Travel Essentials: The Perfect Carry-On Bag

Packing, shopping

Choosing the right carry-on bag can be one of the most stressful parts of packing for me (which is saying something because I generally pack at the absolute last possible second).

It’s a lot of pressure: am I going to be able to use this bag once I land at my destination? Will it hold everything I need without weighing me down in the airport? Will it protect the electronics I need to bring?

I know I’m probably overthinking it, but if you’re like me, you know what a pain it can be to find the right bag to carry through the airport. So, I assembled some favorites that I use for different trips, to help you find the perfect option for you, no matter what kind of trip you’re taking:

Carry On Bags, Packing, Perfect Carry On

The Blogger Bag

If you’re bringing a DSLR and a laptop, you’re probably worried about how to protect them while looking stylish and not breaking your arm off.

My Chelsea ONA bag (it also comes in brown) is my favorite choice when I’m bringing my camera and a spare lens or two. Since the velcro dividers are adjustable, I can move them around so that my Bose headphones and wallet fit on the camera side and my laptop fits on the other side (keep in mind, though, it’s the little macbook air, so your laptop might be a tighter squeeze).

ONA bags are amazing quality and are so stunning to look at, they seriously look as nice as a designer bag and the leather holds up much better than some of my nicer bags (seriously!).

The Bag You’ll Use Once You Arrive At Your Destination

Sometimes, I just don’t want to carry a bag through the airport that I don’t use during my trip. I need one that can double as a day bag and can make it to tours, outings, and even to dinner if possible!

When I need something versatile, I bring my Jetsetter backpack from Henri Bendel. It converts from a backpack to a cross-body bag and you can also just carry it by the handles. The space and fact that it’s a backpack are super practical for day trips, and it’s nice enough looking to still look fashion-forward and even go to dinner with me.

I also like to use this little pouch from Henri Bendel to hold my cash and credit cards within the larger backpack, and then pop it out to carry as a wristlet or clutch when I don’t need to bring much stuff or want to look a bit dressier.

It’s a super versatile bag and still fits my macbook air and DSLR camera (which I wrap in a sweater for protection…seriously).

The Bag You’ll Take On A Hike With You

I got my Eddie Bauer backpack as a hiking backpack, but with plenty of space and little pockets to divide things, it makes for a great carry-on, especially if I have a hike planned during my trip.

The one I have isn’t available anymore, but I’m feeling like this one is my next purchase. It’s too cute, and still practical! I brought an Eddie Bauer bag on my 13 Km hike through the Samaria Gorge in Crete over the summer, and it held everything I needed while staying comfortable thanks to the shoulder padding.

Plus, I love having a both a laptop sleeve and a drink holder on my backpack when I grab a water in the airport (or refill a reusable bottle after security). Being able to carry a coffee cup and have a hand free for a suitcase is awesome.

Carry On Bags, Perfect Carry-On, Backpack, Packing

What is your go-to carry-on bag? Let me know in the comments!

-Darcy

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  • LOVE the jetsetter backpack! Too cute! And that hiking backpack looks super great. My husband and I are traveling to Italy in a couple months so I’m on the hunt for a good bag… I’m adding these to my list of possibilities!

    • Thanks for reading, Heather! Hope you have a great time in Italy, that’s one of my favorite places in the world.

  • Jenn Singer

    I love the hiking bag. I’ve been looking for a new one. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂