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10 TSA approved travel essentials perfect for your carry-on bag

Updated: May 6

This is the ultimate guide for essential travel items you should never leave home without! After five years of traveling with just a carry-on, I've learned from my mistakes and identified the must-have items for a smooth journey away from home.

I've personally tested and approved these featured items, each designed to offer comfort, convenience, or cost savings during your global adventures. Not only are these items compact and travel-friendly, but they're also guaranteed to enhance your overall travel journey all while being TSA approved.

Carry-on items and travel essentials that save money abroad!

Frequently, I found myself buying common items like bottled water, sunscreen, headphones, over-the-counter medications, tote bags, and more while abroad.

These items tend to be much pricier in touristy places due to the "tourist trap" factor – you end up paying extra for the convenience. My advice? Aim to carry as much as possible with you, and this blog will show you how.

From astonishing space-saving gadgets to versatile everyday essentials, I've scoured Amazon to compile the ultimate list. This list ensures both TSA compliance and style, all neatly packed into a single compact packages.

Get ready to travel smarter, lighter, and explore the world effortlessly as I unveil my secret toolkit for every adventurer. Let's jump in and revolutionize the way you travel!

1. TSA Compliant Sunscreen with Slim Packaging

This is THE BEST sunscreen to pack, and is what I have personally choose to take with me. In the long run, this not only saves you money, but each bottle is slim in packaging and only 3 oz. making it the perfect addition for your carry on liquid bag.

I've placed this item at the top of the list because I consider it to be of utmost importance. Sunscreen and skincare products often constitute the highest expenses I've encountered while traveling. It's crucial to recognize that numerous sought-after travel destinations might feature elevated UV indexes or varying altitudes, making packing these items well worthwhile.

2. Fashionable Travel Size Daily Pill Organizer

Ranking as the second most vital item, this is particularly significant if you share my tendency to forget things on a regular basis. This even extends to whether I've taken my medications for the day. Lately, I've discovered that using a weekly pill organizer significantly aids in recalling whether I've ingested my pills, thanks to the visual indicator it provides.

Ever since I found this cute, compact pill organizer, taking medication while on the go has become a breeze. It has even become something I look forward to because the case is so cute and fun!

3. Compression Packing Cubes

Next on the list is a game-changer: space-saving solutions. Opting for a carry-on restricts you in two ways: 1) limited space – the downside, and 2) substantial cost savings – the upside! In the past, I used to feel apprehensive about packing a carry-on or personal item due to the confined space. I'd sometimes spend days prior to my trip struggling to fit everything in.

I used to consider packing cubes as insignificant, assuming they had no practical use. My perspective couldn't have been more off-base. Now that I have these compression packing cubes, I never stress about packing and get to take more than ever.

4. Light Weight Water Bottle with Handle

I understand that the water bottle market can be quite overwhelming, flooded with countless options to sift through. Nevertheless, let me present the case for why opting for a Camelbak could be the ideal choice for your upcoming journey.

My personal favorite water bottle is light weight, easy to clean, has a straw, is leak proof, and can be clipped to your bag. The weight of this bottle is only ‎6.1 ounces making it perfect for those traveling light.

Bonus: The lack of cute design makes the perfect canvas for your souvenir stickers!

5. Compact Travel Cable Organizer with Pockets

As the technology age has advanced, it seems each year we need to bring more and more cords on board with us. This travel cable organizer has bene a life saver for me. Not only does it keep everything organized, it also looks stylish and sleek.

Furthermore, this case opens up extra room for packing additional tech items that you might find useful during your travels. Below, I've listed a handful of gadgets that I always toss into my organizer and absolutely refuse to travel without:

Keep you watch charged without taking up space

Connect to those basic airplane headphones and charge your phone at the same time

For when your hotel doesn't have a smart TV

Never run out of battery for your devices

6. Multipurpose Micro Duffle Bag

One of the most substantial mistakes I made as a novice traveler was neglecting to pack an extra bag to use upon reaching my destination. Having an additional bag can prove extremely useful for hauling back your souvenirs, accommodating an impromptu beach day, or serving as a carry-on for day trips while leaving your larger luggage securely at the hotel.

This featured bag is water and tear resistant, carry on compliant, and only weighs 9.1 ounces. A foldable and easily packaged bag such as this tear resistant duffle bag, has become something that I take with me everywhere. This packable bag folds into itself for extreme space storage in your carry on.

Want one even smaller? Check out the runner up option - an adjustable waist pack!

7. Universal Travel Adaptor

This universal travel adaptor will serve you in nearly ever country you visit.

The versatile wall plug is also capable of charging multiple devices simultaneously. Don't spend your money on purchasing separate power adapters for every country you visit, as I did in my early travels. Opt for a single universal adapter and not only save money but also free up precious space in your bag.

8. Over the Counter Travel Medicine Cabinet

It's tough to be sick away from home. In many countries, you won't find a CVS nearby, and when you're not feeling well, it's not easy to find what you need. Some stores in tourist spots know this and charge really high prices for these items.

This over-the-counter medicine box is truly a lifesaver. I usually pack everything from gas pills, antacids, nausea medication, vitamins, ibuprofen, and more. One of the most crucial lessons I've learned from traveling is the significance of being ready. You can never predict what you might require or when you'll need it. With its compact size, this item takes up very little space, leaving you with no reason not to be prepared.

9. Portable Micro Jewelry Case

If you're looking for a reliable, stylish, and efficient solution to keep your accessories organized and secure while traveling, I highly recommend giving this product a try.

The real convenience of this case, however, lies in its portability. The compact size fits effortlessly into my handbag or carry-on luggage, making it a breeze to take my jewelry collection along wherever I go. Whether it's a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, I can now easily bring my favorite accessories without the worry of them getting lost, damaged, or tangled.

10. Reusable Travel Liquid Containers TSA Approved

I used to buy single travel bottles from the travel section at Target before each trip. This probably stemmed from my childhood fascination with mini bottles, even though I never had a reason to buy them back then.

After transitioning into a seasoned traveler, I rapidly grew weary of traditional bottles due to their leakage, space consumption, and lack of eco-friendliness. Now I travel with these reusable silicone liquid containers filling them with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face wash. These containers come in a variety of colors so you will be sure to find a perfect fit for you!

Bonus: My favorite carry on bags!

For International Travel: Duchamp Getaway Expandable Carry-On Backpack Suitcase

This is my favorite all in one bag.This bag serves as a versatile personal item and can be unzipped to create additional space, fitting the dimensions of a standard carry-on. It accommodates a surprising amount of belongings while maintaining a stylish appearance.

The most remarkable aspect is its expandability, allowing you to conserve space for souvenirs on your return journey. For budget-conscious travelers, it meets all airline size requirements for personal items, even on airlines like Spirit and Frontier!

For Work Travel: LOVEVOOK Laptop Backpack

The LOVEVOOK is a fashionable and versatile Backpack that is not just a bag; it's a statement piece that complements any unique style. The sleek design and chic color options allow you to travel with ease without compromising on space. With a dedicated compartment for up to 15.6-inch laptops, multiple pockets, and organized compartments, you can effortlessly carry your laptop, notebooks, gadgets, and more without sacrificing style.

Thank You from the author,

Throughout the body of this post there are various affiliate links from amazon, and if clicked on and purchased, I will earn a very small slither of the big corporate pie. These affiliate marketing programs enable me to sustainably provide you with top-tier travel content!

It's important to emphasize that these recommendations are rooted in my own firsthand experiences. I only endorse products and services that I've personally tested or can genuinely vouch for.

Feel free to share in the comments if any of these items are already part of your packing list, or if there are items mentioned here that you've never contemplated before!

Madison Wulf goat ireland
Madison and a goat in Ireland


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