13 Things to Pack in Your Carry-On Bag
I'm all about making my flights as smooth as humanly possible. I've started packing more like a minimalist, and I've slowly but surely discovered some airport hacks that have made my life a lot easier. I think the key to a perfect flight is having what you need all in one spot: in your carry-on.
If you're checking a bag, you need to know what's important to bring on board the plane with you and what's OK to leave behind in the bag you're sending off into the literal hands of strangers and metaphorical hands of machines. On the other hand, if you're only packing a carry-on bag, you need to be strategic. Our nonnegotiable items include our headphones, a water bottle, and face masks, among others. Here's what you should always have in your carry-on bag when flying.
— Additional reporting by Hilary White
This is our world now. Face masks are required when flying, and on various other methods of public transportation. Plus, when you're moving about, you always want to make sure you have hand sanitizer and disinfectant on you, just in case.
Hedley & Bennett The Wake Up & Fight Mask
These Hedley & Bennett The Wake Up & Fight Mask ($45 for three) are no-nonsense masks that don't take up much space. They have a slot to put in a filter, and they're washable (I've washed mine several times and it still holds up). Plus, they donate one for every mask purchased, and they're comfortable for long flights.
A toiletry bag.
Always keep a small bag of your essential toiletries — contact case and contact solution, glasses, lotion, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, and toothpaste — in your carry-on. It's nice to have everything on hand if you want to freshen up during your flight, and you'll be glad you have what you need if your flight is canceled or delayed and you find yourself stuck at the airport overnight.
Stephanie Johnson Claire Miami Dragonfly Jumbo Makeup Case
This holographic Stephanie Johnson Claire Miami Dragonfly Jumbo Makeup Case ($34, originally $45) is so much fun and will hold everything you need.
Putting a laptop in a checked bag is a definite risk. Considering the epic (and tumultuous) adventure your luggage goes on as it makes its way on and off your plane, it's safer to keep your computer with you where you can take good care of it.
Rebecca Minkoff Leo Leather 13-Inch Laptop Case
This Rebecca Minkoff Leo Leather 13-Inch Laptop Case ($95) is so sleek; we love how it looks like a cross between an enlarged envelope and a sophisticated briefcase.
ASUS 15.6” Full HD Powerful Gaming Laptop
For some seriously impeccable picture quality, check out the ASUS 15.6" Full HD Powerful Gaming Laptop ($1,749).
A wallet with all your essentials.
Keep your ID, cards, cash, and plane ticket in one place in your bag so that you don't lose anything important.
The Daily Edited Black Pebbled Travel Wallet
You can store all your essentials in this sleek The Daily Edited Black Pebbled Travel Wallet ($53, originally $150).
Tory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a Chain
This Tory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a Chain ($298) is such a good option because it gives you easy access to your valuables while traveling, and it also doubles as a crossbody for going out.
Your important medicines.
Keep a small container in your carry-on stocked with pain relievers, antacids, allergy medicine, and any other essentials you may need on your flight or if you're delayed/have a long layover.
Hum Nutrition Uber Energy™ Adaptogen Supplement
Traveling can really take a toll on your energy. Perk yourself up with these Hum Nutrition Uber Energy™ Adaptogen Supplements ($26). They're filled with adaptogens that will help you adjust to the time change.
Apex Healthcare Products 7-Day Pill Organizer
If you have pills you need to take daily, there's no better way to store them than this Apex Healthcare Products 7-Day Pill Organizer ($5).
Headphones or earbuds.
Don't forget to pack headphones for watching movies, listening to music, and blocking out the general noise of the airplane. If you forget them, you can buy them at the airport or on the flight, but they're not cheap.
Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
The Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones ($120, originally $200) carry 40 hours of battery life, have an adjustable fit, can integrate Siri, and include premium playback and fine-tuned acoustics to maximize clarity, breadth, and balance.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
These Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones ($129) are sweat- and weather-resistant, meaning they can withstand a supersweaty cardio sesh or a run in the rain. With six hours of battery life, you'll definitely get through a long run (or two), while the "StayHear+ Sport tips create a gentle seal" to improve sound quality and secure the buds in place in your ears.
Keep your phone with you and load it up with fun apps that will keep you entertained even when you're in airplane mode.
Casetify Doing Great Phone Case by Quotes by Christie
This Casetify Doing Great Phone Case by Quotes by Christie ($55) is adorable, and gives you cute mantras every time you look at your phone.
Planes and airports can get pretty chilly, so keep an extra layer of clothing with you to cover up with if need be. Even if you don't use it to stay warm, you can ball it up and make a pillow to help you sleep better on your flight.
Nordstrom Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf
This Nordstrom Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf ($99) can cover your neck, shoulders, or head. Plus, you can even use it as a blanket. It comes in a bunch of colors, but we love this coral shade.
Avoid packing valuable jewelry and expensive electronic equipment in the bag you're checking. Things can break and unfortunately even get stolen or lost. If your valuables are small, keep them together in a small bag and stash everything in a safe spot in your carry-on.
Mele & Co. Giana Flocked Travel Jewelry Box
Keep all your trinkets safe with this Mele & Co. Giana Flocked Travel Jewelry Box ($26, originally $35).
An empty water bottle.
Keep your empty bottle in your carry-on through security, then fill it up before your flight. You'll save money because you won't have to spend any cash on a pricey water bottle at the airport.
Baiji Bottle Collapsible Silicone Water Bottles
If you're looking for something you can take on the go, consider this Baiji Bottle Collapsible Silicone Water Bottle ($13). This customer loved how it fit her lifestyle: "I travel a lot and always carry water with me. I don't like to use my standard reusable bottle because it's too heavy for travel . . . This bottle is the perfect solution for me."
Your tablet or ereader.
Download some TV shows or movies to your tablet so that you don't have to get out a huge laptop for your on-board entertainment. Make sure to charge your Kindle so you can read throughout your flight.
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader
This is the original great e-reader. With access to basically every book Amazon offers, the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader ($130) is so light, adjusts to whatever kind of light you're reading in, and will change the way you travel. No more lugging heavy books through the airport!
HP ENVY x2 12-inch Detachable Laptop with Stylus Pen and 4G LTE
For the ultimate tablet experience, you need this HP ENVY x2 12-inch Detachable Laptop with Stylus Pen and 4G LTE ($992). The detachable keyboard and stylus pen mean you can really use this tablet however you want.
You never know when you might get hungry — especially on long flights. If there's turbulence, the in-flight service can't come around and offer snacks, so make sure you have a few things to eat of your own in case you need them.
Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn ($10 for four) is seriously addictive, and we may or may not have finished the whole bag in one sitting.
Quest Nutrition Fan Favorites Variety Pack
We're fans of Quest bars, and these are some of our favorite flavors, so it's almost like the Quest Nutrition Fan Favorites Variety Pack ($48) was made just for us, right? But seriously, these bars have around 20 grams of protein with very low sugar levels and carbs. Plus, they taste delicious, especially the chocolate chip cookie dough.
Blue Diamond Bold Almonds, Salt 'n Vinegar
Honestly, it's a saving grace that these Blue Diamond Bold Almonds, Salt 'n Vinegar ($17, originally $20 for 12 tubes) come in single-serving packets. They're so good that we need the portion control to keep this to a snack.
Your backup book.
Always have some "real" reading options (as opposed to an ereader) like a book, magazine, or newspaper in your bag in case your electronic devices die. Nothing beats a physical book.
Big Magic ($9) is a light read for every creative, artist, or soul that's struggled with being able to pursue their calling. Known for her bestseller Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert uses this book to capture how you can accomplish any creative feat. From overcoming fear, developing comfort with the unknown and other useful creative habits — Big Magic is an honest guide filled with encouragement that will leave each reader with a little something different.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
How much did we love Emily from The Devil Wears Prada? Well, she's got her own standalone novel, and she's now an image consultant who just landed the client of her dreams. Fast-paced, funny, and gossipy, When Life Gives You Lululemons ($10, originally $27) is the must-have accessory for your beach bag.
Florida by Lauren Groff
The New York Times-bestselling author of the megahit Fates and Furies is back with a short-story collection. Told in Lauren Groff's incredible style, Florida ($17, originally $27) is inspired by the state itself, and each story is expertly crafted to reveal deep truths about our own lives. Florida is a treat to be savored.