Carry On Must-Haves – What Do You Really Need?

So you’re about to set sail on your next adventure, but you’re not sure what you need to take in your carry on. What are you allowed? Will you really need that? How heavy can it be?

Travelling is stressful enough without having to worry about what you should be taking on the plane with you so I am here to help. I’ve done my fair share of travelling in the last 5 years so I would consider myself a sort-of travel pro at this point.

What kind of carry on bag do you need?

The type of bag your choose will probably depend on where you’re going, and what kind of travelling you’re going to be doing.

It also depends on who you’re flying with and their restrictions.

  • “Higher end” airlines such as British Airways, Air Canada, or KLM tend to allow a decent sized carry-on, plus a handbag or laptop bag
  • Budget airlines like Ryan Air, Flybe, EasyJet usually are very limited in the hand luggage department. I’ve seen people getting onto an EasyJet flight that have been stopped by flight attendants as they’re about to board the plane because their carry-on was too big – €40 later they’re sitting on the plane, sans hand luggage. Whoops.

Make sure you check the guidelines before you start packing up your bag!

If your vacation is a get of the plane and drive straight to a resort where you’ll be suntanning all week, you can get away with an over the shoulder bag (the one I use is from Aritzia) as the only time you’ll be carrying it is in the airport and too your room. If you vacation like me, and like to be out doing things all day, I would recommend a backpack as your carry-on (like this one). This way it doubles as an easy-to-carry day trip bag for while you’re exploring your new surroundings.

1. Valuables

Think: keys, wallet, passport, phone, camera, charge cables, and laptop if you’re taking it. I say this because this way you know where everything is. If I put my camera in my suitcase and then somehow my suitcase didn’t show up to my destination I would be DEVASTATED.

Putting these items into your hand luggage also allows you to better protect them. You know they won’t get smashed and thrown around as much because you’re carrying them (as long as you don’t decide to chuck your bag all over the place?).

2. Toiletries

No, I don’t mean you’re entire makeup bag. I mean the essentials. Deodorant, face wash, moisturizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, and cover-up and mascara if you use it. Keep in mind that you cannot have containers of liquids in your carry-on that exceed 100mL -but you can buy travel friendly bottles in your local drugstore, supermarket, or online.

You might be wondering why on earth you would need those things if the furthest you’ve ever traveled is from Manchester to Ibiza but trust me, if your flight is longer than about 4 or 5 hours you will thank me for this tip. Brushing your teeth and giving your face a good wash after a long haul flight makes a world of difference to your mood upon exiting the plane.

3. Clean socks and underwear

Similarly to point #2, this really only applies to a long haul flight. Much like brushing your teeth and washing your face, changing your socks and underwear makes you feel a little more human again.

4. Bottle of water

I probably should have made this tip #1 because this is my ESSENTIAL for flying. I don’t get on a plane without getting a bottle of water first. Flights are so dehydrating so keeping yourself hydrated throughout the flight is a must. It helps beat post flight grogginess, and keep those swollen feet at bay! Enjoying your new destination becomes to much easier when you don’t feel gross upon getting off your flight.

Just pray you have an aisle seat because if you’re anything like me you’ll be in the bathroom every hour – whoops!

5. In flight entertainment (book, magazine, movies)

Long flights are boring, and a lot of the time the movie selection on the plane is sub-par so you’ll need something to keep you occupied. I find that a good book or juicy magazine keeps me entertained for hours.

I once was so enthralled in a book that I spent an entire 6 hour journey reading – that was the fastest 6 hours I’ve ever endured.

Some of my favourite books are:

Gone Girl

Girl On The Train

Couple Next Door

You can even download a movie onto your laptop or iPad too to watch instead of the in-flight ones. Did you know that you can now download movies and shows from Netflix onto your computer? Wild, and life-saving. So DON’T FORGET YOUR HEADPHONES EITHER. Ain’t nobody got time for paying for cruddy airline headphones.

6. Snacks

If you’ve ever flown before you know that the meals can be iffy, and sometimes non-existent, so snacks are a must. Not only that, but we all know eating cures boredom for a short while (even if that is a little bit naughty).

Did you know that you can take food through airport security? Yep! As long as it IS NOT liquid, you can take your own food through airport security. Check out this list if you’re unsure whether a product will be allowed through.

7. A sweater

Have you ever been on an aeroplane that has been the perfect temperature? No? Yea, me neither. They’re always either too hot or too cold. For this reason I suggest packing a sweater, cardigan, or something cosy to wrap up in just in case it does happen to be cold. Best part is that if it doesn’t happen to be too chilly, your sweater can be doubled as a pillow!

So there you have it, my odd number of carry-on must-haves! I hope this helps you when you’re next packing for a vaca – and if that vaca happens to be soon just know I am extremely jealous.

Who wishes they could just travel for a living? I sure do.

Where are you headed to next? I would love to know, comment down below!

Until next time