My Travel Hand Carry Essentials

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling this year both for work and for going to races, so I figured it might be interesting to let you into the contents of my hand carry bag. Trust me when I say I’ve already pared these down to the barest essentials, for me at least. These are the things I don’t think I could survive without when I’m far from home.

(Well, I could, but it’d be a challenge!)

Essential Electronics

I am a blogger and I love to write, so if my trip is sufficiently long, I bring along my trusty laptop. While I have attempted to blog using my smartphone as well as my tablet, nothing is more conducive to my creative process than to sit down and put my fingers on a physical keyboard. (The large screen also helps — is this a sign of advancing age?!)

Travel Essentials
laptop, tablet, smartphone, and hand carry bag

Naturally, these things won’t last too long without a charge, so I also bring their power cables. I don’t like packing the cables in checked baggage because I’d be stuck if the airline misplaces it. *knock on wood* I like to keep things organized, so I put them in a zipped pouch. I also bring a power bank or two for those times I can’t find wall sockets at airports.

Travel Essentials
of course this pouch has to be pink


These help mute the dull roar of airplane engines, as well as help provide a musical mood booster without disturbing the people around me. Naturally, I bring yurbuds with me because they’re comfy and don’t fall out. I have a Bluetooth wireless version but don’t usually bring them on trips because I might lose them, and it’s an extra hassle keeping them charged.

(Yes, I know planes give out headphones, but you have to return them afterwards and sometimes they pinch your earlobes.)

Travel Essentials
yurbuds earphones

Toiletries and Cosmetics

I pack a small bag with clear plastic pockets with the toiletries and cosmetics I plan to use during my trip. With LAG (liquids, aerosols, gels) regulations you can’t bring containers larger than 100ml into the cabin of a plane, so I have travel-sized everything.

Keeping the liquids and gels in one bag like this also help when they ask you at security check if you’re carrying liquids.

Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials

You’ll notice I also have medicines here for emergencies. Sometimes you feel sick and can’t get to a pharmacy (happened to me during the Bintan trip this year!) so it always helps to have some in stock.

The cosmetics I have here are just pressed powder, bronzer, eyebrow tint, mascara, and lip balm. I don’t normally plan on wearing a full face of makeup, but these help me put on a more presentable face.

Travel Essentials
stuff for my face

My face is sensitive, so I can’t use just any soap to cleanse it. Afterwards I put on toner and moisturizer, which is important! I’ve only recently started doing this more, and my skin is thanking me for it. I used to leave my moisturizers at home but this always resulted in painfully dry skin at the end of my trip.

Travel Essentials
legally blind without these

I also have to bring along a small bottle of contact lens solution. I have pretty bad myopia so contact lenses help me get around without running smack into things. I used to leave my eyeglasses at home, but on pretty long plane trips I have found it’s better to wear eyeglasses and just save the contacts for when I’m at my destination.

Sunscreen and Mosquito Repellent

I think it’s such a waste of a trip when I don’t go around and see what my destination has to offer. That’s why I always use sunscreen now or any product with SPF during my daytime jaunts. For long races especially, I wear sunscreen just to fend off a lot of the sunburn that occurs when you’re out under the sun for that long.

At night I’m also about, but I tend to attract mosquitoes and bugs and just hate getting bitten. Aside from the itching and discomfort, the thought of getting a disease from these bites is unbearable!

I just went on a shopping trip to stock up on these two items from my favorite personal care brand Lemongrass House, which now has a local presence in Manila. Lemongrass House products use fresh, organic materials and are handmade at the Lemongrass House factory shop in Phuket (which I discovered on my frequent visits there).

Lemongrass House Philippines’ first branch is at the ground floor of Dusit Thani Hotel in Ayala Makati. If you’d like to know more about them, check out their website or follow the Lemongrass House Philippines Facebook page.

When I visited the store, they’d just gotten their first shipment of the sunscreen. I was so happy to snap one up. This sunscreen does not use zinc, so it’s better for the environment, particularly coral reefs.

Lemongrass House Philippines
Lemongrass House sunscreen

I also picked up their lavender-based mosquito repellent which has been awesome whenever I’ve used it in the past.

Lemongrass House Philippines
Lemongrass House mosquito repellent, linen spray, and body oil

I also use a number of their other products, including the linen spray which just makes my bed smell nice so I can sleep better, as well as body oil which I use as a substitute for lotion.

So that’s pretty much what goes into my hand carry bag whenever I travel. How about you? What works for you when you travel? Let me know in the comments, or share this article if you found it interesting or useful!

About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in fitness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

7 thoughts on “My Travel Hand Carry Essentials

  1. Hey, Noelle! What is your eye grade for your myopia? Do you have to wear contact lenses when you swim? (Which I heard is unsafe.)

    My poor eyesight (eye grade of 600!) is a constant source of frustration especially when I want to do sports. I’ve only recently discovered a shop where I was able to get prescription goggles, which made me so happy!

    P.S. Haven’t saved up for Lasik just yet

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