Carry-On Essentials :: Three Tips For Organized, Stylish Travel

A couple weeks ago in the Lauren Layne Weekly, I confessed to my fear of flying. 

It’s not so debilitating that I won’t get on a plane, but let’s just say everyone’s going to be a lot better off if I’ve had a glass of wine when the turbulence starts.

I am not a good traveler.

I am, however, pretty good at faking being a good traveler. 

You know the old idiom, dress for the job you want, not the one you have?

I apply this same philosophy to air-travel.

Travel like the sophisticated bad-ass you want to be, not the nervous wreck who’s pretty sure the wings are going to fall off.

It’s taken me a couple years of overstuffed bags and frumpy travels to get it just right, but nowadays my carry-on is strong.

Here are three LL-approved products (not sponsored, I just love this stuff!) for organized and stylish traveling.

Truffle Pouch

I can’t remember who first introduced me to the Truffle pouch, but I wish I knew so I could write them a thank you note.

At first glance, it doesn’t look special. You can find a clear, FDA-approved pouch at the drugstore, or risk it with a plastic baggie that will likely rip. 

But the Truffle is special. For starters, it’s cute. It comes in a bunch of classy colors. More importantly, it’s durable. The plastic is thicker than any “pouch” I’ve used before, and the zipper is heavy-duty. 

What’s it for? Well the most obvious answer is your carry-on toiletries that you have to take out of your bag when you go through security.

And while I certainly recommend it for that purpose, this product is way too good to be relegated to an occasional shampoo/toothpaste pouch.


My favorite use is as an “insert” for my purse. I put all my essentials in there. Chapstick, fave lipstick, wallet, iPhone charger, concealer, etc. Boom. No more rummaging around at the bottom of your purse for that lip gloss, or trying to remember which pocket you put your keys in. It’s all right there.

But my favorite part is the ease with which I can now switch purses. You know how if you want to switch from a big purse to a small purse or to a baby bag or to a carry-on, but it’s a pain because you inevitably leave something behind? Now I can just grab the Truffle and pop it into which ever bag I need.

Which leads me to …

Your carry-on tote should double as a purse

We’ve all been there. That moment you realize that you have your luggage, your carry-on (maybe a laptop bag, etc), and your purse, and then you remember you’re only allowed to carry on two. 

Or maybe you try to get by with just your luggage and your purse, but then your purse is bulging because it’s trying to hold that water bottle and the magazines and your Kindle and the make-up bag that didn’t fit in your luggage because you brought the extra pair of shoes.

The solution: You have to cave and get a big bag. Bigger than you think you need, but that can also double as a purse when you get to your destination. I used to be a big fan of the old-fashioned carry-on, with all the fancy outside pockets for water bottles and snacks and passports, but those are single-purpose bags. You can use them only while at the airport, and that’s no good.

You want a dual-purpose bag. One that’s roomy and stylish, even if bigger purses aren’t usually your style.

I have this Kate Spade one in black, but Target has some fantastic budget alternatives.

photo credit: Kate Spade

photo credit: Kate Spade


And while we’re on the topic of dual-purpose bags, get a clutch that can double as your wallet. Then you can pop the clutch in your big purse while you’re on the plane, but if you get to your destination and want something small to go out to dinner … boom, out comes the wallet that's now a clutch. 

Oh look, Kate Spade again!


  photo credit: Kate Spade


photo credit: Kate Spade


Flimsy Ear-buds aren’t going to cut it

Music/movies/TV makes the flight time go faster. Everybody knows this.

What everybody doesn’t know is that those little ear-buds that came with your phone, while fine for every day use, are no good on the plane.

Ever notice how you have to turn the volume ALL THE WAY up when you use headphones on a plane? 

That’s bad for two reasons:
a) even with the volume all the way up, the sound quality’s still not great, am I right?
b) you’re potentially doing damage to your hearing by blasting your music full-stop into your poor ear-drums. Just because you can’t hear the music over the plane-noise doesn’t mean that the music’s not still blaring at a gazillion decibels

Solution? Noise-cancelling headphones. Expensive, yes. I  held off for years thinking it wasn’t worth it.


Even when I’m not playing music, wearing the headphones makes the plane ride about 1,000x time more pleasant and helps me forget that I’m on a noisy jet.

I’m pretty attached to Beats by Dre.

Trendy, sure. Expensive? Definitely.

Cute? Yaaaaaaaasss. 

Photo Credit: Beats by Dre

Photo Credit: Beats by Dre


I have the gold ones, and they get almost daily use, even when not traveling!


Happy Travels!

Lauren Layne

New York, NY, USA

USA Today Bestselling Author & Lifestyle Blogger.