Don’t forget these carry-on essentials.
If you’re wondering what to pack in your carry-on, you’ve come to the right place. There’s flying, and there’s flying smart. We want to help you do the latter. Some items are non-negotiable in a carry-on to have a great flight. Others you can leave at home. We’ll make sure you know which is which.
So what should you bring? First, get a small, lightweight carry-on bag that can hold everything you need. Don’t pack extras. For example, if you think it’s going to be cold, wear your heavier jacket and leave the other at home. No need to bring two. Try to minimize your toiletries and buy leak-proof travel bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc. And only bring one pair of comfortable shoes.
Sleeping on long flights.
Catch some zzz’s before you arrive at your destination. Here’s what to bring to make sure you sleep like a baby next time you’re on a plane.
- Travel pillow - These are easy to carry around and can be strapped on the outside of a backpack. They pack flat and make sleeping so much easier.
- Sleeping mask - If lights are turned on around you, sleeping will be more difficult. A sleeping mask is an easy way to turn them out.
- Collapsible water bottle - Staying hydrated is important for a comfortable flight, this collapsible water bottle is an easy sail through TSA and clips onto anything.
- Earplugs - Bring these to cancel out noise on your flight. Silence on a plane is golden.
- Compression socks - Keep your feet warm and your legs comfy on a long flight with thick socks or compression sock varieties.
Keep yourself entertained on your flight. It will help the time pass and make the experience more enjoyable. Pack the following items in your carry-on.
- Noise-cancelling headphones - Keep out everything but what you want to hear.
- Tablet readers - Load up this device so you don’t have to pack bulky books.
- Laptop - For movies, work and whatever else. Pro tip: At the end of your trip, upload your photos to your laptop and edit them on the ride home! It will feel like you're still there... kinda.
- Camera - Bring it in case you want to take any photos onboard. Admit it—we're all shamelessly guilty of the classic airplane window pic.
Health & beauty travel must-haves.
Don’t forget these health and beauty items. They’ll keep you refreshed and ready to take on the world.
- Hand sanitizer - Because Covid, and life.
- Lip balm and lotion - No one has time for dry lips or dry hands.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste - Necessary for a long-haul flight. Morning breath on a plane is not cute. Your seat neighbors will thank you for it.
- Clear cosmetics case for toiletries - Make it a little easier for TSA (and yourself) to see what's inside.
- Chewing gum - Helps to alleviate ear pressure while on the plane.
- Makeup remover/face wipes - feel refreshed and clean after a long flight.
- First aid kit and essential medicines - Just in case. Better safe than sorry!
- Hairbrush and hair ties - Tame the mane, even on the plane.
- Masks - Not even a question in the era of Covid.
- Antibacterial wipes - Wiping down seat handles and tables is not a bad idea on a long flight.
What else to bring.
Here are a few more items you shouldn’t leave home without. So make a little more room in your carry on:
- Scarf or shawl that can double as a blanket
- Copy of your passport/travel documents
- USB cord
- Universal adapter
- Portable charger for your phone
- Pen and notebook (for those customs and immigrations forms)
- Snacks - Think easy, not messy snacks like trail mix, protein bars, etc.
- Sleep aid (Melatonin, etc.)
- Outfit change
Host @asenseohuber and Traveler in Iceland, 2022.
Go forth and see the world.
Now you know what you need to bring on the plane, get out there and explore this amazing planet. If you follow the advice in this article, you’ll set yourself up to have the best trip possible. Happy travels!