How to Pack the Perfect Carry On Tote

*This post has been brought to you by HerCampus and Vera Bradley. All opinions are my own.

Many of you are about to start your Christmas travels because it's only 5 days away! Luckily, I don't have to travel anywhere crazy this year, but I have had to in the past. Trust me, I feel your pain if you are traveling by plane this year.

There is an anatomy of a perfect carry on. I've traveled enough by plane and seen a number of bad things happen (flight delays, lost baggage, screaming children on the plane… Not like babies whose ears are popping… Like a child running up and down the aisles screaming). I like to think that over the years I've mastered it.

The Basics:

Travel Sized Toiletries: I ALWAYS pack separate travel sized toiletries if I am checking baggage as well. I keep it in my tote so that I can have it ready to go through security. My main reason for this is because I had a friend pack all her things in her checked baggage once for a mission trip. The whole week, we were in Nicaragua and she didn't have any deodorant, toothpaste or a toothbrush. Luckily, the missionaries had some, but I'd rather skip the stress.

Reading Material: Whether it be magazines, an eReader or iPad, you'll typically want some entertainment, especially on the off chance there's a flight delay. Keep yourself entertained with a book, I personally recommend one of Mindy Kaling's (here and here), she's basically my favorite, or even load some episodes of your favorite TV shows!

Underwear: Seriously. I usually always pack a couple of pairs of underwear in my carry on because I've seen way too much baggage being lost. Spare yourself the trouble and pack some extra. I keep mine stashed in a pouch like the one photographed.

Other items: My computer, chargers, headphones, make up, and a blanket scarf. <- This one is ingenious, because it doubles as a blanket and a fashion statement.

The other major packing trick is making sure you have the best bag for the job. My newest addition has been my Vera Bradley Trimmed Laptop Tote in Tango Red. Vera Bradley has been one of my favorite brands for travel accessories for a while now. I currently have several make up bags, a grand traveler, and a backpack, but this tote has been my favorite addition so far!

Why? Because the tote is so versatile. In fact, I have been using it as a “work” bag for when I go and camp out at coffee shops to work on my blog. The compartment for the laptop is perfect. I have a Macbook Pro, and I like that I can fit my laptop in it's case in the pocket. If you have a larger laptop, it should fit quite nicely!

In addition to the large, padded laptop space, there are three inside pockets, one open pocket on the front (for items you need to get to quickly) and a pocket with a zipper on the back. The whole tote zips up to keep everything inside nice and safe.

One of the other things I love about this tote is the bright, poppy red color. When I was younger, I loved all the fun prints. I still do, but sometimes it's nice to have something that's a little more neutral (if you can call bright red neutral…). I love that this bag is more of a “grown up” bag, and it's got the space, functionality, and style to prove it!

Are you traveling for this holiday season? If so, where? How are you liking Vera Bradley's new prints?

  • If I were to pick a favorite outfit of the week, it would probably be Tuesday’s. The office I work in gets really cold, so even though it’s in the 70’s in Texas, I have to dress warmer for work. Anyone else work in an icebox? ❄️
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You can instantly shop my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2ANkX
  • Is it bad that I kind of want it to get super cold again so I can wear this coat? 🙈 I got it at a vintage shop in Deep Ellum called @fleastyle. It’s been in the 70’s all week in DFW, which means it’s officially time for me to switch my closet over to spring. Would y’all like to see a post on the blog about switching over your closet? Let me know in the comments! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You can instantly shop all of my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2ALkL
  • Sooooooo I didn’t get the chop... yet! Why? Because this was my first time having a new stylist cut my hair in about 10 years. I would have gotten it cut before I moved, but I didn’t realize how bad of shape it was in! How long have you gone to your hair stylist? 
I highly recommend Liz at @metsalonco in Plano! She completely understood and put my fears at ease. I’ll be seeing her again in a couple months to do something a little more drastic! 😉
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You can instantly shop my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2AJMT
  • Should I cut my hair short? Leave a 💇‍♀️ or 🙅‍♀️ in the comments! .
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I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I’m trying to decide if I should keep it long or get a lob. .
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You can instantly shop my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2AIrY
  • Yesterday, I DELETED over 500 😱 followers from my Instagram, and I’m SO HAPPY I did. I took the suggestion from another blogger, @austentosone, to go through my followers and check for spam accounts. I thought I’d have a few, but y’all, it was out of control. •
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I really care about community. I create content not only because I love creating things, but because I love sharing them with people who are also interested in sustainable fashion. I want this to be a space where we can talk about ethical and sustainable fashion. A two way conversation. I want my blog to be a resource for people who are seeking a new lifestyle. What are some questions you’ve had about ethical and sustainable fashion? Let me know in the comments below! •
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If you’re a fellow influencer who is struggling with comparison and just keeping up with the rest, you’re not alone. Know that your value is NOT found in a number. You are loved. You were created with a purpose. Don’t lose sight of that purpose by focusing on a number. •
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Today on the blog, I’m sharing why I deleted all those followers and more about my intention for MINIMALISTA.
  • Who else is happy it’s spring? 🌸
Confession: I still haven’t switched my closet over. My parents are coming to town this weekend, so I’m going to wait until after their visit to switch over. 🌷
Because I still haven’t unpacked my spring clothing, this is a #tbt to my trip to NYC over Labor Day. This top is the Texture & Thread brand at @madewell, and it will definitely be featured again this spring! While this exact print isn’t available anymore, there are some solid ones in beautiful colors. Both of the tops I did find at Madewell are under $40! #LTKunder50 🌼
You can instantly shop all of my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2ACEG
  • What is one item you have in your closet that you consistently use? Today, I’m wearing this top I got 7 years ago for spring. It’s amazing how long clothing will last when you take care of it! 
But aside from this top, I don’t have a lot of spring/summer clothing. So yesterday I shared 8 items on my wishlist for spring! You can check that out by going to the link in my profile. 
Download the @liketoknow.it app to shop this pic via screenshot! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2AzGT
  • What do you wear on days where the weather can’t decide what it wants to do? In Dallas today, it’s 60 degrees but gloomy and rainy 🌧 so we can’t go out and enjoy. 
I’ve had this tote from @nisoloshoes for three years now and it’s still the best bag I’ve ever purchased. The exact style isn’t available anymore (the Joann tote), but I’ve linked the Lori tote which is similar! Plus, with @afterpayusa, you can purchase ethically while being a bit easier on the budget! 
You can instantly shop my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2ArlX
  • Can we talk about my love for this coat I picked up a couple of weeks ago at @shopfleastyle in Dallas? It caught my eye as soon as I walked in! Have you ever bought vintage clothing before? If so, what are your favorite vintage shops? •
I’ve slowly but surely been settling into my new routine! The month of February was insanely busy for me at work, and on top of that, I was still unpacking! (Confession: I’m still unpacking 🙈)
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Today on the blog, I answered a question people ask me a lot: What is ethical fashion? So head that way to learn more. •
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