Carry-On Essentials & Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_4644Starting Friday, I’ll be back on the road and traveling more days in March than I’m home. With seven cities to visit in five weeks, it’ll be a true test of my packing abilities! But regardless of whether I’m traveling by train or plane, there are three things I’m guaranteed to have in my carry-on for every trip (and think you should too!). Below is my won’t-leave-without-it list.

#1: Bose Noise Cancelling Head Phones…


…otherwise known as the best $300 I’ve ever spent! Of course the sound quality is outstanding, but even without music, these headphones are fantastic. Light and comfortable, they block out crying babies, incessant talkers, and roaring engines. I turn these on, breathe a quiet sigh of relief, and relax for the rest of my journey.

#2: A Pashmina Scarf…


…which is, in my opinion, the most versatile and functional travel accessory. Cold? Use it as a shawl or blanket. Tired? Ball it up and it becomes a pillow. Sitting next to someone over-perfumed? Breathe into it until the smell dissipates! Person in the window seat won’t close the shade? Scarf as eye mask time. Umbrella packed in the suitcase when it starts to rain? If there’s a scarf, there’s a hood! I have a whole bin to choose from, but my go-to from Zara, with its basic black color and multi-functional jersey material, make it a favorite.

#3: My Smart Phone…


…has changed my travel life. With so many great travel tools and apps, I’m able to take better advantage of my time away from home. Yelp and Twitter have helped me identify great restaurants. Currency converters have prevented me from overspending on art, clothing, or jewelry. HopStop and Maps mean I rarely get lost. I always have a camera handy and, thanks to the World Clock, know exactly what time it is at home. Oh, and I’m also able to call, text, e-mail, or FaceTime the loved ones I miss so dearly when I’m away. (With thousands of app options, it can be easy to forget that smart phones do those things too!)

And, just as every traveler has a few things they can’t travel without, everyone should have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that, like these three carry-on essentials, is comforting, versatile, and helpful to have on hand…Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies!

For this post, I started with the Derby Day Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, added vanilla, removed pecans, and updated the directions and baking time.

What are the travel items you think everyone should have in their carry-ons? Do you have favorite travel apps? Share them in the comments section!


Click Here to Print This Recipe.

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, white and brown sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add bourbon.


  • Stir in flour mixture until blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake until edges are lightly browned, approximately 9-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for one minute; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

16 responses

  1. After a number of years I finally realized I don’t have to overpack but rather select items to wear that I can mix and match and wear multiple times. The one item, besides the Bose, is a good book!

    Chocolate chip cookies are good anytime.

  2. If you’re near Tampa bring those cookies with you. I know a certain friend who would have loved those cookies. Have a safe an enjoyable time and some day you’ll have to teach me how not to overpack. I’m the one who keeps throwing things in the suitcase for just in case times!

  3. Bourbon…..rum… I see a trend here? Dare I hope for something Guinness or Bailey’s or whiskey for St.Patrick’s Day??!! Have a safe trip/s. Looking forward to your posts.

  4. Took your suggestion for including a Pashmina on recent trips and was so glad I did. Talk about versatile! As for the Bose head phones while on board – agree that they are a must-have. :-) The bourbon in the chocolate chip cookies sounds like a delicious addition!

  5. Those Bose headphones are incredible. Frank has a pair and I nab them all the time, but I’m seriously thinking I need my own. It does make travel many times more relaxing to just block everything out. Safe travels this month!

  6. Bourbon – what an additional tasty ingredient to add to the chocolate chip cookies! Unfailingly, you always appeal to my sweet tooth! Love the scarf collection!

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