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Packing with P'Niche - 2 Countries, 1 Carry-On...

P'Niche has just returned from beloved Paris, but this trip, I tacked on nearly two additional weeks - a girls' trip to Scotland. This voyage was unique in that I was away nearly 3 weeks and permitted only one small carry on and a personal item. We've covered my wardrobes from past trips...winter, spring, fall, and summer as well as specific trips during March, June and September trips.

This trip, I won't bore you with what clothing I packed as it was very minimal, but I will share the items that carried me through in my carry on travels.

Now to clarify, I am just not a carry on kinda traveler. I like options. I pack liquids.

That said, this trip, I knew well ahead of time that I'd be carrying only the smallest of carry-on bags and one sole personal item.

I did manage to get a "handbag" in my packing lists to carry during the long days of touring and adventures.

Without further ado, here is what I include in my (non-sponsored) carry on and personal item (in this case, my new black tote). I've created several groups of similar items for clarity - see the deets down below...


  1. Basic Carry On: I've had this one for a few years now and have taken it on many girl trips and solo trips from Paris, Italy, Iceland, London, a South African safari, and now Scotland. The quality is wonderful - it is lightweight and deceptively large inside with lots of little pockets for ease.

  2. New Travel Tote: My favorite travel tote was just not going to be durable enough for this outdoorsy adventure. (If you know P'Niche, you know she is more of an "indoor cat.") This nylon bag is heavyweight, durable, expands to a large size, with lots of pockets, but also folds down to nothing if you want to just toss it into your luggage and go. I had the misfortune to spill a bottle of soda inside and the waterproof aspects kept all of my important items dry until I could grab some tissues.

  3. Cross Body Bag: P'Niche is admittedly late to the cross body bag party, but after having my credit card lifted (the number, not the physical card) I decided to invest in this RFID safety cross body bag. This one has safety slots for your passport and 3 credit cards (or similar sized card). It is very comfortable to wear and has anti-pickpocket zippers. I simply placed into my Travel Tote when boarding the plane to keep to two items and was able to keep it with me once my carry on was stored in the overhead bin. Five Stars from P'Niche.

  4. Travel Vest Windbreaker: All Together Now: "IT HAS POCKETS!" 19 of them as a matter of fact. My bestie (hi Eva!) introduced me to this one and it is simply genius. Trust me, whatever you cannot fit into your bag can likely be worn on your person. With airlines become ever more diligent with their carry on allotments, it's ever so helpful (and warm on the airplane!)

First Grouping - Organization & Technology:

5. Global Adapter: I got this as a gift and was excited as it covered both the whole of the EU but also the UK and USA. As a matter of fact, you can likely use this in Japan as well - provided it is not a three prong plug that needs powering up. It has three USB plugs as well as an additional "C Socket" for your laptops, etc. With hotels and apartments lacking in sockets, this gem has become an indispensable travel tool.

6. Mobile Phone Mount: Not one to jump on tech item trends, I was really reluctant to add this to cart, but when my airplane seat's entertainment system was broken, I was *thrilled to be able to prop this up in the seatback tray and watch my pre-downloaded movies. In addition, it came in really handy for those moments when I wanted to be hands-free or even use as a "stand" as I did not pack my gimble or tripod for this trip. As you prep your mobile phone, make sure you also have all the Paris travel apps needed to get about town with ease...

7. Sleep Headband/Headphones: When you are a (verrrrrrrrrrry) light sleeper and plan to share accommodations with a "travel roommate," any noise trigger can disrupt your much needed rest. I usually sleep with my tv on (I know, I know) so needed a little bit of white noise to block out any noise (but also maintain the noises I did need to sleep). While I had the bar set quite low on this device - it's an absolute game changer. I was able to have some noise on while I slept, (audio book for the win) without getting disrupted or disrupting anyone else. Hashtag Worth It!

8. Hanging Toiletry Bag: This is the best travel gift ever received ever. Ever. My mom (hi Mom!) had picked this up a few Christmases ago and I can get ever so many toiletries packed inside. I even use to repack new items on the way back. It was such a hit that mom got the same for herself and my nieces. P'Niche can honestly say that the only problem with this bag is that when you travel as a group of 4 ladies with the same bag, you have to add ribbons to know who has which bag! I added a Tricolore ribbon to mine. As P'Niche does.

9. Travel Jewelry Box: As I packed minimal clothing, in a soft neutral palate this last trip, I really changed up my looks by adding jewelry and accessories. This box helped me keep all of my valuables organized, untangled, and ready to wear - providing lots of options, with minimal space taken up in the luggage.

10. Electronic Cord Organizer: This is another one that really did not seem necessary to me, but as it was on sale, I threw it into the cart for purchase. And WOW, what a difference. All of the cords, chargers, headphones, ear pods, etc. were nice and tidy and ready to charge and/or use. What a change - usually I am spending many precious moments untangling wires and the like. This makes my new "essentials" list.

Second Grouping - Health & Wellness:

11. Pill / Vitamin Organizer: I mean - not very flashy, right? But this organizer has a very sleek look and lots of room in each day's compartment for lots of small pills, larger pills, a mix, etc. It slipped right into my travel vest with ease and I was able to locate them easily when the time came for my daily vitamins. Self care on the fly...

12. Lip Balm: Again, not much razzle dazzle here, but I did pack three full lip balms for this trip and one went right into my travel vest, where I used it no less than 10 times on the very drying airplane ride.

13. Dramamine: Listen, whoever invented this stuff should be granted immediate access to Heaven. There are no words to say how winding the roads are in both the south of France as well as Scotland. These anti nausea pills have quite literally changed how I am able travel - hooray!

14. Hand Cream: Another "boring" item here, but the trick to this one is that the cream is actually a diabetic formula. A friend of mine, who is a nurse, recommended it and it saved my poor chapped hands during the flight and the entire trip. It's so rich and creamy, a little bit goes a long way.

15. Travel Tooth Brush & Paste: Again, snooze-ville, but you'll thank me when you get off the plane after a red-eye flight and can freshen up in the airport bathroom.

16. Toilet Spray: Seems funny to share this one, but here we are. When you travel with companions, you might feel "anxious" about taking care of your business in a shared or common space. This scented spray takes away a lot of those fears. It's light, easy to pack, and there is a reason it has so many 5-star reviews. We all have to go. Even the French phrase for how are you doing "ça va?" can literally be translated to "how are you going?" Key Word: Going.

17. Jet Lag Medication: OK - absolute game changer here. I got these on a whim for this last trip and took as directed. Let me tell you - traveling both directions was a breeze. I went right from the overnight flight to Paris (where I slept not, le sigh) to a birthday party, visit to a park, and then to dinner with friends. Disclaimer: P'Niche is not a physician, please do check with your own doctor before taking any medications.

18. Liquid IV: I got these as a give away item and saved them for this trip. I definitely noticed that my skin felt better and I felt better overall with these little electrolyte boosts. Again, I'm not a doctor, so please check with your own physician before trying.

"Basics & Extras" Grouping

19. Sewing Kit: This kit has been in my bag for about 25 years and I have never used it - in fact, I forgot I even had it. Until (dun dun dun!) a shoulder button popped off of my favorite Breton top (Monoprix couture - if you know, you know). This was really early in the trip and I packed very few tops, so was delighted to be able to mend this on the fly and get back into travel action.

20. Magnifying Glass / Bookmark: My bags did not even allow space for one more item and I was thinking of leaving my reading glasses at home as every spare centimeter counted. Then I recalled this magnifying glass bookmark I was given (again, merci mom!) I was able to read books, menus, etc. and didn't have to pack my glasses. It even held my place in my travel book. So much winning here!

21. Travel Umbrella: My last travel umbrella broke on my last trip (merci for your service), so picked this one up. I love that it has a case, a strong open/close feature, and can also be used as a parasol, in addition to great rain protection.

22. Sink Suds: Traveling with very few garments and not wanting to waste time at the laundromat introduced me to these little packets of bubbly goodness. I was able to quickly hand wash my items, toss them in the hotel shower for drying and carry on (pun intended) with fresh clothes as needed. And the scent is light and fresh - perfect for travel.

23. Collapsible Water Bottle: In Scotland, there were not as many fountains as in Paris proper, so having a water bottle with me at all times seemed important. I got this one as it collapses to near nothing for travel, and can hold 16 ounces when full. It has a screw top as well as a little ring you can add to your handbag or tote for convenience. I've used it so much, and enjoyed it so much, you'll very likely see that on the P'Niche Holiday Guide 2024, so do subscribe to join us back here for the ho-ho-holidays...

24. Travel Blanket: Ok, stick with me here as this seems so "extra." However, the blankets on the plane (if you are given one at all) are so thin, they are barely more than a whisper of warmth. This baby right here is sooooo soft and warm. It can loop right onto your luggage handle (keeping you down to your 2 allotted items) and will be a true comfort during your flight. In addition, I was able to use mine for a few impromptu picnics along both the Seine and the River Clyde. This blanket will work hard for you...

OK, P'Nicher, I've shown you mine, now tell me yours - what's in your travel tote? Have you added anything from my list (or omitted some items you feel are superfluous?) Let us know in the comments section below and à bientôt!


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Phyllis Cartwright
Phyllis Cartwright

Wow! Chrissy! I think you covered it. This is a great list and I'm sure a big help to many who want to travel a little lighter. Merci!


thank you so much for saying so and it def inspires me to get back to Paris even quicker!

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