Travel Carry-On Essentials for Women


Ladies, travelling alone is tough. Overpacking can be worse. For years, I would carry a large tote bag and a backpack with me and stuff it full of all of the essentials that I just “thought” I must have. How much did I reach for them? Probably very seldom, if ever. What did they leave me with, shoulder and back pain. Nothing sucks more than running through the airport to catch your connecting flight and you are lugging 30 lbs of weight.

I have two different sets of carry on supplies that I like to bring with me, personal travel and business travel. Usually for business travel, I am in the United States, so I feel like I can get away with a tote bag. For international travel, I am all about a cross-body zipped bag, so I can look at the landmarks and walk through the busy streets with ease.

The Bag: Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM

For years, I bought inexpensive tote bags to carry all of my stuff. Occasionally, I throw my laptop in them to run to the office, or miscellaneous shopping items. My bag can get HEAVY at times. It gets heavy….and it breaks. So I go out and buy a new bag quickly to replace my broken one that I am now running through the streets clutching to my chest.

I worked really, really hard on this project a couple of years ago. It turned out to be really exhausting but super rewarding. Well, only rewarding because I decided to take my hard earned pennies (or dollars…) and make my once-a-year purchase (everyone needs to do this!). I bought the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Damier Ebene. I have never looked back. This bag is a workhorse, I use and abuse it. Put it on the floor. Put laptops in it. Put food in it. You name it, it goes in my bag. It’s my go-to carry everywhere bag when I am working. When I travel, I can’t go anywhere without it! What I love is that this is one super durable bag. Even with all of the abuse I give her, she looks almost brand-new. I protect the inside with an organizer (details below) and often keep my pens and such in pouches just to keep her nice and new.


Pimp My Speedy – Speedy 30 Organizer

Yes, yes, I know that I literally just said that I use a Neverfull MM, and I do. When I bought it, it lacked interior organization and I decided that I should use a purse organizer that I already had. I pulled the organizer out of my Speedy 30 that I got from and yay! it fit! I really like this organizer when it is in my speedy because who doesn’t love a nice structured not sagging Speedy?


Louis Vuitton Passport Holder in Damier Ebene

Ok, so getting a Louis Vuitton passport holder is not an essential, that is a luxury. Having a passport holder is an essential item. I like to keep my passport, Nexus card, travel rewards cards and boarding passes in the airport in it.


Pinch Provisions Shemergency Kit

Yes, this thing comes with everything, you never know what you might need. A little sewing kit, first aid, emergency beauty files, this pretty much gets you covered!



Need I say more? You need money, credit cards and coins.



Flights get delayed, bags get lost, sometimes you just plain forget. Keep an extra deodorant, you never know :-p


Mini Happy Planner

I love to plan. I love the feeling of putting pen to paper and crossing items off of my to-do list. I carry my happy planner at all times, my mini one is great to put in my purse and carry around. I also have the folder inserts in it, so I can keep all of my receipts that I need to expense later in one neat spot. When I get home and sit down at my desk, I just pull out the folder and I’m off to the races. I usually stash another folder with some planner stickers, because stickers in your planner is just fun!



I keep a pair in my purse at all times, you will always need sunglasses. Its important to keep your eyes covered with shades and protect your face from wrinkles!


I like to keep two pairs of headphones in a little case. Why two, you ask? Well once I fell asleep on a red eye flight from LAX to JFK while my headphones were connected to the in-flight entertainment system. I hit the end of the headphones while I was asleep and snap, the connector broke. Once I woke up, it was a miserable flight with no headphones!

I always keep my Bose Sound-Sport headphones (because the fit feels awesome for sleeping) and my Apple headphones (because they were included with my phone as backups).



Toll charges can add up when you use the EZ-Pass in your rental car, because the rental car company charges you a processing fee to bill you later. I am from Canada, but I purchased a NY State EZ-Pass and this way, I save money and make it much more convenient for me!



Ummm, you need pens. Customs forms, writing in your planner. Don’t be that person without a pen! Travel with a cheap pen, you will lose it. Then you would be sad.

pen isolated on the white background

Makeup bag

I like to carry a few essentials with me in my makeup bag. Sanitizing wipes are the first big must! Airplanes are disgusting, do yourself a favour-sit down in your seat, take out a wipe and disinfect your area before take off. Tissues, you never know when you are going to need them. Lip stick, for the quick freshen up when you look like you just took a red eye (Tip: Red lipstick fixes everything). Eyelash glue or mascara, if you wear falsies like I do, I need glue in case my lash comes loose. If you don’t wear falsies, carry some mascara.


Louis Vuitton Pochette (comes in the Neverfull MM)

The best part about this is that when I land, I might just want to pop it out of my bag and grab the essentials and go. You probably don’t want to carry a big tote everywhere so having a little purse will really come in handy.


Honorable Mention: Longchamp Le Pliage

I don’t keep this in my Neverfull all the time, but I put it in my suitcase for every trip. I don’t plan on using it when I travel but then I go shopping…. then I have a ton of stuff… I pop it out of my suitcase, unfold and fill up, voila! a perfect extra carry on for the way home! I also carry it as my big tote bag when I travel for personal vacations, it allows me to keep all of my travel goodies with me on the plane.



Do you want to see more travel tips? Or any of the items above reviewed in more detail for how I use them for travel? Leave me a comment and let me know!

xoxo Geek Refined ❤

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