What’s in my bag(s): Backpack and purse packing for travel

Welcome to round three of unsolicited travel advice! This week, I am writing a few blogs about what I pack in my bag(s). Today, I’m going to give you a behind the scenes look at what I wear to the airport, and what I pack into my backpack and purse when flying and prancing around my vacation destination.

IMG-4030Airplane Attire

I typically wear leggings or sweats on a plane, but as I am getting off the plane and onto a train to Austria when I land in Germany, I decided to put in a bit of effort so not to be embarrassed to be seen outside of airport walls. A comfy sweater, jeans, and shoes that are easy to slip on and off are key.


My backpack includes everything I need to be comfortable, entertained, and, if need be, sedated on a long flight. If I am going to be stuffed into a seat like a sardine next to a stranger, I’m going to make the most of it.

  • Comfy Socks: I talked about this a bit in the last blog post, but they really make a world of difference when it comes to comfort level.
  • Extra underwear and bra: When traveling internationally, your travel time is much more than the 8+ hour flight. Sometimes you are traveling for upwards of 15-20 hours total. To combat the grunge of non-stop travel, I always pack extra undergarments to feel fresher when a shower is out of the question.
  • Change of clothes: This is just an iteration from what is listed above, but if you are planning on hitting the town running when you land, have extra clothes to change into when you disembark the plane, or in the off chance your luggage gets lost.
  • Headphones/Earbuds: Whether you are listening to your own music or watching the movies on board bring your own headphones.
  • Charger: A lot of my media is pre-downloaded on my phone. I always take my portable phone charger with me on the plane. Make sure it is charged in advance!
  • Outlet converter: I always pack my outlet converter in my backpack in case I have a layover in a different country and need to charge electronics. Also, a precaution in case luggage is lost.
  • Books: Duh.
  • Deodorant: Again, to combat the airport and plane stench.
  • Toothbrush: No one wants fuzzy teeth.
  • Snacks: There are plane snacks and meals, but these are nice to have handy if you aren’t a fan of your options or if you have dietary restrictions.
  • Neck Pillow:  This is a “do or die” necessity.
  • Water Bottle: I hate trying to balance a cup of water on my tray table. Bring your own bottle with a lid to make life less complicated.
  • All my pills: Zinc to combat sickness, melatonin to help me sleep, Dramamine for motion sickness, the list goes on and on.
  • Brush, hair accessories: Bringing little things like a brush or hair tie can help you feel refreshed right before or after you get off of a long flight.


These items don’t need much explaining, other than the fact that I am constantly in fear of being hungry and without food to eat so I pack double snacks in every bag.

  • Mints/Gum
  • Wallet
  • Passport
  • Boarding Passes
  • More Snacks
  • Chapstick
  • Cash
  • Extra headphones

Hopefully, this gives you point of reference when packing for your next trip, stateside or otherwise. Friday I’ll be laying out and posting each item I’ll be packing for my trip next week to Austria, along with my tips and tricks for fitting everything I need for a 10-day European vacation into a standard size carry-on bag. Stay tuned!

If you want to be kept up-to-date on my travels in the coming weeks, follow me on Instagram @marissa_gaal.

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