Flight Carry-On Packing List 2019: What to Bring on Board?

plane in the sky, flight carry-on packing list and tips

Katherine is a frequent flier like me, and she gladly agreed to write an article on packing luggage for a flight not to forget important travel items and not to take too much. Check this flight carry-on packing list.

Do you know what feels awful?

Boarding a plane and realizing you forgot to bring your travel pillow from 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, a good idea is printing a list of all the things you need. You can then check off the items after confirming if you have packed them or not.  

Packing your luggage for a trip 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.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links using which you will be able to purchase high-quality carry-on luggage travel items I recommend without additional cost for you, while I might receive a small commission from your purchase.

Carry-On Luggage Packing Strategy 

Carry-on luggage packing list, old fashioned suitcases

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

  • A) Make sure the essentials are there
  • B) 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 you leave is helpful because you will have a lot of time to deliberate and add or subtract items later.  

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

Toiletries Capsule 

toiletries capsule, necessary item in a flight packing list

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. All my supplies were in separate bottles; all of which 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. 

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. 

Travel Pillow 

Flight travel neck pillow, carry on luggage items

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. 

Check my summer vacation packing checklist

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

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. 

Follow these steps to make sure your carry-on luggage is as organized as possible:

  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 voilà! You have your perfect luggage all packed for the next adventure.  

A Power Bank 

power bank charging phone, flight carry on packing list

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.


Earplugs for travelers, packing list for flight

Earplugs are an important travel item that you need on your list. Earplugs 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. Earplugs can be worn to avoid listening to loud noises. 

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

us dollars in cash to bring for a trip

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?

Learn some more tips for storing money while traveling

Spruce Up Your Wallet 

Rfid-blocking wallet to carry with youin a plane

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. 

A Camera

Compact Travel camera to pack with you

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 Cannon 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. A few of the Lumix cameras provide rack focusing feature which means you can take a photo and choose where to focus later.

A Pair of Sneakers

Sneakers to pack for a 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 Channel if you feel like splurging.  

 Luggage Trackers

luggage tracker with app for carry on luggage

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; if you can’t carry your pet’s stuff, you can find a reliable pet-boarding house. Here you can also learn how to crate train your dog for a trip.

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! 

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 equipment available at

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