24 Must Have Carry-On Essentials

I love to travel–the feeling of being in an airport–seeing planes take off through the windows, people watching, and the palpable excitement of going somewhere pulsating through the air.

Airports feel like home. But you know what don’t? Airplanes.

They kind of gross me out. Plus they’re usually cramped and smell kind of funny and I can never fall asleep on them. BUT!!!! Enough complaining from me. Today we’re talking carry-on essentials.

Who’s got time (or money) to pay for checked bags? Not me sista. Which means when I travel, I try packing everything I need into my carry-on. Luckily, I’ve flown enough that I’ve figured out exactly what to pack to make for a successful, comfortable, and entertaining trip.

And I’m sharing that knowledge with you below *dancing girl emoji*

These are my must have carry-on essentials that I take on every single trip and never fly without. The best part? They’re all small enough to pack into my favorite carry-on backpack!!!!

If you’re heading out on a trip soon (CONGRATS BABE!) toss these essentials into your bag and you’ll be good to go, promise.

1) Shampoo: These TSA-approved silicone bottles are the perfect way to bring your favorite shampoo (and other products) with you on your trip. Tip: only fill them 3/4 full–the plane pressure can cause leaks.

2) Conditioner: I’m picky about my conditioner: it needs to be thick, moisturizing, and smell amazing. Hotel conditioners rarely meet these needs…which is why I always pack my favorite.

3) Body Wash: Skip the harsh hotel “body washes” and pack your own. Trust me, you and your skin will thank me later.

4) Face Wash: Nothing feels better than washing your face after a few hours on a plane. Is it just me, or do planes make skin feel absolutely icky? I love that this face wash comes pre-packaged in a travel-size and is a brand I’d use anyway. Plus, there’s enough in there to last for a week (or more).

5) Body Lotion: Lotion is a must–especially when traveling during winter. I fill this mini-bottle with body lotion and use it for my hands(which get dry on planes)and my body while on my trip! They do make pre-packaged travel-sized lotions that I love, but sometimes I pack my own to save money.

6) Chapstick: Dry lips are not an option. Always have lip balm on hand.

7) Toothpaste: Packing your own toothpaste could be kind of tough…skip the hassle and throw one of these into your bag instead. Tip: Ask your dentist for a few travel-sized pastes next time you’re in the office, it’s basically a guarantee he’ll have some (save $$$$$$).

8) Face Wipes: Not only are these essential for quick and easy makeup removal, you can use them on your body after a warm and icky flight (aka armpits). Tip: rip them in half to double your usage. No one needs the entire wipe.

9) Deodorant: The need for a good deo is obvious, but this stuff is my fav because it’s all natural and it smells heavenly. Throughout the day I catch whiffs of lime and I’m like, “Oh my gosh what smells so good? Oh, it’s just me!” *hair flip* Don’t be stinky on your next trip. Get you some.

10) Face Lotion:Remember that dry airplane air I was talking about earlier It destroys my face–and so does the environment change when I head to a new area of the world. Keep your skin hydrated and happy with a good face cream. I like this one.

11) Dry Shampoo: A good dry shampoo is a lifesaver after a day of traveling or a week without a shower. #TravelLife #NoShame

12) Hair Ties: My mane is long and always seems to know exactly how to get in my way, which is why I never go anywhere without a few, hair ties–including on a plane.

13) Eye Drops: I don’t wear contacts or have eye “problems,” but for some reason my eyes get super dry while traveling. That’s why I always pack basic eye drops like these.

14) Toothbrush: In the airport after a quick lunch, on the plane after getting pretzels stuck in your teeth, when you land before meeting up with your friends. Enough said. And cover your brush with one of these (because germs are gross).

15) Hand Sanitizer:An absolute necessity while traveling. You don’t have time to get sick–so kill all the germs after touching anything.

16) Phone/Electronics Charger: Most planes have outlets nowadays, which means you can land fully charged and not have to worry about how you’ll call an Uber or text your friend to come scoop you up. Also necessary to keep the music flowing while on your flight.

17) Earphones: ^^^aforementioned& music is depending on you to remember these.

18) Cardigan/Sweater: I like to pack a comfy cardigan that triples as a sweater, blanket, and pillow–depending on my needs.

19) Book: A long flight is the perfect excuse to dive into your current book of choice–or that read that’s been sitting unopened on your desk.

Other necessities

Airlines usually provide drinks and snacks but I still like to pack my own, especially if I’m in for a long flight. My favorite travel snacks are:

  • Nuts
  • Protein bars
  • Carrots/peppers
  • Granola
  • Apples
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn

I also like to drink vitamin C supplements before and during my travels. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if there’s any scientific backing for these…but mentally they make me feel like I’m preventing sickness.

And I NEVER fly without a pack of gum and a water bottle. My #1 travel tip is: STAY HYDRATED. Water will keep you energized, help prevent sickness, and keep the fatigue away.

Not pictured (but definitely helpful)

  • Tylenol/headache medicine
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Travel pillow
  • Camera
  • Pen and paper
  • Travel blanket
  • Games/podcasts downloaded to phone

HAPPY TRAVELS!!! If you’re hopping on a plane soon and jet setting somewhere new, I am so excited for you! Traveling is life changing and I’m glad you’re getting the chance to do so.

There are loads of other carry-on packing lists out there–but hopefully this one helped you with your preparations and maybe reminded you of a few travel essentials you can’t forget!

Positive Vibes,
Kails

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