What to Always Pack in your Carry-On

The time has finally come.  You’ve arrived at your beautiful vacation destination.  You get to baggage claim, and you wait and wait, and wait. It doesn’t take too long to realize your bags are lost. The airline informs you they will contact you if they are able to locate your bags, but for now, they are lost.  For any other traveler, this might spell catastrophe.  But not you.  You read this list of things to always pack in your carry-on.  So while you might be a tiny bit annoyed, you are prepared and in a good position to still live it up on your vacation.  Here’s what you packed.

A change of clothes

Since it normally takes about 24 hours for lost luggage to be found and delivered, a change of clothing is a must-have in your carry-on.  You’ve spent the day traveling and you will absolutely want something to change into when you arrive at your resort. 

Pro tip: make sure you pack a small sunscreen, underwear, a t-shirt, and at least 1 comfortable change of clothes, and flip flops. Even if your luggage arrives with you, your room may not be ready. That isn’t going to stop you from starting your vacation and being at the beach or poolside while you wait.


I mean this one is obvious, right? I mean who wants to walk around with stinky breath and underarms on a beautiful tropical island? So, move those toiletries from your checked bags and into your carry-on.  Just be sure to keep them under 3.4 ounces and place them in a small bag that you can easily remove during the TSA screening. Oh, and PLEASE don’t forget the makeup!!  Some lost luggage won’t stop your great vacation photo opportunities!

The Essentials

You absolutely must add your essentials to this list.  Your Passport and wallet, of course, since you can’t get on the plane or through security without your Passport and you’ll need money during your travels. You will also need your electronics chargers.  That one is self-explanatory. But don’t forget your travel insurance documents (you did purchase travel insurance, right?). As soon as you have a minute you need to be filing a claim for you lost luggage. This way, you’ll know exactly where to send your receipts if you must buy new clothes.  Hmmm. That doesn’t sound half bad. 


If you take any prescription medications this is important. You can buy new vacay wear, but replacing your physician ordered medications is a little more difficult. You don’t want to spend a week in paradise worried about your blood pressure, blood sugars, or anything else.  And don’t forget the over-the-counter medications as well.  Instead of paying high prices at the gift shop when you have a headache, you can just reach into your carry-on.


Hey! Don’t look at me like that!  This is vital.  This is why I left it for last. No matter how annoyed you are, no matter how frustrated you are, there is one thing that is almost guaranteed to lift your spirits. Beach time. And since that is a definite mood lifter in the times of lost luggage, you need to be prepared.  So go ahead and stuff that swimsuit in your carry on.

Hopefully, your airline calls to tell you they have located your bags. But if that doesn’t happen, you’ll be ok because you packed a carryon with all your vacation essentials!

Happy Travels, Glamma!