A Complete Carry-On Packing List

All airlines are different, but most allow your carry-on and a personal item that fits underneath the seat. I bring a small suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment and measures up to the airline regulations for my carry-on. My personal item is usually a small backpack but check with your airline to see what is allowed.

1 Empty Water Bottle

I keep an empty water bottle with me to take through the TSA because there are regulations against bringing specific water amounts. I fill up my empty water bottle at a bottle filling station past the TSA to be safe. Not only does this keep you out of running into any potential issues with the TSA, but it also saves some money because airport water is expensive!

1 Outfit 

Although this does take up some space, I try to pack an outfit I can fold up pretty small. There’s nothing worse than being on a long flight, arriving at your destination, and finding out your baggage was lost. Having an outfit gives me peace of mind, knowing that I will have a fresh set of clothes if something happens to my luggage.

Electronics

I try not to bring too many electronics when I’m traveling, but the ones I bring are my: iPad, phone, headphones, chargers, and cameras. My iPad serves as an entertainment device and a mobile computer if I find myself needing one. Headphones are a MUST for me. I use my AirPods, but be sure to bring an extra pair compatible with the computer-style headphone jack if you would like to use the in-flight entertainment with your headphones. I think it’s important to keep electronics with you because you never know how your checked baggage is handled.

Passport/ID, Money, Credit Cards and Important Papers

I keep all of my important documents with me. Passport and ID are things you should always keep with you in an airport, but money, credit cards, and important papers are also! If you were to keep your money/essential documents in your checked bag and it got lost, you’d be left with nothing at your destination!

Expensive stuff 

I try to travel with things that aren’t too expensive because of the fear of losing things or getting stolen. But for anything that is pretty expensive, I try to keep in my carry-on or personal item. This also ties into the electronics category.

Medication

ALWAYS keep your medications in your carry-on/personal item. Personally, I would keep it in my personal item because it is more accessible. If you were to experience a during-flight medical emergency, a checked bag would not be a good place to keep medication.

Neck Pillow

On long flights, a neck pillow is such a nice thing to have. I like to get neck pillows with a clip or velcro, so I can just attach it to my backpack.

Eye Mask

Again, it can be challenging to sleep on a plane, so this is another thing that can make your flight more comfortable. 

Ear Plugs

If you are not a headphone type of person, earplugs can be beneficial to block out some general noise or that crying baby.

Snacks

The TSA does allow you to bring CERTAIN snacks through, but I find it ends up being a lot of hassle. So, I just fork up whatever ridiculous price they want me to pay to buy some snacks when I get past TSA.

Moisturizer 

Traveling takes a toll on skin, and for me, I find it makes my skin very dry. I keep the CeraVe moisturizer with me.

A Good Book

Although I take a tablet with me, I hate reading from a mobile device. I prefer reading a physical book, and just to take up a little more space. When packing, it’s easy to think you’re going to need more than one book to choose from; I try and limit myself to just one. 

Disinfecting Equipment

While I am writing this post, we are living through Covid-19 times, so this may be obvious. But before Covid-19, this was also important on planes, as they weren’t always the cleanest. I would recommend bringing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Just wipe down the armrests and anything you may have to touch.

Mask

This is another item that I would have never thought of before the Covid-19 times we are living through; a mask. Maybe even a face shield if you can get your hands on one.

Makeup

I try to keep most of my makeup in my checked bag, but I like to keep mascara, concealer, and anything that’s a little fragile. I have started keeping items that break easily like highlighters with me because I’ll never forget the time I opened up my suitcase, and my very expensive highlighter was shattered…that hurt my heart a little. 

Feminine Hygiene Products 

This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you use feminine hygiene products, I would keep some with you even if you don’t think you need them.

Toothbrush 

I am an Invisalign wearer, and I keep a toothbrush with me everywhere. I find it helpful to keep it nearby. 

Glasses

My glasses and their case are essential for me. 

Sweater 

I bring a sweater because sometimes planes can be chilly. I try not to put this in my bag, and I wear it through security so that it doesn’t take up space in my bag.

All of the above, I am usually able to fit into my personal item. I put anything that doesn’t fit into my personal item/checked luggage into my carry-on. Most of the time, I can travel with just a checked suitcase and my personal item. 

All in all, make sure to follow all TSA and airline guidelines, and have safe, happy travels!

Me with my carry-on, backpack, and empty water bottle.

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