Cultural Experience | Europe

Why your Carry On Is So Important.

Your carry on can make your traveling days so much easier.

Whenever I travel abroad I always carry a backpack that will double as my purse and a small carry on suitcase. It is always best to check with your airline to see what their requirements are for traveling, some may have different weight requirements others a limit on bags.

Most of all the airlines will allow one personal item and one carry on suitcase, for me my personal item would be a backpack because it has the capacity to carry a lot more than just a purse. I usually put some clothes and extra shoes in here just in the off chance that my luggage gets lost. Your carry on bag will probably the most important item you will take with you on your time abroad. A carry on bag is something that will make your travels a lot easier.


This bag should carry your most valuable items on your traveling days such as laptop, camera, passport, wallet etc.

Your backpack should be big enough so on your weekend trips you don’t have to take a suitcase. It is so much easier to travel with a backpack. We tried to travel with a suitcase on the cobblestones of Florence but dragging a bouncing suitcase half way across the city to get home after a long weekend is not fun.


With that said I would bring a backpack big enough to carry three days worth of clothes and comfortable enough to carry around the city of Barcelona for about 5 hours. I would choose a backpack with lots of compartments but not a lot of pockets. Staying away from a backpack with lots of pockets will be beneficial not so much for your travel day abroad but for when you are traveling. While you are abroad think about all of the cities, subways, and buses you will be on. Fewer pockets can help lessen your chances of your bag being pickpocketed.

One of my roommates brought locks for her backpack to lock up her bag so she wouldn’t have to worry about being pickpocketed. Those locks also came in handy when she wanted to lock up her stuff at the hostel while we were exploring the city.


Here are some of the things I thought made a long day of traveling a little bit more comfortable.


Make up, travel toothbrush, toothpaste (traveling with a toothbrush really makes a difference after long naps or dinner I feel a little bit better freshening up), deodorant, small body spray, Advil, makeup wipes, face moisturizer, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, and feminine product (you never want to be stuck on a 10 hour flight when mother nature decides to strike and not be prepared)


Flight itinerary, passport, boarding pass, dollars, and euros (or the currency of the country you are traveling to), Phone charger, portable charger (trust me this is a life saver), earphones, locks, 2 converters (bring two incase you lose one or if one breaks)


Neck pillow: I thought I wouldn’t need a neck pillow don’t make the same mistake I did. A neck pillow would have made some 11 hour bus rides so much more comfortable. Eye mask: I am always ready for a nap and if you are like me who can only sleep when its dark an eye mask will save you.

Sweater; temperatures always vary in airplanes or airports, comfortable socks; sometimes wearing shoes for almost 24 hours isn’t the most desirable so bringing some extra clean comfortable socks will really help.


Music (load your music a couple days before not 10 minutes before your flight leaves like I did airport Wifi will not load anything), book, or magazine (not too bulky, you really don’t want to carry more than you should), and don’t worry about movies most airlines have movies available.




Vianca de la Parra

California Polytechnic State University | 2 stories

Originally from San Diego and transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall. I am majoring in Art & Design with a concentration in Photography and Video. I love to travel, make new friends, and try to make people laugh. This past fall I studied abroad Florence, Italy, where I fell in love with the magical city.

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