Currently writing you from across the pond and as it stands, I never want to leave.
London is so magical - we've even lucked out with insanely gorgeous weather. It has been such a special experience to dive deep into the richest history that this beautiful place has to offer.
I can't wait to share the details with you.
Let's talk about packing. I, myself, am a habitual over-packer. Actually, the last time I visited Europe, I was nineteen and traveling to Ireland with my Mom and some family friends. On that adventure, I'm pretty positive no article of clothing, shoe, or toiletry was left behind in the states. My bag was 54lbs - never a smart choice when you're touring a country, but even less of a smart choice when your baggage ends up costing you.
When I was thinking about what I wanted to bring, I made a promise to myself that I'd hold myself accountable. I would only pack what I absolutely knew I would need, in order to make my life ten times easier this go around. I began this accountability with my carry-on bag.
The day before we left, I stumbled upon a final sale Michael Kors Bryce Large Black Canvas Tote at TJMaxx - proud Maxxonista here. It's the perfect size and the material is more durable than leather - I don't have to worry about it getting ruined in bad weather or getting tossed around in security.
I planned on bringing an actual carry-on suitcase as well, but it turned out that I didn't need to because we flew United Airlines to Heathrow which, luckily, meant that we were able to check 1 piece of luggage at no cost.
Here's what I packed with me on the plane to Heathrow:
- Laptop and Charger - I always bring my computer with me, even if I'm only traveling to Florida. Plus, the seats on most flights these days have outlets underneath them to charge any of your devices.
- Baby Wipes - I am that girl who wipes down her airplane seat before sitting on it.
- Contoured Eye Mask - I used this one from Amazon and it was amazing. The contours in the mask really help you to close your eyes without feeling like anything is pressing on your lids.
- Thin, Plush Blanket - I don't love the blankets provided to passengers by the airline, so I bring my own. I need to emphasize that this blanket is the thinnest one I could find so I could pack it easily.
- Shorts - I love an airport bathroom costume change, especially if where you're going has a different climate than where you're leaving from. In this case, London was about the same - temperature-wise - as the Tri-State Area, but the plane was NOT. I wear compression leggings on the plane because they support circulation. My favorites are by DYI. However, when I arrive, the LAST thing I want to be is hot and uncomfortable. These shorts (by Banana Republic) + comfortable, go with the rest of my travel outfit, easy to pack, and fit right into my carry-on.
I used to think these travel bottles were the dumbest thing in the world, because who has time to literally pour all of your liquids into these bottles. I was the fool who used to pack full bottles of product.
I used the bigger plastic bag (from TJMaxx) for the actual liquids I'd be using during my stay, like shampoo/conditioner, and the smaller plastic bag (from IPSY) for the things I'd actually use on the plane.
- Supergoop! SPF 50 Defense Refresh Setting Mist Sunscreen - Amazing to spray on my face mid-day. London is A LOT of walking and on the off-chance that you're arriving there in the summer, it's a lot of time to spend outside. This was my BFF this trip.
- Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray and Lavender Facial Spray Duo - The best the best the best. I use the rosewater spray to set my skincare and my makeup, or for a refresh mid-day in between attractions if my skin is feeling a little less than fresh. It kind of resets everything. I use the lavender one before bed + it's honestly just very lovely. (NOTE: The linked duo is not the travel size. I bought mine at Ulta!)
- BENEFIANCE Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask by Shiseido - I love this eye mask because it's so brightening. I apply these under my eyes around the time that the pilot announces our descent into our destination, I sent my phone timer for 15 mins and throw on my sunglasses so I don't look like a crazy person. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
- YUNI Beauty - Shower Sheets, Large Cleansing Body Wipes - These are FANTASTIC if you're like me and you get off that plane feeling a little gross. They're basically oversized baby wipes for your entire body. I typically will get off the plane, stop at the restroom, and pull one of these out to freshen things up all over before switching into my shorts.
What are your carry-on essentials?