carry on luggage essentials

Ultimate Guide: Carry On Luggage Essentials

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We all know just how important those carry on luggage essentials are for travelers, especially if they’re not bringing a checked bag along for the ride. And let’s be real here, folks. You don’t want to be trapped on a high-speed metal tube without a pair of headphones or deodorant, do you? As for myself, I can’t count the number of times that I’ve forgotten an important item on a plane. Too many times.

So I compiled this post to help all my travelers pack the perfect carry on for their next flight. I use all of these products, and hope you can find something that will make your next plane ride a smooth one! As always, I’m open to hearing about your suggestions too.


carry on luggage essentials

My Favorite Carry On Luggage

Tumi Voyageur Calais Backpack is my absolute favorite backpack of all time! I love it. Love, love, love it. Why? Well, I am obsessed with Tumi’s products, first of all. Seriously, I think they make some of the best quality travel items on the market. Are they expensive? A bit, yeah, but I believe the quality is 100% worth the cost. Like I said, my favorite carry on luggage would be Tumi’s Voyageur Calais Backpack which I own in gold. I have used this backpack on many trips – international and domestic – and it’s also a great bag to take with you if you’re sightseeing in a new city. I wouldn’t recommend using it for mountain hikes or in wet weather, however. As a carry on, it is soft so it fits easily underneath a plane seat. There are several pockets so you can pack all your items with limited mess. Plus this backpack definitely has enough space to keep a laptop safe!!

Skin Products


It’s very important to stay moisturized on a plane. The recycled air is dry, dry, dry, and yucky. I’m not a fan, haha. I also have sensitive skin, so it’s even more important for me to be prepared for longer flights. Personally, I love Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer for Sensitive SkinThis moisturizer is affordable and gentle, and the bottle size is fine for TSA limits. Seriously, though, I highly recommend all of Burt’s Bees skin products even when your two feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Tinted Moisturizer/BB Cream

Okay, let’s say you had a super long flight, and you want to appear refreshed upon landing, but you also need to moisturize your skin ASAP. Then you’ll want to invest in a quality BB cream or tinted moisturizer to help your skin glow again! bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel is a wonderful tinted moisturizer for you to purchase for your carry on! bareMinerals makes quality products so you won’t go wrong here. Avoid heavy foundations at all costs.

carry on luggage essentials
Some of my super cool products.



You always need headphones for flights. If you’re like me and terrified of flying, you definitely need a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help you through your journey to a new exciting land. My favorite headphones (of all time!) are my BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones in rose gold. I realize Beats are expensive, but I honestly think headphones are worth the splurge. I can’t tell you how many cheap headphones I’ve gone through before investing in my Beats. $20 here and there adds up. The BeatsX wireless headphones aren’t bulky, and the battery life lasts for at least eight hours.


Fortunately, a lot of planes have built in chargers to meet the needs of contemporary travelers. We all own cell phones, after all. Still, bringing a portable charger is always a smart idea. You never know if your plane charger will be broken either (until you board)! It’s happened to me! Additionally, older and/or smaller planes don’t always have chargers built into the seats. Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger is a great investment to make if you travel a lot. Personally, I watch movies on my phone so a charger is essential for me, particularly for those crazy long haul flights.


For all my readers, make sure to bring a e-reader with you on your flight. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader is a wise choice. Sleek without all the bells and whistles, the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader makes it easy to read on a screen. No worries about a headache. You can adjust the font and brightness to your liking, too. So load up on those ebooks!

carry on luggage essentials

Stay Refreshed/Hydrated

It is so necessary to stay hydrated on a plane. Water, water, water, and more water. Bring a Tap Antibacterial Collapsible Water Bottle and then fill up your bottle once you pass those pesky security lines. If you need more water on board, then ask a flight attendant. They know better than anyone else that it’s important to drink plenty of fluids – especially if the flight is more than an hour or two.

Lip Balms

My absolute FAVORITE lip balm is the Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm. This balm makes my lips feel so, so, so, so soft. Not to mention, the tinted pink is very subtle and beautiful, and will make you look healthy and alive in your new destination.

If you don’t want to shell out the money for Dior (quality’s great, but I don’t blame you), then check out Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm. Seriously, I have the biggest crush on tinted lip balm. And you already know how I feel about Burt’s Bees, haha.

Stay Clean, Folks

Keep your face clean using Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes – Cucumber! A long flight is no excuse for dirty skin! Like I said, I adore Burt’s Bees products and I think they are reasonably priced too. These cucumber cleansing towelettes are my personal favorites, but then again, I have a crush on all things cucumber scented!

Furthermore, your body might smell quite a bit depending on how long the flight is. And nooooo one likes unpleasant body oder. Be nice to your seat mates and the customs officers! Bring a stick of deodorant in your carry on luggage! LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Lavender smells “oh so” nice, but then again, I have a soft spot for vanilla.

carry on luggage essentials

Stay Super Cozy

I don’t like the pillows provided to passengers on planes. I think they are flimsy and uncomfortable. Sorry, I never pretended I wasn’t a princess, haha. Instead invest in a quality neck pillow like Comfortable Travel Pillow to relax your neck muscles.

If you want to take a blissful nap on the plane, you also want to bring a sleep mask and some noise cancelling ear bugs in your carry on luggage, too. For sleep masks, I would recommend YIVIEW Sleep Mask Pack of 3. I mean, you get three of them! Not to mention, I like the material used for these masks. You don’t want to pack anything too bulky or itchy. As for earplugs, HEAROS Xtreme Protection Noise Cancelling Disposable Foam Earplugs are the best quality plugs that I have found on the market. They are great if you want to sleep. And if you’re scared of flying, you won’t hear any crazy engine noises. Win win, right?

Absolutely Do Not Forget


You won’t even be able to board your plane if you leave your passport at home. Bring a copy, too, just in case your passport goes missing. It’s easier to get a replacement if the photo page is already copied and ready to go.

Copy of Your Travel Insurance

Having a physical copy of your travel insurance is always a good idea. For my trips, I usually use World Nomads Insurance and so far, they’ve been great. Granted, I’ve hadn’t had any emergencies on the road yet, haha. Anyway I’m of the opinion that you should put a copy of your insurance into your carry on because why not? Better safe than sorry!

Any Medication You Need

Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever pack medication in your checked bag. You never know if you’ll have an emergency mid-flight. Not to mention, I’ve heard horrible stories about medicine being stolen from suitcases. Ouch. Just don’t do it. Always put medicine in your carry on luggage for safe keeping.

carry on luggage essentials

carry on luggage essentials | carry on packing list | what to pack in my carry on | packing list | international carry on packing | luggage | what to bring on my trip | solo travel | solo female travel | travel inspiration

carry on luggage essentials | carry on packing list | what to pack in my carry on | packing list | international carry on packing | luggage | what to bring on my trip | solo travel | solo female travel | travel inspiration

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