Carry-On Essentials to Take the Stress Out of Traveling

Regardless of if you’re taking a one-hour commuter flight of a 12-hour long transatlantic flight, your carry on routine should stay the same. When you’re flying, you want to make sure that you’re not only comfortable but prepared for anything; in case it should happen.

compression-socksUse this guide to help you with your carry-on essentials.


The type of bag that you require for your trip is going to depend on your journey, and how long you’re going to be on the plane. There might be instances where you require a briefcase or times where all you need to bring is a large purse.

  • Tote: Traveler totes can be a gem. If you invest in the right one, you can find ones that fold up to the size of a wallet and unfold into a full-sized tote. That could be beneficial if you find yourself needing an extra travel bag.
  • Backpack: If you carry a lot of electronics, a backpack is a good option. You can see many that have enough compartments to fit your laptop, cell phone, charging equipment, camera, tripod, and still have leftover space.
  • Liquid Pouch: You can find TSA approved liquid pouches so you can store your liquids in something other than a plastic bag.

Dress Wear

Like your bags, your attire is going to vary depending on your destination. However, it’s important always to have the essentials so that way you’re comfortable. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a plane in uncomfortable clothing.

  • Footwear: Whether you wear comfortable shoes on the plane or pack them in your carry-on, it’s always good to have extra. Try packing a pair of ballet flats, runners, or anything that can be easily slipped on. Also, pack an extra pair of socks.
  • Sweater: There’s no denying that sweaters are always comfortable. If you are looking for one to pack in your carry on, consider a long cardigan, zip-up, or pullover hoodie.
  • Compression Socks: Traveling with compression socks is a safety measure that you should always think about. Blood clots in the legs are possible when you’re traveling far distances, in cramped spaces. There is a condition called deep vein thrombosis, and wearing compression socks helps reduce the risk.

Sleep Time

Traveling takes a lot out of you, especially when you’re moving through time zones and suffering through jetlag. You can make the process a bit easier on yourself by packing some essentials.

  • Pillow: Investing in an adjustable travel pillow is ideal because you breathe air into it to make it firmer, or softer. It also lets you get comfortable in otherwise awkward positions.
  • Headphones: Having a good pair of earplugs while cramped on a plane for hours could make your flight more enjoyable, and save your sanity in the process.
  • Eye Masks: If you find it difficult to sleep with any light, you could invest in an eye mask that blocks it out for you. There are many that you can heat up, keep cold, and even ones that vibrate. You just need to shop for the best one for you.


The majority of airlines have downloadable apps that can get used on your smart devices. You pay an individual fee, and you have access to their in-flight Wi-Fi and selection of television shows and movies. If they don’t have that, there’s a television on the back of the seat. There are also other methods of entertainment.

  • Tablet: You can use one to access your games, music, eBooks, apps, movies and television shows.
  • Cell Phone: Turn your data plan off if you are traveling out of the country, but the apps and odds and ends make time go faster.
  • Electronic Adapters and Portable Chargers: If you’re visiting internationally, you could need an adapter for your plugs. Portable chargers also help with keeping your devices full of power.
  • Headphones: Keep your headphones powerful, but compact. There’s no point in taking up carry-on space with noise-canceling headphones that just do the same thing.

Snacks and Beverages

You’re most likely to get complimentary snacks and beverages while on a flight, and there are pre-packaged meals and sandwiches available too. However, you might want to bring your own. That can save you some money, and it’s a good idea when traveling on a budget.

  • Snacks: Try healthy snacks like dried fruit, almonds, and snack mix.
  • Beverages: You can find travel exclusive water bottles that fold up to fit in your pocket when empty, but hold a liter of water.

Clean and Refreshed

Traveling doesn’t make it easy to stay as fresh and clean as you’d usually like. When you don’t feel clean, you can end up feeling uncomfortable. There are a few things that you can pack in your carry-on to keep you comfortable and refreshed.

  • Sanitizer: Hand sanitizers are an excellent way to keep clear of germs. They’re small enough to fit into your clear bag, too.
  • Flushable Wipes: Travel-friendly, flushable wipes are vital for your carry-on baggage. Whether you need to wash your face, give a quick bathroom shower, or wipe off something you’ve spilled; they work. Hygiene wipes are also biodegradable.
  • Toothbrush: You can buy Colgate’s single-use wisp mini-brushes. They’re pre-pasted, so you don’t have to worry about carrying toothpaste. There are four to a pack, and they work best for traveling.
  • Deodorant: Keep in mind that many people are sensitive to scents. Reapplying your deodorant during your flight is important, but so is making sure it’s not fragranced.

Don’t Forget

Most things can get replaced, make sure you have what you really need.

  • Identification and Passport
  • Credit Cards, Debit cards, and cash.
  • Valuables
  • Travel Insurance and other vital documents.
  • Medications

When you put too much thought into what you’re going to pack in your carry-on, that’s when you start to forget things and start packing too much. Just remember, you’re going on vacation, and it’s time to relax. You can always bookmark this and use it as a guide while you’re packing.

carry-on-essentialsWhat item do you always have to have in your carry-on and what item can you live without? Start a discussion below.

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Carry-On Essentials to Take the Stress Out of Traveling

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