Carry-On Essentials

Carry-On Essentials

Traveling can always be overwhelming. Packing is always a stressor. Here's my carry-on essentials to make things a bit easier.

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I love traveling with carry-ons. I’ve talked about why I travel with a carry-on before. But this time around I am sharing my carry-on essentials. Traveling is intimidating and packing is stressful. Either we overpack or under pack. So it’s important to find the sweet middle. Through a lot of trial and error, I found what I need with me at all times. Here are my carry-on essentials. However, I might change what I pack depending on flight distance and how long my trip is!

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Carry-on Essentials

The Essentials

  • Copies – From tickets to an extra passport copy, I have a copy of everything. It just eases my mind in case something happens or I need extra proof. I have a slim folder so it doesn’t add bulk. (Extra Tip: Send PDF copies to your email and close people for extra assurance)
  • Charger and Headphones – Another must everyone knows to put in. Since we need phones and entertainment to pass the time, this is the first thing we pack. I pack regular headphones to plug into the plane’s entertainment and cables to charge my phone. (Extra Tip: Do take an external charger in case your plane doesn’t have a working outlet)
  • Pain Killers – I get headaches easily and pressure changes make me feel sick. This is essential because I want to enjoy everything right as I land and don’t want to feel ill. Just make sure they meet security’s rules.
  • Wet Wipes – I usually used to pack simple tissues. But I find wet wipes are much better. From wiping down surfaces to just using on my hands, I like it to keep everything clean. Check out my favorite wipes from Cottonelle!
  • Laptop – This is always with me. I could never put my laptop anywhere other than my carry-on. I use it to work on things and pass the time instead of using my phone.
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush – It’s so easy to feel icky on planes. After eating snacks and napping, brushing your teeth at one point is a must. Toothpaste and toothbrush go into my carry-on for easy access.
  • Deodorant – Again, it’s so easy to feel so gross. I make sure to pack a deodorant to freshen up. Plus, I just found there are wipe versions for travel! Check them out here.
  • Snacks – I always bring one snack just in case I don’t like what’s on the plane. Plus, I can have it with me after I’m off it. It’s also handy in case I need to take a pain killer and don’t want to be on an empty stomach. But also if you don’t want to wait until they pass out the food and snacks.
  • Pens – You never know when you need a pen. For international travel, there are papers to fill out. You never know if you need to fill out a document so it’s better to be prepared.
  • Leggings – I like to be comfy on my flight so I switch out of my jeans into leggings while traveling. This also helps to just have a backup pair of bottoms in case something happens.
Carry-On Essentials


  • Gum – A lot of people take gum to help them when their ears pop. It’s definitely useful for that. I also like to use that to keep my mouth extra fresh.
  • Blanket – I get cold easily. Blankets make me feel so comfy and warm on a flight. Then I get to use it wherever I arrive so it works out.
  • Journal or Book – This depends on flight time and weirdly where I’m going. If I’m on a shorter trip I leave my laptop behind so a book and journal keeps me busy on the plane.
  • Makeup – This also depends on where I’m landing and if I’m heading somewhere right after landing. I only carry essentials like eyebrow pencil and lip balm.
  • Tea or Oatmeal – I didn’t add this as part of snacks because this can also be a separate meal. Or I take sleepytime tea to help me sleep not just to enjoy. You can ask for hot water on the flight!
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Ever so often I might change what I pack according to where I’m going and how much I want to take. But these are my essentials.

What are some essentials you need in your carry-on?

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