m more likely to get some sleep if my eyes are covered and I can’t open them! It’s not a light issue for me, it’s just FOMO and curiosity ūüôā What I don’t like is that most masks don’t fit your face right – they can be too tight on your head and even feel like they’re pulling on your eyes. Matt found this amazing concave eye mask, that not only keeps pressure off your eyes, it’s completely black out! It’s so comfortable on your face, you can barely feel it. This isn’t the exact brand I have, but it has all the same features.¬†

Madewell Transport Rucksack


And the cherry on top — my new “personal item”. I love my big travel tote I’ve used for the last couple of years, and the¬†pockets make sense sometimes, but often it feels very over stuffed and heavy. It also is hard to fit a small purse inside. I’ve been seeing all these cute leather backpacks and decided that would make a much¬†better personal item. I’m selling my tote because¬†this Madewell backpack is a much better option for me! I did a trial pack and fit my laptop,¬†iPad, small cross body bag, my big headphones, two magazines, a book my phone, and a¬†handful of random items in with room to spare! Plus the¬†backpack fit makes it¬†feel much lighter on my shoulders than the large tote did. It also has 4 different small pockets to keep things like¬†lipstick or other littles in, which is something I loved in my tote. The tote might be a better fit for me if I had a commute for work, but I think this backpack is a much better option as my new personal item!

Those are my upgrades! The travel pillow & eye mask are very reasonably priced. The backpack was a splurge, but I am a 1 bag kind of girl, so I prefer to have one perfect bag that I’ll use for a long time rather than several options. (Plus, the resale of my tote almost paid for the backpack! win win!)

What are your favorite carry on items?