15 Carry-On Essentials Not to Forget For Your Next Flight

Credit author Kelsey Begg

Arc’teryx, Bang & Olufsen, Barbour, Brunton, Clif Bar, Eagle Creek, Goal Zero, hydro flask, Instance, Klean Kanteen, Mizu, MyPakage, Nathan, Norrona, Patagonia, Prestel, Therm-a-Rest. 15 Carry-On Essentials Not to Forget For Your Next Flight

Packing for plane travel can be stressful for some especially if they aren’t flying often. For those who fly regularly for work or pleasure, you develop a routine subconsciously and packing becomes second nature.

Whether you’re on a long flight or a short flight, there are a few carry-on essentials which are necessary to keep in your carry-on. This particular list portrays to your personal bag carry-on and not your suitcase. Everyone’s suitcase contents will vary substantially depending on the style o trip you are leaving on and the duration of the trip. For the person bag carry-on most people will generally have the same contents. 

For those who haven’t quite yet dialed down a plane packing routine, below are the 13 carry-on essentials that you won’t want to forget for your next flight.

Passport & Wallet

Without a doubt, number one on our list of carry-on essentials is your passport and wallet. Without your passport, you won’t get too far; this is your golden ticket to the world. And without money and a wallet, you’re pretty much stuck hungry, thirsty and with nowhere to go.

Pack of Gum

Not everyone likes chewing gum but when that plane is taking off at high speeds and shooting into the air, chewing gum can eliminate any ear popping pains that may occur. If you’re a nervous flyer, chewing some gum may also help ease your nerves. Don’t choose to fast or else you’ll end up with a jaw ache.

Head Phones

Not all airplanes provide headphones so don’t get caught without any. Whether you’re watching movies or listening to music and podcasts on your own handheld device, a set of earphones is your link to entertainment which will make your 12-hour flight feel like it flew by.

ear set 3i headphone

Bang & Olufsen

Ear-Set 3i Active

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Bang & Olufsen

H3 In-Ear Headphone

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Bang & Olufsen

H6 Over-Ear Headphone

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airplane carry-on

Bottle of Water

Do you ever find you get a dry throat on planes? Or that those airplane cups of water never hold enough to keep your thirst under control. Keeping hydrated is essential, especially on long flights, so pack along a bottle of water and drink often. Remember, you can’t bring large bottles of liquids through security so wait to fill up your water bottle after you’ve gone through security.


Hydro Flask

24oz Standard Mouth 

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Klean Kanteen 

27oz Kanteen Classic Reflect

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M8 – Icon Loop

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BigShot Bottle 1L

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Some airlines will provide in-flight snacks or an in-flight menu but for those that don’t, bringing along a snack of your own will eliminate any hunger. Choose a bag of your favourite chips, some fruit snacks or even a small sandwich. Anything to fill up your belly when the hunger strikes will be appreciated.

luna bar

Clif Bar

Luna Bar – Smores

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clif bar

Clif Bar

Chocolate Almond Fudge

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Pen & Paper

When you’re flying between countries, you’ll pretty much always have to fill out a declaration card. The airlines don’t generally have pens to offer so come prepared and bring your own. Having a pen and paper can also be handy for taking notes or reminders. Who knows, you might meet a local on your flight who shared with you all the best tips for your Guatemalan vacation.

A Book to Read

When the plane’s movie selection isn’t floating your boat, a pleasant book to read is always a great alternative. A 12-hour flight is a perfect chance to finish your favourite book without interruptions. Once you reach your destination, you can search out a used book library and possibly trade your own for a new one to read.

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Prestel – Ehmann

Velo 2nd Gear

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The Chamber of Curiosity

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Prestel – Kopp Klanten 

Barley and Hops

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Prestel – Bowman

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Chargers & Adapters

Using Google Maps and translation apps can kill your phone’s battery quick.  Some airlines will have charging outlets in the back of the seat so you can charge your electronics during your flight. These are exceptionally handy because there aren’t always electrical outlets located in convenient places in airports. Also, you won’t’ want to forget an adapter. Without an adapter in a foreign country, you’re stuck without any power so do your research and make sure you’ve got the necessary adapters if they’re needed.

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Goal Zero

Flip 20 Recharger

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Heavy Metal Charger 5000 mAH

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Eagle Creek

Dual Wattage International Converter Set

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We all get a little smelly after sitting on a plane for 10 plus hours so pack along some deodorant to keep you feeling fresh. The people sitting around you will also appreciate the effort and everyone can enjoy their flight. It’s important to note that the size of your deodorant is acceptable for the liquid requirements otherwise you’ll lose it at security. 

Tooth Brush & Tooth Paste

Do you ever catch a red eye flight and arrive the next morning wishing for nothing more than a toothbrush and some toothpaste? It happens all the time. Be prepared for early morning meetings and combat sleepy breath by throwing in a small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush into your bag. Once again, ensure the size of you toothpaste tube is acceptable so it won’t get taken at security. 

Clean Socks & Underwear

Sometimes the air conditioning can make the cabin feel very cold so if you’re in sandals your feet may become very cold. For this, it’s ideal to keep a clean pair of socks in your bag. It’s hard to sleep soundly with cold feet so be prepared and keep your tiny toes warm. Reaching your destination early in the morning after two days of travel, you can feel pretty grimy. A fresh pair of underwear can make you feel like a new person so throw them in there. You’ll be happy you did. 

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Bonny Tomboy Socks

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Active Hipster

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Bold Stripe Sock

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airplane carry on essentials

Warm Hoody or Sweater

Whether you’re flying to a cooler climate or not, a warm hoody or sweater can be turned into a makeshift pillow, blanket or be worn as a jacket. Sometimes planes get cool so don’t get stuck freezing and huddling to the person sat next to you for warmth.

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The North Face

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Chapstick & Moisturizer

I don’t know what it is about planes but the dry air can really get to some people. Cracked lips and dry hands aren’t flattering or comfortable so beat them before they occur and pack a small tube of moisturizer and some lip balm. Choose your moisturizer wisely and make sure it’s within the size restrictions.

Pack of Kleenex

The air in the cabin of the airplane can often be very dry and sometimes irritate your nose. Bring along a small packet of Kleenex and pamper your nose when needed. No one likes a running nose or listening to sniffles for 9 hours straight. 

Small Blanket & Pillow

If you end up on a red eye flight, most airlines will provide a small pillow and blanket to all the passengers. If you’re on a flight where this isn’t the case, having one of your own is a must. If you don’t luck out with the window seat, a neck pillow can be your savior for a decent rest on a long flight. Some are inflatable and packable enough to fit right into your cary-on.

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Baby Blanket

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Neck Pillow

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Eagle Creek

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Make sure you’re prepared for your next flight and don’t forget these 13 carry-on essentials. Always ensure that the items you are bringing in your carry-on meet the requirements of the airline you are flying with s you don’t run into any problems. Once you’re on the plane, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and await your next adventure.

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