24 Carry On Essentials For Traveling

My favorite thing to do in preparation for big trips and small trips alike, is to watch YouTubers talk about their ‘In-Flight Essentials’ and Travel Tips and Tricks. Some of them are a little extreme, and go through lots of beauty routines and things like that when they are on the plane. To each their own. But, after a couple trips of my own, (You can read about my other trips HERE ((Seattle)) and HERE ((Europe)) and HERE ((New York)) I’ve developed my own essentials for traveling, and have come up with my own routine to make my flight the best it can be. So, without further adieu, here are my 24 Travel Essentials:

  1. Chapstick. Chapstick will always and forever be at the top of my list. I don’t go anywhere without my chapstick, regardless of whether or not I’m actually traveling. But I would almost rather go without my phone, than not have chapstick with me. Not to mention, airplanes are SO dehydrating, so keeping my skin and lips hydrated and healthy so I can look like my best self on my trip is very important.
  2. Passport/Travel Docs/Credit Cards/ETC. Obviously. You can’t really go anywhere without these anyways, but I keep them all close to me at all times when I’m traveling. I’ve had to pull out my passport so many times, even when I’ve made it through security and everything, I still have had to show my passport in the past when I’m boarding the plane, so I keep it accessible. I also like to print out all of my travel documents before I leave, just in case. You can never be too prepared.
  3. Earphones. My favorite thing to do on a plane is plug myself into my phone, and just listen to music and close my eyes. As much as I love traveling, flying makes me a little bit nervous, so listening to music helps keep me calm, and makes me feel better and more at home. (For other ways to overcome travel anxiety, go HERE)
  4. Chargers. I always carry AT LEAST two chargers with me when I travel. I keep one in my checked bag, and one in my carry on so I can charge my phone as I travel, and I keep a portable charger as well, so I never have to have a dead phone, which can be scary, especially when you’re traveling alone.
  5. An EMPTY Water Bottle. I ALWAYS bring a water bottle, especially after my dehydration fiasco in Europe (which you can read about HERE), I’m sure to have a water bottle wherever I go. I keep it empty, so I can bring it through security, then I just have an airport restaurant fill it up, or I use a water fountain. As I mentioned already, airplanes are incredibly dehydrating and the last thing you want when you’re traveling is to get dehydrated. Trust me, I know.
  6. Book. This one is pretty self explanatory. I like to stay entertained, especially on 14 hour flights, a good book is a great way to kill some time and stay distracted.
  7. Notebook/Pen/Pencil. When you’re sitting in an airport for a three hour layover, or on the plane for X Amount of hours, writing, doodling, or jotting down ideas is another good way to kill time, and you never know what good ideas can come to you as you’re flying across the sky!
  8. Advil/Medicine. When you’re sitting for so long, your back can start to hurt, or you can get a headache. Anything is possible, really. And keeping some pain killers with you can be SO convenient.
  9. Hand Sanitizer. You guys, planes are so germ infested and gross. I never fly without hand sanitizer. Normally, I don’t like hand sanitizer because it makes my hands feel weird. But I make an exception for planes. Everyone’s germs are being filtered over and over again for hours on end. Yuck.
  10. Gum. This can be for you, to help pop your ears, to  freshen up your breath, or to help your stanky neighbor with their breath. You never know when some gum can come in handy.
  11. Extra Pair Of Clothes. This may not seem necessary for some of you, but I like to keep an extra pair of clothes with me. It can be nice to change after wearing the same thing for so long. Plus, if your checked baggage gets lost, you have at least one other outfit to change into.
  12. Toothbrush/Toothpaste. I like to brush my teeth and freshen up on the plane. Brushing my teeth makes me feel cleaner and fresher. Plus, that’s another nice thing to have with you if your other luggage gets lost.
  13. Deodorant. For the same exact reason. Don’t forget though, toothpaste, deodorant, and other carry on liquids can’t exceed the 3.4 Fl. Oz. Rule.
  14. Lotion. I’ve said it 100 times, and I’ll say it 100 times more. Airplanes are SO dehydrating. Lotion makes me feel better, and keeps my skin glowy and healthy. Plus, it smells yummy and takes away that weird airplane smell.
  15. Face Mask/Eye Mask/ETC. Maybe a bit girly, but keeping a face mask with me to keep my face fresh, hydrated, and feeling rejuvenated is the BEST.
  16. Dream Water. A lot of people like to take sleeping medicine with them, but that stuff makes my tiny little body too tired, and I don’t feel good after I wake up. I like to sleep on planes, however, and I found Dream Water last year. It’s melatonin based, and is a lot less manufactured compared to sleeping medicines. Plus, it helps make me feel refreshed and well rested when I do wake up. I would HIGHLY recommend it.
  17. Wipes/Makeup Wipes. As I’ve mentioned, to keep myself feeling fresh and clean. It can also be nice to wipe down the seat, tray and arm rests and stuff on the plane. Because, as I’ve mentioned, planes are germ infested!
  18. A little bit of makeup. I usually keep mascara, concealer, and a bit of blush to throw on before I get off the plane, so I don’t look like a complete zombie. I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, or any while I’m traveling, but tossing on a little bit to look refreshed can give you that little kick you need when you’re getting off the plane. Plus, it’s nice to have a little routine on the plane.
  19. Hair Ties. For obvious reasons. Tossing your hair up can be so nice and comforting.
  20. A scarf/Jacket/Both. Planes get SO COLD and having a little scarf and/or jacket to toss on can give you just the warmth you may need.
  21. Laptop/Other Entertainment. You know. To stay entertained.
  22. Dry Shampoo. Another refresher. Being up in that dry air for so long can make your hair greasy and matted down. Dry shampoo is the perfect thing to just spray into your hair and give it a little extra boost. Don’t forget, that has to be 3.4 Fl. Oz. as well.
  23. Fingernail Clippers/ Fingernail File. You guys. I can’t tell you the amount of times these have come in handy. I’m constantly getting hangnails. Plus, maybe your neighbor needs to file their nails. SO convenient, I’m telling you.
  24. Lastly, sunglasses. Don’t want to spend time putting on makeup? Throw on a pair of sunglasses and call it good. Plus, it may actually be sunny where you go, so that’s convenient to have as well.


That’s it you guys. That’s what I keep for personal items in my carry on. These are tried and true tips, trust me.

For a few other travel tips, go HERE.

I also wrote about packing an entire week’s worth of stuff in a carry on, in the case that you’re not checking a bag. You can read that one HERE.


What are your carry on essentials??


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