June 01, 2017 3 min read

Hey OTBT wanderers!

Is summer vacation calling your name? Got your eye on a far-off beach or island paradise that you’re hoping to jet off to in the coming months? Summer is always such a great time to be traveling, and if you’ve got a bad case of wanderlust, then it may be time a book a flight out of dodge, strap on your comfortable summer sandals, and catch some rays on the sandy shores.

Of course, when it comes to airports and planes, one of the trickiest aspects of traveling is packing your carry-on. Even seasoned travelers sometimes find it a struggle to discern what they should take with them on the plane and what they should leave in their checked baggage. Security regulations and luggage restrictions don’t make this process any easier.

But packing your carry-on doesn’t have to be drag! Once you determine what you can bring and plan for what you need, it can actually be very easy – and dare we say, even fun. If you’re stuck and don’t know how to get started, here’s a quick rundown of what you should be packing in your carry-on for your next summer vacation.

The Bag

Before you even begin packing up for your vacation, you’ll need to choose the right carry-on bag. Keep in mind that it must fit either underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment, so it can’t be too big, but it must also be able to hold all you need it to. Consider something with tons of pockets for storing all your essentials, including a small pocket or zippered compartment in the front to store your travel documents for easy access. This is especially important if you’re not also taking a personal item like a purse or handbag. You also want to make sure that your bag is not going to be too much of a hassle to carry. Backpacks with supportive straps or fold-up rolling bags can help take the stress off your back, and make your travel experience even more manageable.

Is summer vacation calling your name? Make sure you're ready with all the essentials for your carry-on! Check out this summer travel packing guide and find out what you really should be packing in your carry-on.


It’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes, just in case your checked baggage gets lost or you miss a connecting flight. To maximize space in your carry-on, grab non-bulky clothes that are comfortable to travel in and appropriate for where you will be going. If you’re headed straight to the beach after your flight, it may also be a good idea to pack your swimsuit right in your carry-on, or if it’s not uncomfortable, simply wear it right under your traveling clothes.

And if you’re hitting up the airport in walking sneakers or other closed-toe shoes, which we recommend to ward off cold feet on the plane, be sure to pack an extra pair of comfortable shoes in your carry-on. Flatform sandals like the Nova are an especially good choice. They’re lightweight and won’t take up a lot of room in your bag, which makes them easy to pack in a carry-on. Pack them for the beach later in the afternoon, or strap ‘em on as soon as you arrive at your destination. These comfortable sandals are definitely a travel essential.

The Liquid Rule

One of the most important things to keep in mind when packing your carry-on is the liquid rule. While larger bottles of liquids and gels can be safely packed in your checked bag, TSA only allows for a quart sized bag of liquids under 3.4 ounces to be carried on the plane. So grab a see-through plastic bag and fill it up with travel-sized bottles of the things you’ll need right away. Everything else should be packed in your checked bag.

Here’s a couple of suggestions of what you may want to include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Toothpaste
  • Facial cleanser
  • Lotion
  • BB creams or CC creams
  • Anti-bacterial gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Eyedrops

And of course, non-liquid health or beauty products can be packed safely in your carry-on. This includes powders, lipsticks, makeup brushes, toothbrushes disposable razors, etc.

Is summer vacation calling your name? Make sure you're ready with all the essentials for your carry-on! Check out this summer travel packing guide and find out what you really should be packing in your carry-on.

Other Essentials

Have room for more? Here’s some other essentials you’ll probably want to include in your carry-on bag:

  • iPad, tablet or small laptop for working on the go
  • All the chargers for your electronic devices
  • Reading materials like a book or magazine
  • Gum for combating plane-breath or for relieving inner ear pressure from altitude changes
  • Hairbrush, clips, or hair ties
  • Any medication you’re taking or may need
  • Contacts or glasses

Once you're all packed up (and you've made sure you have everything you need) you can put your mind at ease as you head off to the airport, organized and ready to make the most of your summer vacay!

Got any more packing tips? Share them with us in the comments down below!

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