Carry on essentials
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
What to take with you for an easy and comfortable long-haul flight.
Your carry-on luggage needs to include everything you need for the next 24-36 hours depending on how long your travel time is. Travelling on a plane isn't always the most comfortable experience, so make sure you pack things to help you relax and enjoy the experience.
For your ease, download my PDF checklist of everything you need to pack in your hand luggage.
My key carry-on essentials include:
Some sort of entertainment I always pack a good book and my iPad with pre-loaded with movies and TV shows, just in case the plane doesn't have entertainment (or if the selection is terrible).
My travel diary I'm an avid travel diary keeper and I always start on the plane. With hours ahead of your, it's a great time to start journalling.
A pen If you're flying internationally, there are always customs forms to full out, so it's best to carry your own pen with you. If you're bringing a travel diary like I do, you'll also need your pen for that.
An eye mask While they do dim lights on planes, it's often not enough to drown out all the distractions when you try to sleep. An eye mask can help to shut out light and encourage your body to produce melatonin.
A neck pillow Honestly, this one is a new one for me and I. AM. OBSESSED. I bought a neck pillow that can packdown into a little case, making it easy to carry with me for the rest of my trip.
A jumper or scarf Planes can get cold, so it's a good idea to bring a big jumper or a scarf that you can use as a blanket.
Snacks Yes, you get fed on a plane, but you'll probably get hungry in between times. Pack a few snacks, like muesli bars, and you'll be able to eat whenever you want.
A change of clothes and underwear I always pack clean underwear and a change of clothes just in case I lose my luggage, and so I can leave the plane feeling refreshed.
Essential toiletries You'll want to have your basic toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and moisturiser, and you might also want to have some additional products to help your skin stay hydrated while you fly. I always carry a hydrating facial mist, as well as under eye masks (as these can be hidden under your sleeping eye mask) , and you could also bring a full face mask, depending on where your seat is located and if you mind other people staring!
Any medication If you have any regular medication that you take, make sure that it is in an easy to find place in your carry on bag.
Your passport! It goes without saying that the No.1 most important item in your carry on luggage is your passport. Keep this with your plane tickets, printouts of your hotel bookings and a small amount of foreign currency, so you know that you have all of the essentials together. I usually use a travel wallet, like this one, but for my most recent trip, I opted for a The Daily Edited pouch instead to save space. The benefits of a dedicated travel wallet is that it has different, labelled compartments for all of your documents, but if you're short on space, a pouch or clutch will also work.
Wallet, phone & camera These two also go without saying. Pack your wallet and phone somewhere that you can easily access them.
Other items Depending on how easy you find it to go to sleep, you might also want to take ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones with you. I tend not to use these but I also drown out noise and go to sleep quite easily.