I've Been to 30 Countries—Here's What I'd Never Pack in My Carry-On

How can you tell if someone is a seasoned traveler or not? A quick scan of an Instagram profile may help, as well as counting the number of stamps in a passport. But perhaps there's a more observant way to spot a jet-setter. You simply stand in the arrivals terminal and see who waits at baggage claim.

Obviously there are plenty of reasons to check a bag, whether you've been around the world or you very rarely leave your hometown. But if you're on the road often, chances are that you never bother with the risk and wait associated with a large suitcase. Take travel and adventure writer Brenna Wilson, for instance. She estimates that she's been to at least 30 countries (although she doesn't like to think of those experiences as checking boxes off a list) and added Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Costa Rica so far this year. Through it all, she usually only packs a carry-on bag.

"I've had so many instances where my flight was delayed or canceled, and with a carry-on it's so much easier to jump on another flight—especially if I have a layover in a different country," she says. "It makes life much easier when I have that flexibility. Plus, when you travel as often as I do, every second counts."

Given Breanna's expertise, we asked for her advice on what you can and cannot take on a plane. Who knows? Maybe to a casual observer, you can appear to be a seasoned traveler after your very first flight.