12 Things You Should Pack In Your Carry-On Bag To Make Holiday Travel A Little Easier

The holiday season means many different things for different people — it could be a time for vacation, a time for visiting family, or just one huge headache. From Thanksgiving to the beginning of January, holiday travel can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have the bad luck of traveling on or even the day before a major holiday. That's why we've compiled a checklist of carry-on essentials, so that you can focus less on what to pack, and more on getting to your destination.

Whether you're inspired to travel somewhere new or you're just headed to the 'rents for the weekend, learn how to hack your vacation to make it as stress-free as possible. Grab your travel-sized toiletries, travel-friendly outfits, and find out which items you shouldn't forget to bring along.

Photo: Marshalls

by Rebecca Deczynski


Hell is a car/bus/train/plane ride without earphones. Leave your bulky headphones at home, and stash these super cute buds in your travel bag.

Earphones, $16,

Leather Weekender Bag

A sturdy bag is necessary for even a short trip. Stand out from the crowd with an eye-catching yet classic weekender.

Red and white leather weekender bag, $49.99, Marshalls

Plastic Stacking Travel Cases

Even if you have an extensive skincare routine, chances are you don’t want to pack all of your moisturizers and creams in your small carry-on. To save space, add just a little bit of each product to its own tiny container.

Plastic stacking travel cases, $3.25,

Travel Clutch

Avoid the panic of loosing your brow kit in the depths of your bag by stashing all your cosmetics in one sweet clutch.

Airplane design travel clutch, $16.99, Marshalls

Accordion Folder

A simple folder notebook organizes your passport, tickets, and other important papers in one safe spot.

Moleskine accordion folder, $14.95,

Portable Phone Charger

Whether you spend your trip listening to that cool educational podcast or playing Candy Crush, you’re bound to need a recharge at some point. With a lipstick-sized charger, you’ll always have power at your fingertips.

Portable phone charger, $19.99,

Leather Laptop Case

Our laptops are precious cargo — protect yours with a sturdy case that still feels luxe.

Green leather laptop case, $29.99, T.J.Maxx

2-in-1 Travel Pillow

We all know that airplane pillows just don’t cut it. This 2-in-1 pillow protects your neck from aching after hours of travel.

2-in-1 travel pillow, $14.99,

Ear Plugs

Despite your desperate pleas to the travel gods, chances are you will still find yourself in the company of at least one crying child. Be prepared.

Ear plug 3-pack, $5.69,

Heattech Socks

It’s advice that your mom would want you to follow: always carry an extra pair of socks. These will keep you nice and toasty.

Heattech socks, $12.90,

Sleep Mask

Just because you’re sleeping in public doesn’t mean you can’t look cute.

Cat sleep mask, $15,

Face Towelettes

Long hours on a plane and frustrating public transit experiences can dry out your skin. Skip the sink, and get an instant refresher with travel-friendly face wipes.

Burts Bees Face Towelettes, $5.45,