carry-on packing list

If you’re anything like me, you hate long flights. To make myself a little more relaxed and comfortable while flying I rely on these 29 must-have carry-on packing list essentials to make my flying days run smoothly.

OK, let’s get to the carry-on packing list…..


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When flying your face is bound to start feeling dirty. These towelettes are great for a little refresh. In fact, they are one of the only things I have to stock up on every time I’m back in the US because it’s almost impossible to find them abroad. These towelettes come in several varieties, but I like this one because they exfoliate. When flying I suggest packing a few in a zip log bag in your carry-on. If they get a bit dried out just put a little water on them and you’re good to go!


carry-on packing list

The size of this backpack is great. This bag is great for packing because it is big enough to fit all of your stuff but small enough to still fit under the seat in front of you on a plane. I also like these bags because they have two snap clasps and a drawstring inside, making it difficult for anyone to steal anything out of your bag. Also, there is a pocket for your laptop. I like the dark blue and white stripes, but there are several other awesome designs if you want something a bit different.


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OK, this may be a bit too much TMI, but ladies I’m sure you know what I mean. On long flight days, you’re bound to get sweaty and crave a nice shower. This underwear is everything! They stay super dry. Also, if you wash them they dry super fast. I bring a few pairs in my carry-on just in case my checked bags go missing. Oh and guys, they also make men’s boxers as well! Try them out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.



packing guide

I highly recommend bringing an empty water bottle when you fly. Buying water at the airport is expensive, but I’ve never had trouble finding a water fountain to fill up my water bottle. I love this one because it folds up extremely small. When it’s empty you can fit it almost anywhere.

Just Note: fill your bottle at the airport, never from the bathroom sink on a plane.



Untitled design100The things I would do for a shower on long travel days! I love these deodorant swipes to make me feel a little fresher. I find them easier than bringing deodorant because I can just throw a few into my makeup bag and I’m good to go. Plus they are extremely long lasting. Oh and they smell AMAZING!!


6. BANDO Passport Case

OK, I used to think that passport cases were a bit ridiculous. Passports have a semi hard case anyway, right? Yea, you should have seen my last passport. It was so torn up that I often worried I wouldn’t be allowed through security. Now I use a passport holder. I like to have one because it protects my passport, but it’s also easy to remove my passport if security wants me to.



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Ladies, if you don’t already own at least one Longchamp bag, I highly recommend you go buy one, like now. I know, I know, everybody has them and you don’t want the same thing as everyone else, but this is one of those situations where a product is totally worth the hype. I have two of these bags and they are both over ten years old and still in great condition. They are made of nylon so they are extremely easy to clean. I’ve spilled a whole cup of coffee on mine once and easily wiped it off. They can also be folded up to a really small size. I love them for travel days because if I want to put my backpack in the overhead compartment I can pack all my essentials in this and easily put it under my seat (it fits so much stuff!)


8. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow

Neck pillows are always a necessary, but it can be difficult to find the perfect one. Everybody seems to have a different opinion on the “best” neck pillow. I personally love this one. It is made of memory foam and extremely comfortable for whatever position you put your head in. It is also easy to take off the cover and wash it.



packing list

I always want to brush my teeth on planes, but I have read before that it is unsafe to do so because plane water is undrinkable. These are the perfect solution! They are minty fresh wipes. Just throw a few in your carry-on and when your mouth is feeling icky all you have to do is rub them over your teeth. I think they work great!



packing guide

Everyone should wear compression socks on long flights. They reduce swelling, help with circulation, and decrease fatigue. I recommend these ones because my feet are always freezing on planes. These are made of 32% Merino wool and I find the keep my feet nice and toasty warm, without being sweaty. Plus, they come in a lot of other cool colors.




This makeup bag is fab because its clear and TSA approved. Just load all your cosmetics in it and you’re good to go! You’ll no longer have to put all your makeup in zip lock bags.

12. Bose Noise Cancelling Ear Buds

Usually, I’m all about the Bose noise canceling over-ear headphones, but for flying I typically opt for the earbuds. The reason for this is I often like to watch movies with my head rested against my neck pillow. It is rather uncomfortable to do that with over the ear headphones. These work amazing and cancel pretty much all that loud plane sound. I know, I know, they are pricey, but if there is one thing I’m willing to invest in it’s fab sound quality that lasts.



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OK, I love eye masks, but I guess I have a big nose or something because it is usually impossible to get one that fully blocks out the light. This eye mask is everything I could want from an eye mask. It has an adjustable back, a padded nose bridge, and inner rounded eye liners. Also, it includes two memory foam earplugs. It’s the worst to be on a plane, ready to sleep, and the person next to you pulls out a book and turns on the light above them. I always carry this eye mask for that situation.



packing guide

This document holder is designed specifically with flyers in mind. It is great because there are multiple pockets for your cards, cash, boarding pass, and passport (although I like to keep mine in a separate passport holder). There are tons of document holders out there, but a lot are really expensive. This one is good quality, cute, and not overpriced.



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Everyone seems to have a different shoe preference for flying. I personally love Birkenstocks. They are extremely comfortable and easy to slide off for going through security. When on the plane I usually just wear socks, but they are easy to slide on again for a trip to the bathroom.




I always have a journal with me for documenting my trip (airports are filled with interesting people) and even to just take notes on things I need to do. I love this one because not only is it beautiful, it also has a flap to close it. This is great when you are traveling with a bunch of stuff in your bag. This way the pages don’t get wrinkled. It is also super small and takes up hardly any room in your bag.



packing guide

I recommend always bringing some lip balm with you while flying. I find planes dry me out. I love this one because it is all natural, smells great (think peppermint), and keeps my lips nice and hydrated.

18. Power Bank

When you are traveling and don’t have the option of plugging your phone or iPad into a wall charger, this charger is a lifesaver. Just charge it up before you go and you’ll be all set. I use this often on the plane because sometimes I like to watch movies or read books on my iPad.

19. SHOLDIT Basic Pocketed Infinity Scarf – Polar Fleece

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly freezing on planes. This infinity scarf is polar fleece so it keeps me nice and warm. I also love it because it has a secret pocket to store your valuables.

20. Flight 001 Waist Safe


I tend to live with the mindset that you never really know what is going to happen. This waist safe is great for keeping your valuables while walking through the airport or sleeping on the plane.

21. Flight 001 Motion Sickness Bands

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I can not yet attest to if these actually work or not because I just purchased them myself, but at $8 I figured it was worth a try. If you tend to get motion sickness problems while flying or once you land back on solid ground, these might be a good option for you. Try ’em out and report back. I’d love to know what you think of them.

22. Extra clothes

There is nothing worse than having your luggage lost and not having anything to wear. I always bring at least two extra outfits with me.

23. Valuables

Anything of value should travel with you. Laptops, cameras, jewelry etc. should always be in your carry-on. If your luggage is lost you don’t want to lose these things.

24. Snacks

You never know how much food you will get on the plane. Also, there’s always a chance you will dislike the meal that is served. I like to bring some KIND bars with me. They are filling and healthy.

25. A Pen

Something that is a must have on your carry-on packing list but easy to forget when packing. You know those entry forms you always have to fill out on the plane before you enter a new country? It’s best to bring a pen for those. Also, if you’re like me you may end up getting bored and doing the crossword puzzles in the back of the in-flight magazine.


26. Headphone Adaptor

Planes are notorious for giving out headphones with the worst sound ever. If you want to use your own headphones you will likely need an adaptor.

27. Valerian Tea

If you have flying anxiety it’s nice to have something to relax you (and hopefully put you to sleep) on long flights. I personally opt for tea rather than taking pills. If you’ve never had valerian tea before, you should try it out. It will completely knock you out, but I always wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. I just bring a few tea bags with me and ask for a cup of hot water on the plane.

28. A Sweater

Planes are notoriously freezing. Even if you are traveling to somewhere warm it can be a good idea to bring a sweater. I like things that are open in the front so I can easily take them off if I’m too hot on the plane.

29. A Good Book

If you have a Kindle or an iPad these are both great ways to read books while flying that take up little space in your carry-on, but if not you can always purchase a real book.

Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for travel days! We love World Nomads because they cover things such as delayed flights and lost luggage. Plus, they are just a genuinely good company which we trust. ↓


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Great carry-on packing tips for long flights. This list thinks of everything!Great carry-on packing tips for long flights. This list thinks of everything!



  1. Hi Sarah,

    #1 sounds right for men and women 😉 Gotta have my facial and arm and whatever vibes for long haul bus rides, and flights. A God-send for freshening up. Thanks for sharing 🙂



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