Travel Essentials Checklist: Work Carry-on

When my manager approached me to take on a work project for the next 12 months, I completely jumped at the chance. Nervermind that there was a risk I could be left with no role to go back to by the end. This was new and exciting waters! I would be learning a whole new system! There would be travel! And a chance to pioneer and carve out my own niche role!

Now 7 months in and with an international trip literally every month since, I’m somewhat subdued, yet still immensely enjoying the experience. In between this, I’ve also gotten married (more on that in another post), had a mini-honeymoon, and have settled in something resemblance of a routine. At the least, I’ve managed to sort out a work travel checklist, which I thought would be useful to share.

Click the image above to download a printable PDF!

Obviously, this checklist is very much geared to females, and it’s one I’m personally using. With constant minimising and miniaturising, I’ve been able to pack everything on the list into a carry-on shoulder bag (like my well-worn Longchamp Le Pliage). Recently, I’ve bought a mini backpack instead, with most of the essentials neatly fitting inside. The additional bigger items like change of clothes and shoes would be packed in a small rolling case.

All this (and more!) fits into a small backpack for hands-free travel.

Amongst my gadgets, I’m rating the Bluetooth earbuds, universal phone charger, and mini phone lens/light as some of my best purchases for travel. I love how they’re compact yet multi-functional. If you’re curious, they’re all from Taobao and linked below. While Taobao is a dream for mainland Chinese locals, it’s a bit more challenging to ship overseas. You can certainly try their warehouse shipping or use a Taobao agent if you’re happy to pay the international shipping.


I absolutely hate waiting in line at the airport. Minimal luggage means you’re less likely to be stopped and checked (in general, airport staff don’t seem to care about the smaller backpacks and shoulder bags). Also having things like laptops, chargers, phones, and documentation within easy reach will have you going through customs like a breeze.

Do you agree with my carry-on essentials?
What’s on your in-cabin checklist?
Stay tuned for part 2 of my travel checklist for check-in baggage!

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