I’ve got a case of wanderlust.
The Backpack → Fjallraven Kanken
Ah yes, the Fjallraven Kanken. One of the most photographed backpacks amongst fashion lovers and travellers alike. I admit, I jumped on the bandwagon about two years ago after noticing it popping up on the backs of my favourite fashion bloggers. It’s a medium sized, boxy, fog grey backpack with long upper handles and a reflective logo. It’s fairly water resistant, and has three slim pockets – two on the sides and a larger pouch on the front. I like taking this backpack on my travels because it’s a good size to carry around comfortably, limits the amount of junk that I can bring with me, and ultimately prevents complaining episodes about fatigue and a sore back.
Have your phone, wallet, documents, a fresh pair of underwear…and you’ll be ready to go! Really! But first, we’re going to take a look at the documents.
Essential for international travel! Those of you in the EU have it super easy, with the ability to flit through countries like it’s no big deal. For those of us who don’t have that luxury, a passport is a must. I got my passport renewed last year – 10 year version! (Naturally, everything went wrong and my photo was crap. I’ll be ready to take a better one when I’m 31 I guess…) The Canadian passports are actually pretty cool, with lots of holographic designs!
Paper copies of all your documents.
Yes, it’s 2016 and you can board a plane with a QR code on a smart phone. Buttt for everything else, don’t risk it. Make copies of your lodging reservations, insurance, itineraries, maps, passport, etc, before you leave! It’s better to be safe than sorry in case you happen to lose a vital travel document! Also a good backup if you don’t have a rechargeable battery pack and your tech dies.
Wallet and cards, but not all the cards.
Personal preference, but I like to filter my stuff down and leave my extra cards at home. Definitely not going to need that Yogurty’s loyalty card, or library card, when I’m lounging on a beach somewhere abroad. I should also point out that I absolutely love my wallet – I got it years ago from Fossil and it has a large back pouch which fits my passport and other documents! (I believe it was the Preston model)
The little things.
Sunglasses, pack of tissues, hairclips and hair elastics, cash, and an anime eye mask to block out the light if you’re travelling during the day!
Phone + Portable Charger.
My iPhone, the light of my liiiiifeeee! (Somewhere in the distance, an old man shakes his head and mutters “millenials…” ) I have the iPhone 6S and it’s honestly such a lifesaver, I can’t see myself upgrading anytime soon because it’s just the perfect phone. I have lots of travel apps saved so it’s great to have everything in a central place. (Let me know if you’d like to see a dedicated post on my favourites!) A rechargeable battery pack is absolutely essential – if you’re a hardcore user of smartphones, you definitely know how fast the battery can drain. I use the Cheero Ingress 12000 mAH battery pack, and it holds about 4-5 charges. There are two USB ports so you can charge two devices at the same time!
Headphones (preferably noise-isolating)
A good pair of headphones are, in my opinion, a necessary investment to make. These Beats Studio Wireless Headphones are awesome – they’re noise isolating, which makes long car/bus/train/plane rides that much better! They significantly filter out the constant noise and make sound clearer without cranking up the volume too much. I often put on ASMR and fall asleep during long travels. They are wireless (connects to devices via bluetooth), but they also have a wire if you have a non-bluetooth device.
I tend to carry quite a few cameras in my carry-on – my digital camera (Canon G7X) and my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8! The Instax is quite chunky and takes up space, but worth it. I love having physical photos to look back on, I think there’s something so much more special about them! You can look back at my 2015 yearly recap, in instax photos, here!
I hate wearing makeup on planes. The air is dry, I get all sweaty and gross, my lips get chapped… it’s just not a good time. It’s the last half hour of the flight that begin to use my little beauty essentials to save me from looking like a zombie when I get off the plane. Tip: store your makeup in a clear ziploc bag, it’ll make the security process go faster so you won’t have to stop and empty everything at the airport!
I’ll usually carry another bag in my checked luggage, and that will also include skincare products, other makeup, and toiletry products.
Holy Trinity of Carry On Makeup: Concealer, Brows, Lipstick
Concealer is great to patch up those dark circle and redness from lack of sleep, stress, etc – some of my favourites are it Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye in Neutral Medium (which is waterproof) and Maybelline Age Rewind neutralizing concealer.
Brows can easily transform your look – they frame the face and can really help you look more together! I’m loving the L’Oreal Brow Stylist micropencil in Brunette – the wind up pencil allows you to sketch out your brow shapes, and the spooley brushes everything out.
My go-to lipstick at the moment is the Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in Lovecraft. I like matte lipsticks for trips because they’re fairly low maintenance and don’t smudge. Lovecraft is my failproof shade of neutral pink mauve.
Other items I’ll typically carry – Maybelline Mega Plush waterproof mascara for long, whispy lashes, Shy Uemura eyelash curler, Rohyo Lycee eyedrops, and Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze.
Step It Up…
I had to give these a shoutout as these makeup products almost always come with me on trips, whether or not they’re in my carry on or not! My carry-on is usually light and focuses on a fresh skin look, but sometimes I’ll just be doing an overnight trip and want to take versatile products.
The Tarte Rainforest After Dark is my favourite travel palette, and for good reason! It contains six eyeshadows (a mix of matte and shimmer) , a blush, a highlighter, a bronzer, and a large mirror! There are so many possible looks that can be achieved with this palette, which makes it the ideal travel companion. I often feel naked without a cat eye, so I have to carry my Kat Von D tattoo liners in Mad Max Brown (my everyday shade), and Trooper Black. If I need more lip options, I’ll bring a bright (Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace) and a neutral pink-mauve (Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rush).
Finally, this mini pot of Clinique Moisture Surge is great at refreshing the skin, especially in dry environments. I would also recommend the Laneige Advance Hydration Kit (which I reviewed here), as it contains some excellent hydration products in trial sizes!
It might seem like a lot, but it’s not (really!)
Everything fits inside a Kanken, and there’s room for a bit more. Make sure to pack a pair of fresh undies because ya never know! I can’t wait for my next trip – I love taking photos and doing travel posts, which you can read more about under my travel tab!
What are some of your carry-on essentials?