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Travel Inspiration

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What’s in my carry-on: Gaya Avery, Karryon, Features Editor

The satisfying SNAP of closing a newly packed suitcase. It’s the sound of all the trips I’ve not yet taken, of the trip I hope this one will be. And it’s the sound of me going into a mild panic that I’ve once again forgotten to pack socks. 

The satisfying SNAP of closing a newly packed suitcase. It’s the sound of all the trips I’ve not yet taken, of the trip I hope this one will be. And it’s the sound of me going into a mild panic that I’ve once again forgotten to pack socks. 

At Karryon, our name means something. The carry-on embodies the travel ethos we champion – it’s streamlined exploration, where experiences outweigh excess; it’s your essentials at your fingertips; peace of mind at hand; and a symbol of the travel industry’s embrace of agility.

And the Karryon team is — pardon the pun — a mixed bag, but a well-packed one. Over the coming weeks, you’ll get to open our carry-ons to find out how we travel. Let’s open mine now.

While I’d love to be an eco-warrior and have my carry-on reflect this, the truth is, I’m eco-curious at best. I’m a sucker for shiny, sparkly things that have no other use but to bring me a bit of joy when I see them or when I tell a tale of how I got them. I’m forever teetering between the well-worn path and the greener one less travelled.

So, come have a look inside a travel editor’s carry-on – a messy, honest exploration of the journey towards a lighter footprint, with detours for the occasional indulgence. My goal is to pack light – for the planet and for my back.

Please note, none of these products have been sponsored. Each item was curated and purchased by the writer.

THE BAG: Beekeeper Parade Backpack Royal

I stumbled upon the pop-up BeeKeeper Parade store in Melbourne Central almost a decade ago when on the hunt for a baby bag and only recently treated myself to a new backpack from the store. 

The backpacks are functional, comfortable and are made using fabric remnants discarded by local factories that would otherwise be thrown into landfill. Each is unique.

What's in my carry-on?

The bag itself features:

  • a secret zip-up compartment at the top, perfect for sunglasses
  • a padded laptop compartment
  • two front compartments at the front (one with an organiser so that your pens etc aren’t floating about and you’re not pulling everything out when you need to fill in those Arrival cards)
  • two elasticated side pockets that can hold 750ml bottles

Founder Koky Saly was born in a Cambodian prison during the civil war, and escaped with his family to Australia at age three. Driven by a desire to both rebuild his war-torn homeland and create a sustainable future for the planet, Koky has dedicated himself to social good. Following the loss of his sister Sophia, his partner in this mission, Koky used the proceeds from her car to launch BeeKeeper, a social enterprise that tackles environmental issues and funds education projects in Cambodia through the sale of bags such as mine. 

THE LAPTOP CASE: Live Softly Hand Felted Wool Laptop Case

The creation of Live Softly started with a journey. Elise Slater, a designer from Sydney, left her career in fashion and followed her heart to go on an adventure to India and Nepal. In Nepal, Elise learned of a local crafts group that employed people and their families affected by leprosy, setting up affordable housing with free medical treatment.

Elise wanted to support this amazing organisation, so using her 15 years of experience as a designer and trend forecaster she created her first project with the craftspeople of Nepal – the Live Softly hand-felted woollen laptop covers. 

What's in my carry-on?

The cases are felted in one piece and seam free, so there is zero fibre wasted in the making process, and the wool is sourced from New Zealand wool industry offcuts. Each maker of these cases is paid a living wage for life.

Plus, the cases are pretty! In fact, the hardest task was choosing the right colour combo. 

THE LAPTOP: MacBook Air.

Apple got their clutches into me at uni. I cannot Microsoft. 

THE TOILETRY BAG: ChipIn 150g Chip Bag

Reminiscent of shrinking chip bags in the oven in the school holidays, ChipIn bags upcycle a variety of savoury and confectionary snack packaging into a range of zippered bags. The bags have fully reinforced seams, are fully fabric lined and covered in PVC for durability. 

What's in my carry-on?

Made by a couple of sisters in Adelaide, the bag I chose is about 30cm long and 20cm wide. It’s made from an RSCPCA special 150g Thins Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream Potato Chip bag. Dogs and chips. What more could you want?

THE TOOTHBRUSH: The Lifelong Bamboo Toothbrush by Reusable Thing

FOREVERHANDLE™ is a toothbrush handle made in New Zealand from a single piece of anodized aluminum. It’s designed to be durable and last a lifetime. The replaceable head is made from FSC™ certified Moso Bamboo with plant-based bristles. The bamboo head is 99% biodegradable and can be composted after removing the bristles.

What's in my carry-on?

And again, she’s pretty!

THE MAKE UP: Axiology 

I’m a huge fan of Axiology’s Full Face Sets. These sticks are perfect for travel as they can double up as bronzer/contour, eye shadow, blush, lipstick, and highlighter all in the one set. I have the Medium Set. 

I also travel with Axiology’s Balmie Trio Set in the Of The Earth shades. These are eco-friendly multi-use crayons for eyes, lips, and cheeks, made with just nine natural ingredients. 

What's in my carry-on?

THE HAIRCARE: Ethique Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

These used to be hard to get but can now be purchased from your local grocery store! They are also a great way around the liquid carry-on constraints. I use the Reviving Shampoo Bar for Balanced Hair: Pinkalicious™ and the Intensely Nourishing Conditioner Bar for Damaged Hair: Too Delicious™.

What's in my carry-on?

Rather than carry the whole bar, I just slice off what I think I’ll need for the trip. 

THE DEODORANT: Schmidt’s

Schmidt’s also used to be hard to find but is now also in the grocery store and chemists. BUT I fear my favourite scent of Coconut and Pineapple is not as easy to find as my go-to Rose and Vanilla. 

What's in my carry-on?

THE LAUNDRY SHEETS: Restor Concentrated Laundry Detergent Sheets in Fresh Linen

I LOVE doing laundry while away and usually pack my clothes accordingly (meaning, I try to pack as little as possible). But finding the kind of laundry detergent you like in a different country can be difficult so I bring my own. 

What's in my carry-on?

Laundry sheets are perfect for travel. A quarter of a sheet will be all you need for some hand basin laundering or you can throw a full sheet into a washing machine if you’ve got a full load. 

THE TRAVEL WALLET: Mugwamp Travel Wallet

This one doubles as a clutch for when I go out and don’t want to bring my backpack. I found this one at a market in Portland about four years ago but a quick squiz at their Etsy store suggests that they may not make these anymore. They still make passport covers, wallets and luggage tags. 

What's in Gaya Avery's carry-on?

Made by former teacher, Suzanne Keolker, from a variety of recycled goods like retro records and cast away vinyl banners to lost maps and children’s books, each item has a story to tell. 

THE DRINK BOTTLE: LARQ Bottle PureVis™

The LARQ Bottle PureVis™ is a self-cleaning water bottle that claims to purify water by eliminating up to 99% of bio-contaminants like E. coli using its built-in PureVis technology. This technology utilises UV-C light to target and inactivate harmful bacteria. Basically, you push the top of the lid and a light comes on cleaning your water. I have accidentally pressed this button numerous times, and haven’t had to charge the lid since I got it about two months ago. I still pack the USB cord just in case.

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THE PEN: LAMY Pico Ballpoint Pen

This LAMY pen extends from 9cm to 12cm and is refillable. I was gifted this from a friend after threatening to steal theirs. Remember, don’t rely on subtlety when it comes to gifts. 

What's in my carry-on?

THE OTHER ESSENTIALS: Another outfit, compression socks, headphones, chargers and a book. Always a book!