carry on essentials

Carry On Essentials: The Perfect Packing List

No matter the length of your flight, there are a few items that everyone should have in their carry on. Take a look at this packing list to make sure you have your carry on essentials!

More than 2.5 million passengers fly every day in and out of airports across the United States. Some are traveling for work, some for pleasure, some on long flights, some on quick stops.

While flying can be great, it can also be stressful for some people. Not everyone loves being up in the air, no matter what the length of the flight.

If you are a fearful flyer, what you pack in your carry on can make all the difference. There are some airplane essentials that can make the experience more calming and enjoyable so that you forget to feel tense.

Even if you do like flying, it’s still important to have a well-rounded carry on list. You never want to find yourself on a long flight with nothing to do!

Below, we’re sharing a list of the top ten best carry on essentials that every flyer needs. Read on to learn more!

1. A Large Tote

Before you start asking, what can I put in my carry on, you first have to determine what kind of carry-on bag you’re going to pack. In addition to a carry-on bag with clothes, you’re going to want to keep a personal item with you at your seat.

A large tote bag is ideal for holding all your airplane essentials. Tote bags are roomy and often have a flexible shape, so you aren’t confined like you would be with more structured bags. They are also easy to access, so you can pull things out and put them back quickly, without having to reorganize everything each time.

2. A Water Bottle

Travel dehydration is one of the biggest issues people face when flying, but most people aren’t aware of how much water they actually lose. On a 10-hour flight, men can lose up to two liters of water, and women can lose up to 1.6 liters of water.

A reusable water bottle is one of the most important carry on essentials for long flights. The more water you drink while flying, the better you’ll feel when you land. Just remember to make sure your water bottle is empty when you’re going through security. You can fill it up on the other side.

3. A Laptop

If you’re traveling for work, your laptop should be near the top of your carry-on list. A long flight can be a great opportunity to complete tasks since there are few distractions or interruptions. You’ll also want your laptop so you can stay in touch when you land.

Vacation travelers should also consider bringing their laptop in their carryon. If you don’t have work to complete, you can use your laptop to watch a movie on the flight, and you’ll probably want to have it in your hotel room when you arrive at your destination.

4. Travel-Sized Toiletries

You probably remember to bring essential toiletries like shampoo and toothpaste when you travel, but having some travel-sized items within reach can make a long flight a lot more comfortable.

Plane air is still and drying, so hand cream, face moisturizer, and lip balm are all carry on essentials for long flights. You may also feel more comfortable having some basic makeup staples like foundation and mascara within reach, as well as any feminine products you might need.

5. Extra Layers

The temperature on most planes is anything but consistent. It can go from hot to cold within a matter of minutes. Besides that, the weather at your destination may be very different than the weather in the city where you departed.

You should plan to pack extra layers in your carry-on bag. A large warm scarf is nice because you can wear it as a wrap on the plane, and then use it to accessorize with when you land. Light pullover sweaters are great too since they don’t take up a lot of space.

And don’t forget about your feet! If you’re wearing sandals or other open-toed shoes to travel, have a pair of socks ready to go if the plane gets too cold.

6. Something to Eat

Very few domestic flights offer complimentary meals anymore. Shorter flights may have snacks available and longer, international flights may offer full meals, but you don’t want to rely on plane food. If you are trying to eat healthily or know you’ll get hungry while flying, it’s better to bring your own.

Before you leave home, prep recipes that are easy to pack and eat on the go. Sandwiches or grain-based salads are a good option for something more substantial. Fruit, granola, or trail mix all make for easy in-flight snacks.

7. Headphones

Having headphones on a long flight is necessary for a number of reasons. If you plan to listen to music or a podcast on your phone, you want to have headphones as a common courtesy to other passengers.

You will also need them if you want to watch any available in-flight entertainment. Noise-canceling headphones are particularly useful, especially if you want to drown out other passengers so you can sleep.

8. Chargers

Chargers for your phone or entertainment devices are carry on essentials for long flights. The last thing you want it to run out of battery mid-flight, and be left with nothing to do for hours. Because chargers can easily get lost in a large bag, keep them all in a small clutch or patch so you can grab them when you need them.

9. Eye Mask

Sleep on flights can be hard to come by. An eye mask is a little accessory, but it can make a big difference. Being able to block out harsh plane light could help you sleep better while in flight.

If you’re traveling through different time zones, getting sleep on your flight could help you adjust to the jet lag in your destination, making for a better trip overall.

10. Reading Material

If you have books you’ve been meaning to read or magazines you’ve been wanting to get through, a flight is the perfect opportunity. Shorter flights don’t usually have in-flight entertainment, so you’ll want to have some reading material to occupy your time. Plus, it can be nice to get away from screens for a few hours!

Ready to Pack These Carry On Essentials?

Some people love flying and some people hate, but almost everyone agrees that flying could be a more comfortable experience. With these carry on essentials packed and ready to go, you’ll be prepared to have the best flight possible.

For more travel tips and ideas, read through the blog!