14 Things to Include in Your Carry-On

Spring Break is here (for me, at least), and as someone who absolutely loves to travel, I’ve learned what is and what isn’t a necessity to have with you on the plane. I also have a tendency to overpack, so it’s been difficult to learn which things I absolutely need. So, besides the obvious things to pack (like a laptop and phone), here are some of the things I’ve learned are important when thinking on what to pack in a carry-on!

1. A change of clothes

I can’t tell you how good it feels to put on a fresh tee-shirt or underwear when you’ve been traveling for over a day. It’s also a good idea for the clumsy moments that hit us all, with coffee spills when we’re running to catch planes or the stain that we have no idea where it came from. There’s also nothing like changing into clothes that haven’t been smeared with everyone else germs, and that feel so fresh and smell like home.

2. A book

There’s no better time to get to the book that you’ve been wanting to read for months than while you’re sitting on a plane for 5 hours. Plus, laptop and phone batteries can run-out, and there isn’t always a place to plug them in. Although it can be heavy and cumbersome, and kindle and iBook are great apps, having a physical book is a great time-waster.

3. A portable charger

If you run into the problem stated above (where there isn’t a place to charge your phone or laptop), it’s vital that you have a portable charger of some sort. There are some really great ones that aren’t too expensive, and can hold just enough battery for your device until you’re able to fully charge it again. It’s definitely worth it, and it can save you from boredom; especially if you’re not a reader and don’t want to carry around a book.

4. Hand sanitizer

There are thousands of people who travel in airports every day, and with them comes billions of germs. Hand sanitizer is a good way to keep yourself safe from illnesses that you could catch while at the airport, and it can save you especially if the tiny bathrooms in the planes run out of soap (sadly, that happens sometimes). I’ve found the tiny pocket ones from Bath & Body Works to be the best size, and the Black Cherry Merlot is definitely the best scent!

5. Lotion

Especially since you’ll be wanting to wash your hands so often, and being in a plane is dehydrating anyways, lotion can be a lifesaver. One of the things I hate the most is chapped hands, so lotioning-up goes a long way in making me more comfortable during long plane rides!

6. A small notebook

Not only is having a small notebook useful for traveling in regards to noting important information (like a hotel address or a phone number), but it also is a great idea to keep a travel journal! With all the pictures everyone takes on their phones everyday, it’s kinda nice to be able to take the pictures, print them, and have somewhere to put them besides your wall. It’s fun to look back at what you did everyday and see the pictures in a cute little notebook. That way, you can remember the memories that much easier!

7. A pen

Having a pen or something else to write with is important; especially if you’re going out of the country, or if you decide that you want to keep a travel journal in your notebook. With how many forms and other things you have to sign, it’s nice to know that you have one on you and you don’t have to go searching for one or buy one.

8. A fuzzy pair of socks

Although you can include it with your change of clothes, I love having a pair of separate comfy socks while travelling. It can be annoying to keep your shoes on (especially when you’re travelling on a long flight), and having a pair of clean, fuzzy socks to put on your sore and dirty feet is a dream.

9. A blanket scarf

Again, although this can be included with your change of clothes, a blanket scarf is a great idea to pack, because as the name suggests, it can be used as a blanket! Airports and airplanes have a tendency to vary greatly in temperature, so it’s nice to just be able to wrap something around you’re neck instead of having to carry 10 coats and sweaters with you through the terminals.

10. A water bottle

Even though it will have to be emptied before you go through security, having a water bottle is a great idea for longer flights and lots of road travel. Paper cups or plastic water bottles aren’t eco-friendly. Plus, you’re probably more likely to spill you drink on yourself when it’s in a paper cup, and it’s easier to stow away when you’re not drinking from it. Generally, it’s better to have a reusable water bottle on you at all times, anyways. You never know when it could really come in handy!

11. An eye-mask

When travelling on long flights, sometimes it can be hard to sleep with all the lights and sounds around you. Having a sleep mask can block some of that out, and help you get better sleep. But, remember to wash it if you’re using it a lot! It’s similar to a pillowcase, which should be washed at least every few days to a week.

12. Earplugs

Crying babies, snoring people and slamming bathroom doors. Enough said.

13. Snack

The is probably pretty obvious, but those peanuts that they serve on flights aren’t enough to fill your grumbling stomach for that 3 hours flight. Plus, when flying internationally, in-flight food is sometimes not included in the price, and the meals can be very pricy. It’s best to grab something cheaper when you can (even though nothing is usually cheap about airports).

14. Camera

This is an optional item. Even though most phone cameras now can take pretty awesome photos, I prefer to always have my DSLR or some other type of camera with me. Even though having it in my carry-on could become a pain (because it’s big), I would never put it in a checked bag, because those bag handlers are not at alp careful with bags! They just toss them on conveyer belts without any thought as to what is in them. That’s why it’s always better to keep things that are valuable and breakable (like jewelry or other electronics) with you!



Hope that this helps for any last-minute packing. Safe travels!




Keeping a Bullet Journal

For a long time, I have been wanting to keep a bullet journal. I first discovered bullet journaling on Pinterest (trying to copy ideas that you find always turns out so well), and I have wanted to try it for myself.

I found a really cheap dot paper notebook a few weeks ago (it literally fell apart, so I had to go buy a new one that was around $20. Quality over quantity!), but I am now obsessed with bullet journaling.


I love how I can customize it to my preference, and decorate it how I want. I use washi tape, stickers, post-its, different-colored markers, and when I get the change, I’m going to try to add some polaroids, too. I especially like that it’s a small notebook, and is much easier to carry around. With the computer, and all the textbooks and notebooks in my backpack, the tinier, the better.

Keeping a bullet journal has made my life a lot easier – I keep my daily schedule, my homework, to do lists, and other important information in it, and it has helped to spark my creativity. Along with that, I make lists that tell me how many seasons of shows I’ve watched (all 12 seasons of Criminal Minds in less than 2 months), what books I want to read next (Americanah by Chimimanda Adichie), inspirational quotes, and movies I want to see (Red Sparrow, anyone?). I also plan to add some of my own poetry, and my own writing. Basically, everything is organized and catered towards me!



So, if you’ve been wanting something to keep your life organized, but is also fun and personalized, keep a bullet journal!





Feeling Lost

For the past few months, I have been feeling lost (I mentioned it in an earlier post, Blank Mind). I’ve had absolutely no motivation to write or do anything creative, like take photographs. While this issue has recently been getting better, I have started feeling panic about my major and about almost everything related to school.

Before even coming in as a freshman at the University of Iowa, I’d changed my major 3 times. Now, it’s probably up to 7 times. Even still, after changing my major from Political Science to English over this past winter break, I still don’t feel that it is 100% the correct major for me. The main problem is that I don’t know what other options there are that fit my interests (photography, writing, and being creative), and don’t include research (I think I would hate being a journalist. There’s too much non-fiction writing for me).

I know what I do want to do (something that enables me to write and create what I want; talk about fashion and food and basically everything. I also would love to take photographs and travel), but there isn’t exactly a specific major that includes all of these elements. However, I have recently discovered the world and importance of bloggers and influencers, like Noelle Downing and JagLever, and they are doing everything that I dream about.

They take pictures, they meet with product brands and promote them, they travel and share their fashions and wonderful experiences with all their followers, and they basically do and work on what they want. This sounds like something that is very close to what I dream about doing, but I don’t even know where to begin on achieving something like this.

As someone who is struggling, I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with my current major issues! Comment below if you have anything that you think would help!

My 40-Day Goal

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for Christians. To symbolize the sacrifices that Jesus made for us, those that celebrate Lent usually also give something up to commemorate that sacrifice. Usually, the things that they give up are things they feel they have become too attached to (like social media) or too much of a habit (like eating chocolate or sweets). Continue reading “My 40-Day Goal”

Hurts Donuts Co., Iowa City


Why We Need Feminism

With everything going on in the media regarding the fall of powerful men due to their acts of sexual harassment and the new Time’s Up movement, it’s important to remember why we need feminism.

This is a paper that I wrote for one of my classes, and I’m sharing it with you because I think it’s important to remember that we are fighting for the equality of human beings. Human beings who have been mistreated their entire lives by people who are in positions of power, and because of societal norms. Human beings who can’t even seem to show a bra strap without it being sexualized and degraded in some way.

Hopefully, by reading this, you’ll realize that you are a feminist, that you are proud to be one, and that you will no longer stand for injustice against your fellow human beings.



Continue reading “Why We Need Feminism”

New Year’s Resolution

With the closing of a year, and the opening of a new one, comes New Year’s resolutions. Most of the time, people tend to stick with their resolutions for about a month, before their previous habits overtake their good intentions. It’s almost inevitable that they fail, because new habits are hard to form and life sometimes just gets in the way of our new goals. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution”

Things I’m Grateful and Praying For

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

As an American, I have a lot to be thankful for, especially with everything else that is going on in the world.  So, here are the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving: Continue reading “Things I’m Grateful and Praying For”

Blank Mind

I have always been a creative person.

I love drawing, photography, fashion, crafts, writing and anything else that someone who is considered ‘artsy’ would do.

However, for a while I have been going through a dry spell, and I can’t seem to write creatively. I can’t seem to gets words out on the page that can accurately describe my feelings or details about a scene I want to portray.

When I sit in front of a blank white page, blank is what my mind becomes. No words of inspiration, or anything with the ability to create magic are produced in my blank mind. Continue reading “Blank Mind”