A traveler’s guide to packing a carry-on

Packing is a huge part of being a world-traveling traveler. As you can imagine, packing for a family going on a two-month trip can be long, difficult, stressful, and just plain mind-numbing. But, we have found a system, and I would like to share my experiences with you. In this blog, I will focus on what to pack in your carry-on.

The carry-on is a very important piece of luggage because you can carry it on with you (really???), whether it be a bus, plane, boat, etc. The most important things to have in your carry-on are your passports and tickets. You can’t go very far without them.

Also, its handy to keep some extra cash on hand for snacks, and unexpected fees, etc. A lot of countries will charge you an entrance fee, which, in Central America, is usually between $10-20. Some countries will also charge you an exit fee. (Which I think is a rip-off.) You need to know what countries you will be visiting and find out what fees you will pay.

Everyone in my family has their own carry-on.

Back to the carry-on: it should have stuff that’ll entertain you for however long it takes to get to your destination. I’m a big bookworm, so I make sure I bring loads of books, or buy them on my kindle. My two younger brothers ( they’re 9 and 11) are not as interested in reading, so they download games on their tablets that don’t need internet. Earphones are an excellent item to pack, because on international flights, they may show a movie, but the earphones they give you are cheaply made and you can’t hear from them very well. On one flight, we had to purchase the earphones. With a family of seven, that gets expensive. So, it’s a better idea to just bring your own.

Something my mom always brings on these trips is a travel blanket and pillow to sleep with, or just to make the seat more comfy. If you do a lot of traveling, a neck pillow that folds up small is great. My mom has slept on a lot of trips with her “magic neck pillow.” She also uses it to pad the metal arms on seats, and has used it for her back (she says it’s her “lumbar support.”) I’ll take her word for it.

Waiting for a bus in Costa Rica

Another thing my family uses often when we travel around is Dramamine. It helps us with nausea, which is the worst when you’re traveling especially on buses on mountain roads. There is even a children’s Dramamine in liquid form that my younger siblings can take.

All of these items should pack comfortably in your carry-on. Now that you have learned the secret to packing a killer carry-on, you are ready to start your own adventure.


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