What to include in your hand luggage?

The short answer is … everything: everything you want to take on your trip should go into your hand luggage. It saves a lot of stress: it allows you to check in online and proceed to the security check without having to queue at the check-in tables. At your destination, you don’t have to wait for a suitcase. Nor can anyone lose your luggage between airports.

Packing fewer things means having to think more about what you are going to take with you. You can’t just dump everything in there, after all. Let me share the contents of my carry-on bag. Use it to create your own list and make your next packing occasion stress-free. I usually travel with a standard suitcase and a small backpack for my computer. If necessary, this backpack fits inside the suitcase (since some airlines are a bit more fussy about taking only one bag on board).

I wear objects marked with an * on me, so they do not take up space within the carry-on bag.


  • Boarding pass printed
  • Passport/ID
  • Credit/debit card and some money
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Paper agenda

Electronics and technology

  • Computer (MacBook Pro)
  • HDMI adapter
  • Charging cable
  • International plug
  • Mobile phone*
  • Kindle
  • Mini-USB cable (for mobile and kindle)
  • Headphones*
  • Garmin watch for running
  • Garmin charging cable
  • Fitbit Flex 2* & charging cable


  • Vibram Running shoes
  • Sports bra
  • Hoko pants
  • Hydration backpack
  • Sports socks
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Running scarf and ear protection (for cold destinations)
  • Fitbit sports bracelet


  • 4-7 slips of fast-drying fabric
  • 1 brassieres
  • 1 pair of jeans*
  • 1 pair of dark blue pants
  • leotards
  • Tank Top *
  • T-shirt*
  • Long sleeve shirt*
  • (wrinkle-free) Blouse
  • Jacket (depending on destination) *
  • Cotton cardigan *
  • Shoes or boots *
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Comfortable dress
  • Elegant dress
  • Optional: sandals
  • Pajama

Beauty & health

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Face moisturizer
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Mascara
  • Fitbit elegant bracelet *
  • Elegant earrings

All this fits in my carry-on and there’s still some space left to bring home some swag from the conference (for the kids).

What’s inside your suitcase?

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