10 Items You Need to Pack for a Flight Carry-On This Year

Plane in the sky during sunset, packing tips for flights

Plane in the sky during sunset, packing tips for flightsI had hundreds of flights with just my backpack.

Numerous times I forgot or couldn’t fit some necessary items in my carry on-luggage.

Many times I took something I didn’t really use in my trip.

After so many mishaps, I decided to cooperate with Katherine (who flies even more often than me) to write a complete guide with flight packing tips and most necessary items you need to bring on board.

Do you know what feels awful?

Boarding a plane and realizing you forgot your travel pillow at home and consequently you’ll have to bear with a stiff neck after a twenty hours long flight.

It’s not uncommon for people to forget packing essential travel items for a flight or a train trip, a good idea is printing or saving a list of all the things you need.

You can then check off the items after confirming if you have packed them or not.  

Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links, which means that at no cost for you I get a small commission if you buy or book something using these links. My recommendations and recommendations of the guest blogger are unbiased and only reflect the true opinion and recommendations to enjoy your trip the most.

Packing your luggage for a flight is an art, and people who travel in style inspire me a great deal. Consider Dita Von Teese, for example. She has a lovely, vintage Louis Vuitton luggage in which she keeps her hot rollers and three starkly similar (and yet different, according to her) shades of red lipstick with a couple of black dresses.

This description alone should give you an idea of how packing your luggage is not only an art; it’s an expression of who you are.

Flight Packing Tips

Vintage carry-on luggage with items to pack for a flight

Your luggage is supposed to contain the items and accessories that you are going to need, and it also depends on your destination a great deal. If you’re heading to Alaska, packing a bathing suit would be useless.

But the absence of that very bathing suit on the Bahamas trip would be regretfully missed. Packing according to the weather, climate AND culture play an essential role in shaping your experience of the destination country.  

When packing your carry-on luggage, you ought to keep two goals in your mind:

  1. Make sure the essentials are there,
  2. Travel light.

Excessive packing is a burden that you’ll have to bear with throughout your trip. Let’s face it; you don’t want all five skirts from your wardrobe for a weeklong trip.

You can switch and wear a couple of your favorite skirts (preferably in basic colors or plaid patterns) with a few blouses and still look stunning in your social media posts.

Making a list of all the items you are packing a week before your flight is helpful because you will have a lot of time to deliberate and add or remove items later.

Before starting to make a list of travel items you’ll need to pack in your carry-on bag, you need to think of an appropriate backpack or suitcase that would fit under your seat during the flight.

Having such a carry-on bag, you won’t have to pay for your luggage, so it will save you money and time.

You can find a great travel backpack that I recommend here and a high-quality still inexpensive carry-on suitcase over here.

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Carry-On Luggage Packing List

Anyway, without further delay, I’ll tell you about the few items that cannot be dispensed from your carry-on luggage.  

Toiletries Capsule

Toiletries capsule, items to bring on board

Have you seen those compact, little toiletry sets at Target?

I have come across them recently, and I have figured they can be handy. I traveled to Vienna to see a friend and the flight was quite long. I had all my supplies in separate bottles. All of them came in a sleek, water-proof bag that looked like a cosmetic bag.

I realized how I was conveniently able to use and carry my shampoo, body wash and toothpaste without carrying their large bottles.

Packing Tip: Remember, you cannot bring more than 100ml bottles on board.

Capsule toiletries look cute, and they are functional. The best part is, they are quite cheap so you won’t have to splurge on it. It’s a good idea to pack some disposable items like travel towels and disposable toilet seat covers to maintain your hygiene. 

I recommend buying toiletries capsules on Amazon, where it is often cheaper and you can see the reviews.

You can also find all-in-one toiletry sets for men and women on Amazon, which are also very handy.

Travel Pillow

travel pillow to pack to a carry-on bag

It doesn’t matter how long your flight would be; you’re going to need a travel pillow. Those of you who are heading for an extended summer vacation and plan on visiting multiple destinations, you are in dire need of a travel pillow.

Not getting enough sleep could have adverse effects on your health, and the constant lethargy would keep you from enjoying.

I recommend you to pack a sleep mask as well. It is proven research that sleeping in dimly lit or dark places ensures deep sleep. If you pack these two items, I can assure you that no mode of traveling would be able to interrupt your sleep.

Modular Cube Luggage

Modular cube luggage for a flight packing

It is more of a packing essential than a luggage essential. These cube packing luggage bags became popular quite recently. If you’re anything like me, you hate a mess. To keep everything organized, you can designate items of a specific category to a particular packing cube.

  1. Make broad categories like outerwear, intimates, blouses, jeans, and cosmetics.
  2. Now pack each of the items that you plan to carry from your wardrobe in a different packing cube.
  3. Put all the cubes in the luggage and voila!

You have your perfect carry-on luggage all packed for the next flight. 

Find out how to find cheap flights in and to Europe

Power Bank

Power bank to bring on board

Long flights mean long hours without any power outlet to charge your phone or devices, and this is why you are going to need a couple of good power banks.

Once you have reached your destination and you’re out on the streets for a day-long tour, you’re going to need a power bank to keep your phone from dying while you post photos on social media. 

Often, power stations could be found in several public places, but they are mostly in the malls or bus terminals etc. and not at a historical or tourist site.

Make sure you check my summer vacations packing list!


Earplugs, flight packing list

Earplugs are an important travel item that you need on your flight packing list. Ear plugs can protect your ears from noise, foreign bodies like insects and water etc.

When we listen to super loud noises, our hearing power starts to deteriorate. Ear plugs can be worn to avoid listening to loud noises (which you often hear in a plane).

Nowadays, a variety of earplugs can be seen in the market. Some of them are electronic as well. If you’re not sure where to buy good quality earplugs, search for earplug reviews on the web. I am sure you’ll find something useful.

Some Cash

cash in US dollars to bring to a flight

I understand that paying your bills from a card can be quite convenient, but if you’re traveling abroad, I recommend you to keep some cash in the wallet; at least enough to get you a snack or pay for a cab ride etc. Going cashless can get you in trouble, for instance, if you end up losing your credit card you might not have any other means to pay for even a coffee if you don’t have cash with you. I stash a few bucks in my socks, just in case. Funny, isn’t it?

Choose one of the low-cost destinations in Europe

Spruce Up Your Wallet

RFID-blocking wallet for women, things to pack for a flight

Credit card scams are real, and the latest scam is related to RFID credit cards. You might be aware of these new cards that were designed purely for convenience.

These cards can make the payment by merely being scanned instead of being swiped or inserted in a terminal. These cards carry an RFID chip in them that had all your data stored in it.

Thieves can misuse this feature quite easily; all they have to do is scan your wallet from the pocket to create a clone of your credit card. RFID-blocking wallets protect against it and let you scan your card only when it is out of the purse.

Here is a good RFID-blocking wallet for women, and here is one for men.


travel camera, flight travel items

Tourists love taking photos! While carrying a DSLR camera is a good option if you want to get the best result, but I believe carrying a compact camera can be easy on your hands. Pick any good digital camera by Canon and carry it around with you to capture all the memories that you want to make.

Most of the cameras do not give the best result in their auto mode, so you might need to tweak their settings a little bit. A few of the Lumix cameras provide rack focusing feature which means you can take a photo and choose where to focus later.

Wanna visit Spain? Check a packing list for visiting this warm country

A Pair of Sneakers

sneakers, one of the necessary travel gear items for a long-distance flight

Now, I do admit I advocate traveling like celebrities, but that doesn’t mean you have to glam up while you’re boarding the plane.

Unless you fly in Air Force One planes, there’s no point in wearing heels while traveling. Invest in a pair of sneakers that are comfortable and look fancy. You’ve got gorgeous designer options by Balenciaga and Chanel if you feel like splurging, or Converse for a good price/quality ratio.

Luggage Trackers

Luggage trackers to bring for a trip

Frequent travels are well aware of the pangs of lost luggage. It’s not uncommon to lose your luggage when you have connecting flights, you could be in a country, and your luggage could be in a different one.

Such mishaps happen, and they are not a big deal because in most cases you can retrieve your luggage in about a week. But the horrible “what ifs” that our minds cannot stop thinking during that one week is terrible. And it can potentially ruin your whole trip.

Luggage trackers are designed to help you locate your luggage conveniently if you’ve lost it. You can let the authorities know where the luggage is so they can deliver it to you faster.  

So, this was my list of absolutely necessary items that you need when traveling to another country by air. If you pack right, you’ll save money and earn yourself some peace of mind during the trip.

And if you have a pet, don’t forget to pack the pet accessories and crate train it; if you can’t carry your pet’s stuff, you can find a reliable pet-boarding house. 

These places take care of your pets while you’re gone so you don’t have to worry about a thing in the world.

And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your trip!


You think we forgot something? Comment below with the items you always pack in your carry-on bag!


About the Author:
This article is written by Katherine Joseph. She has been wearing hearing aids for over twenty years and still is a veteran of the audiology industry. She gives a holistic view of the hearing aid industry and the plane travel equipment available at https://doctear.com/.

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