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7 Things You Should Always Carry-On + Chester Luggage Review

This blog is sponsored by Chester. All opinions are my own.

My husband & I travel a lot — we take at least 10 trips a year. While a good amount of it is for food & blogger conferences and expos, we also take a lot of trips just for fun. I sometimes struggle with what to pack and how much, but one thing is for sure, I have my carry-on packing down!

I always get a little nervous waiting for my checked bag to come around the carousel and get very excited when I finally spot it and know that I have my bag and everything I need when I arrive on a trip. Have you ever had your bag lost or didn’t have it for a few days at the beginning of your trip because your bag “didn’t make the flight?”

It can happen. It definitely can happen! You CAN lose your luggage and everything in it. And whether it’s for a few days on your trip or for, well, sadly — ever, it stinks. This is why I always make sure that these 7 things are with me at all times. They always go into my carry-on bag and rest nicely in the compartment above my seat throughout the flight. They get off the plane with me, and I know that whatever I choose to put in my carry on, will not be lost. It’s a good feeling.


This carry-on suitcase is from Chester. This great bag was sent to me and, after trying it out this weekend, I really loved using this bag & plan to use it again.

PROS - I love that you can pack so much in it with the inside compartments. With all the organized zippers, it was easy easy to pack everything I needed in one bag. It did take a little reorganizing to get everything just right, but it worked! It’s also super lightweight and easy to roll around the airport. It easily fit in the overhead compartment and also comes in a few different colors, too! Plus - it locks, and I really love that. It's also super sleek and looks super fancy.

CONS - For me, personally, I am 100% used to traditional luggage that opens and you can shove something inside or grab something without opening it all the way. It took a little extra thought in choosing what to pack up at the top of my bag. It also isn’t always super convenient to have to open my whole suitcase all the time to grab something. When you open the suitcase, it takes up more room than the other type of suitcase where the top zips opened. With that said, this doesn’t really affect all the PROS I have for this awesome bag, though. I still would use it again. It's more of what I am used to using prior to this bag than anything.

I made a video all about our trip, talking about the 7 things below as well as showed you how I packed and what I packed, too. Check it out in the video below.



1) Medication & Supplements: I can’t stress this enough! Make sure your meds and supplements are with you at all times. If you need to take it every day, don’t gamble by putting it in your checked bag. If your bag gets lost, what will you do? This also means your epinephrine auto-injector. Please keep it in your pocket and on you at all times while in flight or when traveling. You won’t have time to get to your luggage in the overhead bin to get it in case of emergency.

2) A Change Of Clothes: THIS is a game changer! Are you headed somewhere tropical and the second you land and get to the hotel you’re headed to the beach or the pool? Pack your swimsuit and flip flops in your carry-on. This way, if your luggage is delayed or “knock on wood” missing you can still enjoy some fun while your checked bag is en route! Don’t forget a pair of clean undies and change of clothes, too. Wherever you are headed, have one outfit + one or two pairs of clean underwear packed in your carry-on just in case.

3) Passport: I have heard way too many stories about people losing their luggage which also had their passport in it. Don’t make this mistake! Your passport should really go in your purse or man-bag but definitely not your checked bag. You can choose to keep all your travel documents in your carry-on if need be. It’s a safe place as long as your carry on bag doesn’t leave your side. Also, NEVER put your passport in the seat back pocket on the plane, not even for a second! You don't want to accidentally leave it behind.

4) Jewelry: Whether you are traveling with fancy schmancy bling or your favorite necklace and a pair of earrings, pack it in your carry-on bag. Jewelry is hard to replace, especially your good stuff. Don’t allow it to get lost, pack it safely in your carry on!

5) Phone Charger: Have you ever been delayed? I have, and there was a time when all of our cords and chargers were in our checked luggage. Thankfully you can now buy these things in the airport, too, but why on earth spend the money when you can keep at least one set with you at all times in your carry on.

6) Glasses & Contacts: Please don’t pack your prescription eye wear in your checked luggage. Make sure that it is safely packed in your carry on, always! You never want to land somewhere (or arrive home after a trip) and find that your glasses are missing in your checked luggage which cannot be found. Glasses can be costly, it’s “cheap insurance” to keep them with you when you travel, and then you don’t run the risk of losing them and having to replace them.

7) Snacks: This is a big one! When you have food allergies, intolerances, dietary restrictions or you are super picky, make sure you have snacks on you at all times. You never know when you will be delayed and unable to find safe, allergy-friendly snacks or food at the airport. I always have a few bars, snacky things, collagen and even my favorite mushroom coffee in my carry-on bag.

Side note: Did you know you can bring your own food through TSA? You can even bring an ice pack in a soft mini-cooler, too! AND - It won’t count as one of your 2 allowed bags per person! You must make sure that any liquids (salad dressing, nut butter, sauces, etc.) are under 3oz and that your ice pack is frozen solid. I have taken full meals through - no problem. We were actually delayed with our flight this trip and it's a good thing we had some food with us in our cooler bag.

Here are a few extras and I am answering your questions from Instagram about traveling with food allergies and dietary restrictions. I already answered many of your questions above, but here are some extras.

What about germs?

This is a great question! I am a total germaphobe and have a low immune system. I wipe down my area the second we sit down. My husband and I each wipe everything that we will touch including: the tv screen, tray table, tray table lock, seat belt, arm rest, remote on the arm rest, window, window shade, general area around the window, air conditioning nozzle, light button, call button and the rim of the seat back pocket. I also don’t touch the menu or guide in the seat back pocket without wiping my hands down afterwards. And, if you have food allergies, you can pre-board the plane to allow more time to wipe down your area. Ask the airlines if you have any related questions.

Did you see the video of the person using their feet (YES! THEIR FEET!) to work the screen? Ugh! This is disgusting! I mean, THIS is why I wipe everything down... even the screen.

What is the smallest way to meal prep or pack frozen food and still get nutrients/calories?

The best way to pack food for your flight is to pack what is right for you … within reason. Don’t bring soup or a smoothie (unless it’s frozen solid) because it will not make it through. Even my $8 container of hummus was confiscated by TSA once (that sucks!). The best meal to bring is the meal that is right for you. Keep in mind, it’s easy to get dehydrated in flight, so bringing a meal or snacks that are water-rich is always a plus. Snacks like watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers and celery will fill you up and also keep you hydrated. If you thrive on a high protein diet, bring some collagen, chicken legs, a burger patty (yes they are good cold) or a protein bar. If you need to be low carb, consider what you'd normally eat at home and pack it. I also like bringing Model Meals with me in-flight (the meals that require no cooking or that can be eaten cold) as it’s all packed in one container and ready to eat. Super handy, healthy and tasty!

Is there anything I shouldn’t eat in flight?

This is totally a case-by-case and up to you, but because it’s easy to get dehydrated in flight you will want to avoid high-sodium foods which can cause you to retain water! It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol, boozy drinks, beans (beans, beans they’re good for your heart. The more you eat them the more you make everyone unhappy on the plane), carbonated drinks (sodas) and foods that can cause uncomfortable bloating. The pressurized cabin can promote further bloating which isn’t fun. Keep in mind that it’s the unwritten rule to also avoid eating or bringing any food that is super smelly like tuna, fish in general, and terribly smelling fast food (no one really pays attention to this rule and the plane reeks of McDonald’s most morning flights). It’s just nice to keep others in mind, especially your seat buddies who will have to smell your food, too.

Do you bring a reusable cup?

Sometimes, yes! I often bring this one if it’s for coffee or this one for water. I try to pack lightly when I can and hate having to carry around so much extra stuff (these reusable cups can be heavy) but also love the environment so it’s a toss up, really. I also hate having to find a bathroom to wash out my cup (if it’s something other than water), but I do it. I love Starbucks water (it's triple filtered), so I often find the closest Starbucks and ask them to fill my cup!

Do you bring water on the plane?

YES! I always buy a water bottle at the airport because I don’t always trust the “filtered water” stations at some airports, and I never want to have to wait until the food and beverage service in flight for some water. Plus, you never know if you will have to sit on the tarmac for a few hours (this has happened to me), and you can’t ask for water because the flight attendants have to be seated. It could be hours before you can get some water, so just bring your own cup (see above) or buy a water at the airport that you can bring on board.

What about food/snacks?

If I am traveling somewhere where I know I can get to a natural grocery store, I don’t bring as much because I know that I can shop when I get there. If I am traveling somewhere out of the country or to a place where a natural grocery store isn’t handy then I bring a lot, most of which will go in our checked luggage. I do still carry some of with me, but it can get bulky and it is replaceable. I bring bars, nut butter (be careful with nut butters on the plane, ask those around you if anyone has a nut allergy and be mindful about getting it on your hands and on your tray table), fresh fruit or veggies packed in a Stasher Bag, green veggie shots and even veggie burgers to eat cold.

How do you pack your supplements?

This is a hard one. I do use little ziplock bags for this. It’s one of the few ways that I still use plastic, because I haven’t found a better solution. I have had pill organizers break open or crack and they take up so much room — especially if I am traveling for a long time. I use little baggies and reuse them over and over. I lay all of my supplements out for the day (a morning bag and an evening bag) and make sure that I take them daily and keep up on them even while on vacation. It’s a no-brainer and a non-negotiable for me.

What about Disney trips?

Oh, my dear, that would require another blog, but let me share a few quick tips for you. Make sure you have an outfit for Disney in your carry on bag — again, just in case your luggage get’s delayed or goes missing. Make sure you have your Magic Bands (for Walt Disney World) with you or in your carry on. Don’t forget to bring snacks for the park or be able to stop at a store if you have a rental car. Also, if you need help with finding the best Gluten Free foods at Disneyland or Walt Disney World OR if you are eat more of a paleo/Whole30 lifestyle, don’t forget to get and print your Disney Eating Guide! Learn more below:

1 Comment

This luggage sounds awesome!!

About Me

Hey! Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen... I guess I can say, "my kitchen." I am all about creating delicious recipes that are made with yummy, real ingredientsI love recreating old family favorites, sweets and everything in between. You'll find a touch of Disney, lots of amazing products and laughter along the way. I launched Krysten's Kitchen with the mission to share my years of research on healthy alternatives to everyday foods that most people can no longer eat due to dietary restrictions, food allergies or special eating lifestyles. 


In 2018, I received the Rising Star Award at ShiftCon & in May 2019 I lobbied on Capitol Hill with the Organic Trade Association and in October 2019 I received the Best Healthy Recipes Blogger at ShiftCon. You can learn more about me, my family and my story, here.

Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen. I hope you'll stay and eat awhile.

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