I have been mentally preparing myself for this trip for some time now.
But figuring out what I actually need to bring is a lot more complicated than you would expect. I have made lists after lists after lists of things I want to bring with me and things I "need". Finally, I figured out what I absolutely need that would fit into my carry-on backpack.
Waterbottle: You should always be drinking lots of water. That being said, it is even more important while flying as your body is adjusting to so many different things. I know using the restroom on the plane is awful, but it gets you up and moving and is extremely healthy. Most of the time the water on planes is gross so fill up your waterbottle at the Starbucks. Also, never ask for ice on an airplane.
- Clothing: you should pack at least two days worth of light clothes. For this, they should all be in the same color platte. One pair of jeans or shorts, two shirts, one pair of shoes. Easy. Comfortable. But you won't feel gross wearing it twice. This is for those "just in case" scenarios.
- Electronics: Computer, Camera, Phone, iPod, and all the chargers. Especially in Europe bring a converter and adapter. This is important to have with you just in case something happens to your suitcase. Put all of the chargers in the same bag, for easy access to everything you need.
- Toiletry Bag: Meds, face wipes, makeup, chapstick (use EOS, it's the best!), hand sanitizer, & moisturizer. Basically anything you could possibly want in mini size so you can freshen up on those long flights and don't feel gross. Half way through the flight, you should go wash your face and freshen up to feel good about yourself as you begin your amazing journey!
- Entertainment: Gum, magazines, book, journal, and headphones. Anything you could possibly need. Don't forget you can't charge on the plane, so if you have a long flight ahead of you, don't rely solely on using electronics for the whole time. Most of the time, they have free movies to watch, but even then this won't last you. Try to sleep if you are one of the lucky ones who can while on the plane. Otherwise, be prepared to entertain yourself without internet or electronics. Don't buy the gum and magazines at the airport. You'll waste more money than you will space and most of the time if you have to carry your water bottle in your hand or a magazine in your hand it doesn't count as a bag.
- Essentials: Passport, wallet, & ticket (obviously)
- Sunglasses: protect your eyes they are helping you see this amazing world!
Snacks: Food in the airport is sooo expensive (and kind of gross). Pack some bars (even though they aren't exactly the best things for you) they keep you full and avoid bad snacking. Almonds are filling, easy to carry, and don't need to worry about them going bad on the plane. Same things with trail mix. Bring snacks, you'll thank me later.
Good luck packing your carry on and have a safe flight :)