Keep in mind that you can't really access your carry-on bag easily while on the plane. Once you've put it in the overhead bin, it becomes a kind of no-man's-land item: you know it exists but cannot reach it without the possibility of bodily harm. Who wants to be THAT passenger whose boobs or butt are smashed in someone's face as you're trying to get your stuff? Um, not me.
This summer, I THINK that I'll be taking my soft-sided Vera Bradley weekender bag as my carry-on. I'm a little worried that it won't roll, but that'll just be a good reason for me not to pack too much stuff in it. I've already measured it, and it works for all the different airlines I'll be using on this trip. Plus, it's incredibly difficult to manage two bags that roll - speaking from personal experience here. No matter how I've tried it, I end up looking like I'm wrangling small cows as I stroll through the airport at breakneck speed with 25 or so kids following me.
So here are the things I think I'll be taking with me in my smaller, soft-sided bag...
1. DSLR camera + 1 extra lens + charger (I usually just put them in giant baggies for protection)
2. Point and shoot camera + case + charger + mini booklet of memory cards
3. Selfie stick
4. Bag of medications (Since I'll be gone 6 weeks, I'll be taking everything from contact refills to emergency antibiotics to hormone cream with me. Lol! I'm sure my meds baggie will look like some little old lady who brings her bag of pills to the hospital with her in an emergency! I'd rather be prepared in the event of any possibility though.)
5. Two complete outfits (probably dresses since they take up the least amount of space and I'll be wearing pants on the plane)
6. Electronic adapter kit for appliances
7. Toiletry bag (just enough to get me through the first 3-4 days of the trip; beyond that, I'll buy what I need there)
8. Folder of travel documents for all students on the trip (passport copies, emergency lists, insurance card copies, medical info, itinerary info, etc.)
9. Laptop and chargers (if I don't put them in my under the seat, personal tote)
10. Small bag of jewelry and hair accessories (While I don't bring expensive jewelry, I still like to put it in my carry-on bag rather than risk someone rifling through my checked bag in hopes of scoring a high-value theft.)
Have I left anything off of my carry-on bag list? Please share any of your travel wisdom with me. :)
And just because I haven't shown you a pic of Lowder-dog in a few days, check him out here in all his glory as he sat on the patio with me the other day. It's hard to be king.