I’ve flown on school trips, for professional conferences, with significant others, with family, and definitely on solo trips.
After taking many flights (some smooth and some not-so-much) I’ve narrowed down the must-haves to pack in your carry-on so your flight goes much more smoothly.
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Table of Contents
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Headphones
Headphones are typically the first thing on my list of what I pack in my carry on. I absolutely love listening to music so when it comes to packing for flights, headphones are a given. As a matter of fact, I have two sets of headphones I bring with me on flights.
If it’s an overnight flight, my head is feeling particularly sensitive, or it’s an unusually loud flight, I’ll wear my noise-canceling headphones. These bad boys are so comfortable, they tend to be my go-to even when the flight is quiet!
However, if I’m rushing through the airport or just want to stay more aware of my surroundings, I’ll wear my Powerbeats3.
These are very comfortable too, and since they come in a cute little rubber case, it’s easy to just grab them and throw them in my carry-on.
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Laptop
Airports and airplanes are the perfect chance for me to get some work done with minimal interruptions, so naturally, my laptop is a must when I pack my carry on.
Be sure to charge it the night before since outlets are often in high demand at the airport and you don’t want to be caught with a 10% battery!
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Chargers
On the topic of laptops… Be sure to bring ALL your chargers!
Nowadays it feels like everything needs it’s own charger (is this really a step up from buying generic AA batteries for all our devices?) So for me, that means:
- Apple watch and charger
- Cell phone and charger
- Laptop and charger
- Powerbeats3 and charger
- Sony headphones and charger
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: A high-protein snack
Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a total foodie. I’m hungry more often than not and with my chronic migraine condition, I need to be particularly good about always having snacks on hand. Therefore, instead of buying overpriced airport food, I’ll pack a few snacks ahead of time to stuff in my carry on.
My go-to airport snack is a sandwich. They pack enough carbs to keep me going but not enough to make me crash. Plus, the protein keeps me full for longer.
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: An empty water bottle
As with food, keeping well hydrated is a must for me, given the migraines.
But water shouldn’t just be a priority for people with health conditions. After all, it’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re on the go, and the symptoms of dehydration are only exacerbated by changes to sleep patterns, diet, and pressure changes. By the time you actually feel thirsty, you’re already pretty far along with dehydration.
I tend to pack an empty water bottle to fill up after the security checkpoint.
When I’m home I love my stainless steel 2-liter water bottle but the steel is pretty heavy so for the airport I just grab any large plastic water bottle I can find.
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Makeup pouch
No matter how smoothly the trip to the airport, the wait in security, and the flight go, I always feel dirty and gross once I land at my destination.
To avoid the “I just had a 3/5/10 hour flight” face, I always carry my makeup pouch in my carry-on. Once we disembark, I find the nearest restroom and refresh with some face wipes and Listerine.
To avoid my face getting too greasy (because let’s be real… Changes in weather, sleeping patterns, and food are the perfect recipe for a vacation breakout) I keep the makeup minimal. At least for the main airport days, I’ll limit myself to some sunscreen, powder, mascara for clearer looking eyes, and a bold lipstick to keep me looking put-together.
- face wipes to cut the grease
- Listerine – self-explanatory 😉
- sunscreen for protection
- tinted powder to cut the grease
- MAC Yoni Crush lipstick
- Milani Matte Confident lipstick
- MAC Men Love Mystery lipstick
- Smashbox Inspiration lipstick
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Medications
Whether you take prescription medications like I do or you only use over the counter medications, be sure to keep them on you in case your luggage gets lost en-route.
Some common over-the-counter meds to bring on trips are:
- Anti allergies
- Emergen-C or Airborne so you don’t get sick on the trip
- Zzzquil to help offset the jetlag
- Advil or Ibuprofen for minor aches and pains
Must-Haves to Pack in Your Carry-On: Change of clothes
Nobody thinks lost or stolen luggage will happen to them… Until it does.
My then-boyfriend and I had our shared luggage get lost on our return trip from Japan!
Thankfully we were back in the States and not overseas, but it was still very stressful so ever since then, I avoid being in this situation by packing one or two changes of clothes in my carry-on.
It won’t get you through an entire trip but it’ll at least give you some wiggle room to go find a local shop once you arrive.
I hope you found my list of must-haves to pack in your carry-on helpful.
Do you have any must-have suggestions I should pack in my carry on? Let me know what they are in the comments below!
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With all my love,