The 10 Carry-On Must Haves I Always Take With Me

Create a personal oasis of stress-free flying by always packing these travel essentials in your carry-on luggage. You'll be ready for anything.

Getting good at packing certainly takes a lot of practice along with some trial and error. I typically travel with only one carry-on and try not to check luggage. Having done a number of short trips recently, I’ve mastered the art of packing with only one carry-on. I’ve narrowed down what I bring onto the plane with me to just the essentials, the things I’ve found myself using or needing time and time again.

The 10 Carry-on Must-haves I Always Take With Me.
Every Time. No Matter What

1. Choose a good carry-on

I have this carry on luggage and love it. The hard case keeps my belongings safe and there's a built in TSA lock

Wherever you’re planning to go, pick luggage that is versatile, lightweight and big enough to hold all your essentials while being easy to carry. Invest in something that’s durable and will last, and make sure it has good wheels. Let’s face it. Wheels are nice and there’s no need to carry all your gear on your back when wheels will make things so much easier. My trusty sidekick for the past year has been this Herschel hard case carry-on. Not is it super durable and compact, I love how it has a message divider inside as well as a TSA lock system build right into the luggage.

2. Eye Mask and Ear Plugs

I love my naps, so I sleep on planes, trains, busses, you name it.  But sometimes, I need a little help, like when there’s a crying baby on the plane. In my experience, foam ear plugs and an old fashion eye mask have been a saviour for me.


3. Ear Buds

If I’m not napping, I’m probably listening to music, or watching a movie. Ear buds are an essential especially since most in flight plane entertainment requires it and they’re polite way to ignore that chatty neighbour.

4. Passport and Document Holder

Start by collecting all of your important documents in a travel document organizer.  I always have to have everything in its place. And I like to keep all my travel documents together — passport, boarding pass, hotel confirmation, itinerary, foreign currency. By bringing all your important information together, this will help ensure you have everything you need to get from one place to the next.


5. Resealable Plastic Bags

You need a quart-size baggie for your liquids when you’re going through airport security, right? So just put another one or two in your carry-on. They’re good for organizing, as well as when you have to pack anything damp, like a bathing suit that didn’t quite dry all the way while hanging on the hotel shower-curtain rod overnight. Also make a great underwater case for your phone.

6. Travel Packing Cubes

Packing cubes, if you haven’t heard of them yet, will revolutionize the way you pack. Travel packing cubes are the ultimate luggage organizers. They maximize the space in your bags so you can fit all your belongings in an organized and effect way using minimal space. These little cubes of zippered goodness will give you back some of your sanity while you travel!


7. Snacks

Ever wake up in the middle of a red-eye flight hungry? Or it’s near midnight in your hotel room and you’re starving, but you don’t want to pay the preposterous charges for room service or the minibar? I’m telling you, a granola bar in your luggage will seem like a godsend.

9. Pain Reliever & over-the-counter medicines (Tylenol, allergic pills, diarrhea meds)

Too much sun at the beach. Too much wine with dinner. Too much stress from rushing to the airport. Whatever the cause, a headache can be misery — especially if you’re on a plane, in a hotel room at night, or otherwise far from a pharmacy. Talk to your doc, but in my case I always — always — pack a bottle of no-name, no-nonsense, Tylenol. I also make sure to pack some allergy medicine and diarrhea meds just in case!

10. Flip-flops

Even if you’re not going to a sunny destination, flip-flops are a handy to have in case you need an extra pair of shoes. It’a also good to have something to wear in the shower that might protect you from getting toe fungus.

Have any travel tips for packing you want to share?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Share your thoughts...

  • Shannon Graham
    January 10, 2018

    I love using eye covers. The light keeps me awake when I want a quick snooze.

  • Garf -
    January 10, 2018

    I don’t need to carry eye covers. I can sleep even it is too bright.

  • Melanie Walsh
    January 10, 2018

    Plastic bags are my travel must, especially since I’m often traveling with my kids in tow. I love the idea of catching a few zzz’s while I travel so I start my journey energized.

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The 10 Carry-On Must Haves I Always Take With Me