Top 10 Carry-On Travel Essentials

The proper packing of a carry-on is a skill that takes time to perfect.

Regardless of whether you’re packing a large purse, tote bag, or wheeled luggage here are the top 10 essential items for a carry on.

You want to have seamless airport/airplane experience and things like a water bottle, scarf or travel wrap are key. For a great in-flight experience you need a travel pillow to remain comfortable.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated on the plane is important. Pick your favorite color or style, pack it into your carry on. Then grab an ice water post-security, pour it into your bottle, and you'll have ice-cold water for the duration of your flight.

Travel Pillow

Conventional, U-shaped travel pillows are great. There are also scarf style pillows, which are basically a fleece scarf with a support system built in. When you are in the close quarters of an airplane, you want to make sure your neck is supported if you fall asleep.


Customs forms, in-flight-magazine puzzles, and an actual paper notebook call for a pen.


You may want to jot down business ideas, write a note to a loved one, or write down your to do list upon arrival in your destination city, so a great notebook comes in handy.

Eye Mask

With other travelers, lights from the window and plane streaming in, you need an eye mask. You can use a silk sleep mask or cotton. Just make sure it is comfortable and doesn't irritate your eyes.

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Scarf or Travel Wrap

You never know what your airplane cabin's temperature will be, so it's best to be prepared for anything by tossing a wrap or scarf into your bag. You can use it as a blanket in-flight and pair it with your outfit during your travels.

Compression Socks or Tights

If you’re going to be sitting in an airplane seat for longer than four hours, you may want to change into a pair of compression tights or socks to aid circulation in your legs. This will keep your feet from falling asleep and help to prevent serious symptoms like blood clots from the plane ride.

In-flight Entertainment

Long flights can be grueling without something to pass the time, such as an iPad mini or Kindle. Remember to pre-load and download your books before the flight so you have plenty of options without needing an internet connection.

Disinfecting Wipes

Don’t take the risk of getting sick on the flight. Wipe down your seat, tray table, and anything else you’re touching on the airplane with one of these wipes, which will kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. And maybe offer them up to your seat mates too.


Lost luggage is a reality and you will need tiny toiletries until you’re reunited with your belongings. Alongside the usual toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss, also pack deodorant, a brush or comb and a razor. Fill your toiletry bag with small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, hair styling products, and your essential makeup items.

Happy Traveling!


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