10 must have things to pack in your carry-on bag for your next flight
It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a trip. My poor carry-on has been gathering dust in the closet. But soon that’s going to be changing! As things are starting to open up again, I’m excited to start travelling!
I typically travel with only a carry-on suitcase and try not to check luggage. It’s easier and faster and just more manageable for me, plus it cuts down on the decision of what to wear each day. The longest vacation I’ve done with a just carry-on luggage is 21 days, but most of my trips have been for 3-6 days.
It’s taken a little trial and error, but I’ve narrowed down my carry on essentials to only what I really need and use. So today I’m sharing the 12 essentials carry-on must haves I’ve found myself using or needing time and time again.
Carry On Essentials That Will Make Your Life Easier
1. Always choose a good carry-on
Let’s start with the basics. Wherever you’re planning to go, having a good piece of luggage will make your trip so much more enjoyable. You’ll want it to be 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. There’s no need to carry all your gear on your back when wheels will make travel so much easier.
My trusty sidekick has been this Herschel hard case carry-on. It’s durable and compact (not to mention super cute!) I love how it has a built in compartment divider inside, as well as a TSA lock system build right into the luggage. However it is on the smaller side of airplane friendly carry-ons, which is my only gripe.
2. Face masks
Face masks are still pretty much a must everywhere. So when you're packing for your next flight it never hurts to pack a few extra face masks.
I treat my face masks like underwear, so no more than a day's wear tops. And even at that I like swap them out during the day if I'm wearing it for more than 5-6 hours.
I on a day to day basis, I use reusable face masks. But for travel it's nice to have some disposable ones, but make sure you opt for bio-degradable face masks.
3. Eye mask and ear plugs
I love my naps! I sleep on planes, trains, busses, you name it! But sometimes, I need a little help when there’s a crying baby on the plane.
Foam ear plugs and an old fashion eye mask have been a saviour for me, not just on the plane for noisy hotel rooms, or those moments you just need some peace and quiet.
4. 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.
5. Battery bank
All that movie watching and listening to tunes can will eat up your battery life. Having a portable charger/powerbank will make sure you have juice for the last 15 minutes for your in flight movie and for photos when you finally land.
6. Passport and document holder
Stay organized when travelling by collecting all of your important documents in a travel document organizer.
I like to have everything in its place. And keeping all my travel documents together gives me piece of mind that I'm not losing anything or misplacing something in some odd pocket somewhere.
I have a travel organizer wallet that holds passport, boarding pass, hotel confirmation, itinerary, foreign currency. (Plus I like to make a photocopy of all ID, cards, vaccinations for just in case which I keep in there too!) By bringing all your important information together, this will help ensure you have everything you need to get from one destination to the next.
7. Resealable plastic bags
You need a quart-size Ziplock baggie for your liquids when you’re going through airport security, right? So just pack an extra few in your carry-on.
Ziplock bags always coming handy for travelling. They're good for organizing, as well as packing anything damp, like a bathing suit that didn’t quite dry all the way or even double bagging your skincare and makeup in case anything breaks or spill.
Bonus tip: they make a great underwater case for your phone.
8. Travel packing cubes
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!
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.
I try to pack healthy, tasty, snacks that will give me energy. I try to avoid sugary snacks that make me crash and burn.
I've been getting a subscription to the Balanced Snack Box for the past few months, and have really been loving it! Each month they send 5-8 full sized healthy snacks. If you're interested in trying it out get 10% off with my code EILEEN10 for 10 % off!
10. Pain reliever & OTC medicines
Too much sun at the beach. Too much wine with dinner. Too much stress from rushing to the airport. Whatever the cause, it's handy to have a few OTC medications especially if you’re on a plane, in a hotel room at night, or too far from a pharmacy.
Talk to your doc, but in my case I always — always — pack a bottle of no-nonsense, Tylenol, along with some allergy medicine and stomach meds just in case!
11. Water bottle
Staying hyrdated will keep you feeling your best. So I always bring water bottle with me.
Look for one that's light weight and easy to pack. There are also some with built in filtration which is great when you're not sure about the water source.
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's also good to have something to wear in the shower that might protect you from getting toe fungus.
Have any tip son how to pack that you'd like to share?
Let me know in the comments below!
Jennifer PickeringDecember 8, 2021
I need to get a charging pack!
Curated by Jennifer
EileenDecember 12, 2021
So handy to have one!
Melanie WalshJanuary 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.
Eileen @ YesMissyJanuary 10, 2018
Thanks Melanie! Plastic bags come in so handy for so many things!
Garf - Morningsidefit.comJanuary 10, 2018
I don’t need to carry eye covers. I can sleep even it is too bright.
Eileen @ YesMissyJanuary 10, 2018
Oh you’re so lucky! The eye covers help me a lot!
Shannon GrahamJanuary 10, 2018
I love using eye covers. The light keeps me awake when I want a quick snooze.
Eileen @ YesMissyJanuary 10, 2018
Same! I feel like I get such a better sleep too!