Whether you’re a first-time flyer or feel a little out of practice because you haven’t flown in months (thanks, Covid!), packing a carry-on bag can prove to be a rather daunting task. You don’t want to carry too many things in your backpack, but you don’t want to have anything missing. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of essentials that should be occupying space in your overhead compartment.
- A backpack. Using a backpack as your carry-on is nothing short of genius, since they take up minimal space, have a lot of convenient storage options, and can be worn comfortably. Another perk about using a backpack is you can opt for one that has a built in laptop sleeve to protect your computer on the journey.
- A passport holder. Keeping your passport where you can always find it will save you a lot of time and worry. Opt for a bright, bold printed passport holder and you’ll always be able to spot it.
- Noise cancelling headphones. Need we say more? Sometimes flying isn’t the most relaxing time, but it can be with a good pair of noise cancelling headphones. Opt for an over the ear model for extra comfort, and a model with a long battery life so you’re guaranteed hours and hours of listening to your favorite playlist or podcast.
- Compression socks. You can’t go wrong with back-up anything in a carry-on and socks are no different. A good pair of compression socks will prevent any swelling or blood clots, and they’ll keep your feet extra toasty on your flight.
- A book (preferably a good one). Whether you’re team physical book or e-reader, having a copy of a thrilling page-turner by one of your favorite authors will certainly pass the time AND help you achieve that New Year’s resolution of reading more.
- Makeup wipes (if you’re wearing makeup). Sleeping in your makeup is a no-no anyhow, and especially during a long flight. So throw some makeup wipes in your bag to clean and refresh your face on your flight.
- Face masks. We’ve all seen the Instagram photos of celebrities on a flight donning their face masks, and the truth is, they aren’t wrong. More than likely your face is going to be a little dry on your flight and after you land, a face mask during your flight is the perfect way to hydrate your skin. Opt for a face mask with soothing scents such as chamomile or lavender to up the zen.
- Travel pillow. Having even the smallest of travel pillows in your carry-on will provide a ton of extra support for your head and neck during those long flights.
- Earplugs. If you get tired of listening to whatever it is you’re listening to and would just like a bit of peace and quiet on your flight, pack some earplugs and problem solved.
- Rain gear. If you aren’t a huge fan of the rain or you’re traveling somewhere that has frequent rain showers, packing some rain gear wouldn’t be a terrible idea. We suggest a rain jacket or small umbrella. A rain jacket in particular woukldn’t take up much space in a backpack carry-on and that way, you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather throws your way.
- Disinfectant wipes. Carry a small package of disinfectant wipes in your carry-on to wipe down any surfaces you’ll be coming in contact with to avoid sickness.
- Portable charger. A portable charger is a great contraption to throw in your carry-on to charge all of your divides in-flight, so when you reach your destination, you’re good to go on all accounts.
- Toiletries. Perhaps this seems like a no-brainer, but in all the chaos of packing, toiletries are pretty easy to forget. Make sure you have a toothbrush and toothpaste, and any hair and skin care products you may need. We even suggest making sure you have enough for a couple of days just in case your luggage gets lost.
- Moisturizer. Hands, eyes, face.. Whatever tends to dry up on a plane, have a moisturizer (or eye drops) on hand. You’ll stay feeling fresh, hydrated, and ready to go once you land. Believe us, after long hours on the plane, you might be feeling more dried up than usual.
- A spare change of clothes. We don’t wish misplaced luggage on anyone, but we’re all human and sometimes these things happen. Have a spare change of clothes or two in your carry-on just so you aren’t scrambling for an entire new wardrobe once you’ve landed.